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Talk of the Games

The medal standings tell only part of the sports story of what's happening at the Games. For the rest, check out the latest dispatches from The Seattle Times' sports crew of columnists, reporters and producers.

February 21, 2010 at 10:01 AM

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A couple notes on the big hockey day ahead

Posted by Bob Condotta

It's Super Sunday for hockey here at the Olympics today, something I addressed in a story for today's paper.

Vancouver police are expecting so many people downtown, and such a raucous atmosphere, that they reportedly may again ask downtown liquor stores to suspend sales at 7 p.m. --- they apparently did that last night, as well, though I was too swallowed up in the mass of drunken people everywhere to notice.

Anyway, the big game is US-Canada at 4:30 and worries are there could be some unhappy people around if the hosts lose (I've got some Team Canada gear at the ready just in case).

Here are a couple of notes to pass along about the game:

--- It won't be carried on NBC, which will defer to its dominant female Sunday night audience and instead concentrate its coverage on Ice Dancing. So you'll need to tune to MSNBC to watch hockey.

It's obviously a sign of the diminished hold hockey has on our country opposed to Canada. I asked a couple of the U.S. players if they cares about that, but none said they did --- guess they're used to it. NBC is selling the move to MSNBC as better for hockey fans because you'll get to see the entire game without interupptions to another event (and apparently as it happens, as well, though I'd wait and see on that).

--- Team USA has come up with a cool way of honoring the troops, each having "adopted" a wounded solider. Many of the players have letters and pictures of their solider in their lockers, and some have even met their solider --- a few of the soliders attended some of the team's early events here.

"It's been pretty special for the guys,'' said forward Ryan Kesler. "They've written us letters and sent us pictures and we've met a couple of them. Just when you hear their stories it's definitely motivating for us.''

Added defenseman Jack Johnson: "It definitely puts things in perspective.''

General manager Brian Burke,a history major at Providence, apparently came up with the idea. "He's a big military guy and he understands what these guys go through and he wants to spread it,'' said Kesler.

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