Skip to main content

Kristers Gudlevskis Brickwalls Canada


Every Olympics has it's amazing stories. In hockey we've already seen T.J. Oshie's shootout heroics and the Slovenians playing so well.

Then there is Kristers Gudlevskis. A $55,000 minor league backup goalie brick-walled Team Canada and their $149 million worth of NHL salary in the quarterfinal on Wednesday. Oh Canada won the game, 2-1. In fact they dominated the game. But Gudlevskis became an instant hero and almost knocked off the defending champions singlehandedly.

Gudlevskis was a surprise starter, even. Veteran Edgars Masalskis has been Latvia's top goalie all tournament long and was absolutely fantastic against Switzerland. But due to exhaustion the Latvians went with their backup.

It was the right move. Gudlevskis - who is a prospect for Steve Yzerman's Tampa Bay Lightning - stopped 55 of 57 shots and kept the score tied at 1-1 late into the third period.

Shea Weber finally solved Gudlevskis at the 13:06 mark of the third period. Patrick Sharp scored in the first period. Lauris Darzins replied for Latvia.

All of Canada tips their helmet to Gudlevskis and the Latvians. There is a party of every true hockey fan - even Canadian fans on this day - who were cheering on Gudlevskis at some level. His story was just too good of a story to not cheer for.

Canada moves, guaranteed to play for a medal. They play USA on Friday to determine who goes to the gold medal final.

USA handle Czech Republic 5-2 today. They have rolled through pretty much everybody in this tournament and have to be considered the favorite against Canada.

Comments

Grace said…
Yes, definite congrats to Latvia for a game well played. Congrats especially to Gudlevskis. No one will ever forget you, or this game. You amazed us all, and came so close to being the "Seahawks" of Olympic hockey Super Bowl.

Good luck Canada & USA. Don't ever take your opponent for granted!
AlexGrabos said…
Total respect for the guy. I couldn't believe it when in the 3rd period (just before the second goal went in) they were cooling his neck, he seemed sooo exhausted, my god...

The commentators on BBC in the UK were saying that the Latvian coach should have asked for a timeout to treat the guy. And looking at how relatively 'simple' the goal was by Weber compared to Gudlevskis' earlier stops, there's something in that.

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M