just watched the gold medal game... hockey of course. peter forsberg and sweden beat finland 3-2. niittymaki looked sad to be receiving a silver medal instead of the gold, but he did all he could. the team in front of him just couldn't put the pucks in the net for him today. i don't think he knows yet, but he's tournament MVP and the best goaltender in the tournament. how sweet is that? and he wins a silver medal in his 1st big international competition... 3 shutouts, playing against the best players in the world. maybe having joni pitkanen on team finland could have made a difference? he's pretty good at getting the crunch-time goals for his team, but he opted not to play in the olympics because of that whole sports hernia surgery thing that has been aggravating him a little since he came back from the injury. oh well. niittymaki was still awesome, and of course i'm crazy excited to hear that he was voted the best goaltender and tournament MVP. henrik lundqvist played really well for sweden at the other end of the ice, especially in the 3rd period. too bad that guy plays for the freakin' rangers. he's really good.
now, considering robert esche's poor performance in the one game he played for team USA along with his mediocre play as of late in the NHL, and niittymaki's awesome play in the olympics, i'm wondering whether ken hitchcock of the flyers will officially hand the no. 1 goaltender job to nitty. i've thought it should be his all season long, but what do i know, huh? oh well. maybe the flyers can win a stanley cup now, with the olympic MVP and the gold medal winning peter forsberg. maybe. forsberg was all like, "i want to win a gold medal." then flyer GM bobby clarke was like, "well, i hope he wants to win a stanley cup, too." me too.
a while back, near the beginning of this hockey season, in my 1st post about niittymaki i said something like "you might be thinking, antero who???" well, i hope that no one is saying that now. he has really proven himself to be a world-class goalie, and he deserves the recognition. i really don't think that anyone will say that finland got silver instead of gold because miikka kiprusoff wasn't their goalie. goaltending most definitely was not an issue for the finns.
anyway, i guess i should congratulate peter the great as well, and i hope he and niittymaki aren't completely wiped out when they return to philly. i'm guessing that the well-rested esche will get the start in new jersey on wednesday, and i really hope that he plays well.
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