February 28, 2010
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain had scored a quiet three goals in Canada's run to the gold medal game and when his country needed him the most, he delivered. Taking a Jarome Iginla(notes) pass just inside the faceoff circle, Crosby beat Ryan Miller(notes) 7:40 into overtime to end a dramatic finale to the Vancouver Games. Crosby now adds an Olympic gold medal to an impressive resume that welcomed a Stanley Cup just eight months ago.
No. 2 Star: Ryan Miller, USA
What more can you say about Miller's performance these Olympics? He was the backbone of the American team and there was no player in the tournament better than him. After going down 2-0 midway through the second period, Miller kept the U.S. in the game by denying the Canadian assault. Zach Parise's(notes) goal with 24.4 seconds left in the third period kept the American dream alive and forced overtime, stunning Canada Hockey Place in the process. Making 36 saves in the game, Miller was hoping for a 37th before Crosby's winner in overtime.
We talked about how Luongo's replacing of Martin Brodeur(notes) before the medal round was his moment. Head coach Mike Babcock gave Luongo the reigns and it was up to him to guide Canada to a gold medal. He wasn't brilliant en route to gold, but Luongo didn't have to be. He did enough to keep Canada in contention and eventually relieve the giant mass of pressure on the shoulders of each Canadian player. In a game that featured 75 shots between the two teams, Luongo stopped 34 on his end for his fifth win in the tournament.
Honorable Mention: The pace of the game was fantastic and the crowd was awesome. It was an exciting afternoon of hockey.
Did You Know? The Olympic All-Star teams were announced and they included goaltender Ryan Miller (also named Best Goaltender), Brian Rafalski(notes) (Best Defenseman) and Shea Weber(notes) on defense, and Jonathan Toews(notes) (Best Forward), Zach Parise and Pavol Demitra(notes) at forward.
Dishonorable Mention: There was absolutely nothing dishonorable about that hockey game. Cheers to both teams. They put on a classic show.