Instead: the US swept the prelims, survived the quarters, steamrolled Finland and goes for gold against Canada tomorrow. Whoever put money down on that, you're probably lighting cigars with $20 bills right now. No matter the outcome, I'm so proud of the team that represents my country.
I'm not only pleasantly surprised by the results thus far, but by the way the US team has played the game, as David points out at Die by the Blade:
I realized something important today, something I should have realized during the Canada game. This team is not the most talented team in the tournament but most of them are willing to pay the price to win. They have a desire that most of the more talented teams seem to be lacking.And that desire is what makes this team so appealing to Sabre fans. We know what a team that plays without it looks like - observe the '07-'08 and '08-'09 editions of the Sabres, and I don't blame you if you want to toss the '06-'07 team we saw in the conference finals against Ottawa in there as well. Ryan Miller's presence between the pipes for Team USA piqued our interest, but the passion the team around him has displayed has kept us watching.
In fact: because of how much I've enjoyed watching this team, I haven't missed watching the Sabres that much and I've mostly forgotten about how poorly they played in January and February. I've barely heard much mention about the latter point around the blogosphere, either.
Canada may have more talented players, but Brian Burke may have built a better team. This frightens me a bit as a Sabre fan, because it suggests the Leafs won't be terrible forever, but for now I'm just going to enjoy the moment.
USA! USA! USA!