Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
PHOTO – Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson talked on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 about his experience as coach of Team USA during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics (CP).
It is one thing for Ron Wilson to express misgivings wbout a Team USA loss while in front of American reporters and in the U.S., but, to express such a chorus of negativity in Canada while being head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs arguably lacks class.
Clearly, Ron Wilson congratulating both Team USA and Team Canada on a game well played was too much to ask for.
“Ron Wilson could have pointed to the eye-opening television ratings. He could have talked about how a young group overcame its inexperience to challenge for a gold medal, and how the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team he coached might finally have lit the flame of interest in its home country.”
“But he did not.”
On his first day back to work at his regular job as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Wilson opted against highlighting the positives in the U.S. team’s unexpected march to the championship game at the Vancouver Olympics. He suggested the 3-2 overtime loss to Canada on Sunday, which has generated a considerable buzz on both sides of the border, was just that — a loss.
“In our business, it’s about winning the whole thing, and not putting it into perspective,” Wilson told reporters Tuesday. “You don’t think in terms of anything but winning the whole thing. In five years, no one’s going to give a damn. It’s who won. I mean, we know that.”
He also fired a salvo at the Canadian media for what he framed as an attack on goaltender Martin Brodeur. The 37-year-old began the tournament as the starting goalie, but ceded the job to Roberto Luongo after Canada fell to the U.S. in the preliminary round.
“The biggest surprise to me was how everybody threw Marty Brodeur — the greatest goalie in the history of the game — under the bus and backed over him,” Wilson said. “That’s the greatest goalie who’s ever played, and it kind of almost tarnished his career on one night.
“He didn’t have a good night, but part of that had to do with how well we pressured him.”
Perhaps Mr. Wilson is still upset that his team faced Roberto Luongo? Brodeur’s lacklustre and careless goaltending against Team USA was definitely not what Team Canada needed.
Was this apparent lack of graciousness directed by current Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke who was in charge of the U.S Olympic Hockey Team?
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by Eric Duhatschek
He waited until the final moment — with Canada teetering on the brink of a national panic attack — before Sidney Crosby put his mark on this game, this gold medal, this emerging legacy.
Timing as they say is everything.
In a game for the ages, it was Crosby – the leader of Canada’s Generation Next – who scored the golden goal 7:40 into overtime, leading Canada’s men’s Olympic hockey team to a thrill-a-minute 3-2 victory over their arch rivals from the United States.
Crosby, who was 14 and watching Canada’s 2002 Olympic championships on television, played give-and-go with one of the key players on that team, Jarome Iginla, to score the winning goal and salvage a game that was hanging in the balance.
On the play, Crosby gave the puck to Iginla deep in the U.S. zone and then drove hard to the net. Iginla – with U.S. defenceman Ryan Suter draped across his back – heard Crosby call out ‘Iggy’ and passed it back. Crosby shot the puck without looking. Magically, it found its way between the pads of goaltender Ryan Miller, ending the tense drama and sending the capacity crowd at Canada Hockey Place into paroxysms of joy.
Afterwards, Crosby said he didn’t even see the puck enter the net. He only knew it was in when he heard the crowd roar.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Crosby. “To have a chance to score in overtime, here in Canada, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Crosby had had a relatively quiet tournament by his standards, fitting in nicely as a piece of the puzzle on a team that relied on balanced scoring, mostly from its emerging young nucleus. It was fitting therefore that Crosby saved the best for last.
“Guys like that find a way,” said defenceman Chris Pronger.
It was Canada’s eighth Olympic gold medal overall in men’s hockey and they became the first to win on home ice since the U.S. did it in 1980’s ‘Miracle On Ice.’
Crosby was one of a handful of players who had a chance to put the game away in regulation. Canada nursed a 2-1 lead into the final minute of play; prior to that, Crosby had been denied on a breakaway with about three minutes to go and both Pronger and Shea Weber hit the post early in the third period.
Normally, in the rhythm of any hockey game, too many missed chances at one end translate into a goal at the other – and yesterday was no exception. With 25 seconds remaining in regulation; Canada getting set for a celebration; and goaltender Ryan Miller on the bench for a sixth attacker, the U.S. tied the game on a goal by Zach Parise. The sequence was potentially heart-breaking: Patrick Kane’s shot deflected off Jamie Langenbrunner’s skate right to Parise, who skated across the front of the goal crease and tucked a shot past goaltender Roberto Luongo.
To be so close to the championship – and then needing to return for four-on-four overtime – was just the final test in what had been a pressure-packed two weeks for the Canadian team. Thanks to Crosby, they survived.
According to centre Ryan Getzlaf, there wasn’t a lot said in the Canadian dressing room during the 15-minute intermission.
“Our guys did a great job – the leaders we have in that room – of staying poised and getting it done in the end,” said Getzlaf, who almost missed the Olympics because of an ankle injury suffered the week before the Games started. In the end, Getzlaf proved to be one of Canada’s most important contributors, setting up the second goal – by Corey Perry – that for the longest time looked as if it would be the game winner.
“I knew that Canada had a very good chance of winning the gold medal,” said Getzlaf, “and I wanted to be part of it. I was fortunate enough that the hockey gods blessed me to get that foot better and be back for the tournament.”
Getzlaf played with Crosby on Canada’s 2005 world junior hockey championship team.
“That’s Sid for you,” said Getzlaf. “There’s a reason he’s the best player in the world. He always shows up in those big moments and scores those big goals.”
It was a wonderfully played game on many levels – close-and-tight checking to start, with strong goaltending at both ends throughout. The nerves and what players like to call the “compete” level were at a fever pitch throughout. There was a moment when the cameras caught Iginla smiling on the bench after a particularly hard shift, talking to Crosby. Could it really have been fun too?
“We’d been talking together all tournament as a line – and communicating with each other,” said Iginla. On the winning goal, according to Iginla, Crosby “was yelling pretty urgently. There are different pitches of yells; this was loud.
“Sid, he just keeps going. He could have scored on that breakaway in regulation, but he’s a positive guy, and it was awesome to see it go in.”
A sentiment that was seconded all across Canada Sunday.\
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by Pete Samson
Cheating Tiger Woods splashed out £25,000 a weekend partying with high-class hookers, a notorious Hollywood madam told a U.S. website on 11 December 2009.
Michelle Braun (photo below and left) said that she sometimes provided Woods (photo below and right) with ten to 15 girls at one time.
Braun claimed Woods would spend £10,000 a time to meet Loredana, 26, in Manhattan.
But Loredana said only that she received “a ring, a pair of diamond studs and a watch” from Woods.
She added: “He came off as being a really nice person. He had manners.”
Braun also alleged two of the other women to have romped with Woods – porn star Holly Sampson and lingerie model Jamie Jungers – were on her books.
Furious Jamie denied the claim. She said: “That’s 100 per cent false. I have never had anything to do with prostitution and never will.”
And Holly’s lawyer said he had no knowledge of the fetish flick star working for Braun.
Braun said her girls told her Woods was “wild and a lot of fun”.
She added: “He liked girl-on-girl. He had sex with them together. He was tough to keep up with – days at a time on a booze and sex bender.”
She said: “He had a pretty big appetite for girls. Never just one girl. He would want to set up a whole weekend of partying and have ten or 15 girls 24/7.
“Mostly young, college cuties. In an average weekend in Las Vegas he’d probably spend $30,000 or $40,000.”
Last month Braun was sentenced to three years’ probation for money laundering and transporting a prostitute over state lines.
Rachel Uchitel – the first woman named as an alleged mistress of Woods – has threatened to sue after a TV host joked that she was a “hooker”.
Her lawyer Gloria Allred is representing another of Woods’ alleged mistresses, a woman in her 40s.
Yesterday his lawyers won a High Court injunction banning the UK publication of nude photos or sex tapes featuring him.
It came after a woman called a Florida radio station last week claiming to have snaps of him naked.
Woods has been in hiding since crashing his car two weeks ago. But he was thought to be about to surface last night as his staff prepared his luxury yacht at North Palm Beach, Florida.
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