As the final seconds of today's bronze medal game slowly melted away, Teemu Selanne took his final lap on the Olympic ice surface.
At 43-years old and at the conclusion of his professional hockey career, Selanne was a monumental in Finland's 5-0 victory. He scored the game winning goal early in the second period and notched another late in the third to salt the game away.
In his five Olympic tournaments, Selanne has amassed a respectable thirty-seven points (20G, 17A) in thirty-one games played. Today's swan song was but the icing on the cake.
Then there are Kimmo Timonen and Olli Jokinen, also in their fifth and final Olympic performances who will ride off into the sunset bronze medalists. The defenceman and centre have been monumental to Finland's success all tournament, guiding this underdog team to a surprising podium finish.
For the Americans, the result of a 5-0 blowout stings, though it's hardly as painful as their 1-0 defeat in the Semifinals.
Their roster will be autopsied many times by the pundits who will question the inclusions of taking defensive-minded players over Keith Yandle, Dustin Byfuglien and Bobby Ryan. USA Hockey's fourth place finish was a disappointing result, of this there is no doubt. But remember that they were but one goal away from playing in a gold medal final, as were the Finns.
But today is all about celebrating the careers of Selanne, Jokinen and Timonen who will now cede their thrones atop the Finnish hockey landscape to the younger generations coming through the ranks.
It's rather interesting to think of what this team could have accomplished with the likes of Mikko Koivu, Saku Koivu and Valteri Filppula at these Olympic Games. But to their credit, Finland's management were able to fill the void with scrappy youth that didn't know the meaning of the word quit. Kudos to them as they sent their veterans off with a bang.
|27 (0.00%)||SHOTS||29 (17.24%)|
|24 (.827%)||SAVES||27 (1.000%)|