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[Bits] Canada vs. USA: Episode II (or VI? I don't know how Lucas counts things)

No matter what happens today, you'll probably have something nice for dinner, maybe even with a friend or family member.

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

After their women played an intense gold-medal game with an unbelievably stirring comeback/heartbreaking ending, today the U.S. and Canada's much more highly compensated men will go at it for the chance to play for a shiny medal on Sunday.

Enjoy that one and chat it up here as you see fit.

(A word about that: Thanks for being cool to each other in comments during these Olympics and yesterday's game, national loyalties be damned. I suspect some people who hate me because of this site do so ultimately because I don't take sports seriously enough, and don't have visions of defenestrating Charles Wang or Garth Snow in my sleep.

Today as an American I will root for Team USA, and then 10 minutes after the final horn I'll get on with my day, unencumbered and not very emotionally invested in the fact I share a passport with Patrick Kane but not with some guy from Winnipeg. Sorry. I'm more likely to chuckle at how IMPORTANT this game is to many Canadians than I will relish a U.S. win if hockey's eternal coin flip lands that way. My irrational NHL-based loyalties and hatreds are so, so much more deeply entrenched, and ultimately every bit as silly.)

Anyway, to the readings:

  • We talked about this some yesterday, focused on how the NHL will happily add Garth Snow's Olympic comments to its own PR files, but here is more from Arthur Staple on Snow's comments and what to expect at the trade deadline.
  • The Islanders react to the realization that they have to play 22 games without John Tavares. [Isles]
  • "Tavares' injury might even improve the financial health of the Islanders in the long run." [mc79hockey]
  • But enough of us whining about how losing John Tavares for the season really Avery's up our happy time. Let's think about how this affects the Sabres. [THN]
  • Doug Weight's son beats up on some Flyers. [Isles]
  • This look at the NHL Trade Deadline covers the East, and the A-Mac situation. [TSN]
  • More on the Sound Tigers' recent moves. It's almost like they believe they are about to lose some players to the big club. [Conn. Post]

Damn, David Poile may not regain sight in his right eye after that fluke puck to the face before the Olympic break. [Tennesseean]

Women's hockey needs to remain on the Olympic stage. [Japers' Rink]

So like is Luke Schenn decent or not? [BSH]

How Ted Nolan makes bad teams think they're not so bad. [Die by the Blade]

Gary Bettman says the NHL game (and specifically the rink size) is better than the Olympic/wide sheet game because that's what he's supposed to say. But he's also right.

Oh, sticking with Bettman and a topic I'm already tired of, but this is oddly straight-forward from the commissioner: "There are mixed views among the owners," Bettman said. "There are lots of quotes going in both directions. It’s a real balancing act. Coming to the Olympics is a lot of fun when we are here, and the hockey’s fun. … But it requires us to shut the season down in the middle. It’s a break in momentum. It’s at a point in time when the NFL has stopped and it’s really our time. And our teams come back in different shape."