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Olympic hockey; why choose?

Published by marco on

I shelled out CHF8.– for Zattoo for this month so that I can watch the Olympics on my own schedule. It’s pretty sweet, especially for hockey games.

 USA/Czech Republic & Canada/Latvia

Zattoo keeps a 7-day buffer for over 100 channels. You can actually watch for free, but you don’t get HD and you have to watch extra, Zattoo-specific commercials. The Olympics coverage is remarkably commercial-free, at least on the Swiss (Swiss-German, German, French and Italian) and Austrian channels. The German channels have more advertisements but mostly between events. They tend to prefer live coverage. BBC2 I’ve hardly watched at all because they show more interviews and adverts than sports.

What did I think of the hockey games? Latvia played with tremendous heart, proving once again that teamwork can be (almost) equal to loading up on raw NHL talent. Canada played hard but seemed to be thinking about the next match already.

In the US-Czech game, the US showed off a lot of talent but also benefited from more than its share of lucky bounces. They are to be credited with going at the net, but the 5 goals they got (on 25 shots) included a few ugly ones. The right team definitely moved on, though.

The Russians would have loved to have had half the luck of the Americans in their game against Finland. With 38 shots and only 1 goal, it was kind of a sad loss because they, perhaps even more than the US, play an absolutely lovely, balletic passing-style hockey with lots of speed and chances. They dominated the offensive zone for long minutes at a time—even at 5 on 5—but they just couldn’t score.

The story of the Olympics, at least over here in good ol’ Switzerland, is the Swiss women’s hockey team, who showed a tremendous will to deliver what I think is the only rally-win of this Olympics. That almost never happens to Swiss teams—rallying isn’t our thing. It was an exciting game with some decent (non-checking) hockey.