Monday, March 03, 2014

Another Reason to Love Olympic Hockey: Tuukka Rask Hangover

Tuukka Rask denies hangover caused him to miss Olympic semifinal: That was a headline that moved like a week ago - I can't believe I missed it. You have the Stanley Cup-winning goalie missing a semifinal game against his country's (Finland's) arch-rival (Sweden), because he had been out too late the night before. Although he denies it, it makes sense. He was able to bounce back the next day and shut out the U.S. in the bronze medal game, which might be tougher to do with the flu.

And from what I read, the Olympics can be a very big party. And the games were played in Sochi, which, from all accounts seemed like a good place to tip a few after hours. And, a friend of mine who spent some time in France once told me that Fins like to tip more than some other nationalities...

So, there are clearly reasons to believe that Rask may have enjoyed a few too many the night before the scheduled semi-final game. Could Finland have beaten Sweden with him in goal? Tough to say as the back-up, from what I recall played pretty well - but we will never know. And Canada may have been the ultimate beneficiary as they then got to play a depleted Swedish team in the final - due to injuries and an untimely suspension for the use of an allergy medication. Oh well, if anyone knows about drinking and hockey it's Canadians, so they probably deserved to win. Maybe it was even Rask's Canadian friends from the NHL who took him out that night to "soften him up," - a strategy Dominique Wilkins apparently employed in his days with the Hawks and discusses on this episode of the Bill Simmons' B.S. Report.

Yet another potentially great Olympic memory.

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