The Zionist Conspiracy
Monday, February 13, 2006
King Henrik and the Winter Olympics
When I was in second grade in 1980, I was home sick for nearly three weeks with an as of yet undiagnosed virus. That period coincided with the Winter Olympics, and as a result I watched almost all of the 1980 Winter Olympics, including the USA hockey team's improbable victory (but not the game vs. the USSR, which was played on Friday night), as well as Eric Heiden's five gold medals in speed skating.
The day I went back to school was the Sunday of the gold medal hockey game against Finland. I got home after the second period, with the US down 2-1. Three third period goals clinched the gold medal.
Since then, I have watched less and less of the Winter Olympics, which seem to be presented quite sloppily. I still have some interest in speed skating, but not enough to make an effort to watch.
With so many Rangers playing in the Olympics for European teams, including four for the Czech Republic (a fifth, Peter Prucha, was selected to play for the Czechs but injured his knee), the New York Times speculated that many Rangers fans will be rooting for the Czechs.
I doubt too many Rangers fans will root for the Czechs. Sure they have Jaromir Jagr, but they also have Dominik Hasek in goal.
If anything, I'd like to see the Swedes do well when they're not playing the US. Sweden's star is Rangers rookie goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who I think Rangers fans are most emotionally connected to.
The other day I was thinking about whether Lundqvist can be compared to any other New York rookie. Derek Jeter came to mind, but the Yankees were already a serious contender before he arrived. In contrast, the Rangers have been awful for years.
The player whose impact as a rookie most closely resembles Lundqvist is Dwight Gooden of the 1984 Mets. All of the sudden, Gooden, like Lundqvist, arrived on the scene and immediately dominated his sport and lifted his team into contention after years of ineptitude.
But Lundqvist is arguably even more valuable to the Rangers than Gooden was to the Mets. After all, he has played most of the Rangers' games, while Gooden only started 31 times in 1984.
The rest of the world is apparently oblivious to this, still debating whether Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby or Washington's Alexander Ovechkin should be rookie of the year. Last I checked, those players have put up impressive individual stats but done little or nothing to significantly improve their team's performance in the standings.