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And Another Thing

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Associated Press
Canada's goalie Roberto Luongo, left, stops the puck as teammates Duncan Keith (2) and Drew Doughty (8) help defend against Russia's Pavel Datsyuk, behind Doughty, and Maxim Afinogenov, right, in the first period in a men's quarterfinal round game on Wednesday.

Hey, look! Canada's awake!

And now today's Winter Olympics Update, in which I risk the wrath of the flag-wavers by injecting a dose of reality into the proceedings ...

I mean, did you see what Canada did to the Russians last night?

Dismantled 'em. Annihilated 'em. Made 'em look like, I don't know, the Flint Generals, maybe.

The Canadians' 7-3 lathering of Russia means they've now outscored two opponents 15-5 since the stunning loss to the U.S. on Sunday, which begs the question: Why didn't the U.S. just, you know, sandbag that puppy?

It was, after all, just a pool play game, and thus pretty much meaningless. By winning it, all the U.S. succeeded in doing is wake the Canadians up. And if the two teams wind up meeting in the gold medal game ... well, you heard it here first: It ain't gonna be pretty. Canada wins going away.

That's because Crosby, Nash, Stahl et al are flat-out on a mission now, and they were already the most stacked team in the tournament. Motivation, they didn't need. But they've surely got it now, especially if they wind up in the ring with the U.S. again.

Some other Olympic stuff:

* American skier Lindsey Vonn fell again, breaking her pinkie finger and continuing an Olympiad that for her has been both sublime (winning gold in the downhill) and luckless (two crashes taking her out of two of her events). And now she's got teammate Julia Mancuso popping off about how all the focus on Vonn's travails is distracting the U.S. team.

My take: Mancuso needs to shut up. The more she talks, the more she just sounds like a jealous little brat.

My bonus take: She also needs to shut up because what she's saying makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Vonn's troubles are somehow distracting the U.S. team? Really? So when one of the other American skiers is standing up there in the starting gate, she's thinking "Gosh, Lindsey's had such a run of bad luck" instead of about her run?

Get real.

* The story of the week so far is Canadian skater Joannie Rochette, who, two days after her mother died of a heart attack, skated the best short program of her life in the most pressurized environment imaginable -- the Olympic Games, in her own country.

My take: If you weren't moved to tears by this, you're made of tin.

My bonus take: Repeat first take.

Ben Smith's blog.

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