Is there a more respected man in hockey than Teemu Selanne? On both sides of the Atlantic he is loved and revered. It impossible not to like the Finnish Flash. True, he's not quite the same player he once was, but it's always good to see him flash that easy grin.
The Finnish Flash was flashing his trademark easy smile a lot on Saturday as Teemu Selanne paced Team Finland to 5-0 bronze medal win over Team USA.
The Finnish captain led the way with 2 goals including the game winner. Jussi Jokinen, Jusso Hietanen and Olli Maatta also scored for Finland. Tuukka Rask got the shutout.
Finland wanted this game in large part because everybody knows this was Teemu Selanne's last Olympic game. We can likely include Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen and Olli Jokinen in the same boat too.
Selanne, playing in his sixth Olympics, now has 1 silver and 3 bronze medals in his jewellery collection. He exits as the modern day all-time leading scorer in Olympic history with 24 goals, 19 assists and 43 points in 37 games. He extended his own olympic record as the oldest hockey player to scorer a goal (43 years and 234 days) and now surpasses Igor Larionov as the oldest hockey player to medal at an Olympics.
Selanne and Timonen join Russia’s Vladislav Tretiak and Igor Kravchuk, Czechoslovakia’s Jiri Holik, and fellow countrymen Jere Lehtinen and Saku Koivu as the only male hockey players to have won four Olympic medals.
For Finland it is their second straight Olympic bronze medal and sixxth medal in the last eight Olympics dating back to 1988. They are 4-0 in bronze medal games.
For the Finns bronze is a prized accomplishment.
"It's not gold," said Selanne. "But I'd rather win bronze than lose the silver."
The Americans, still dejected from a hard loss the day before to Canada, never seemed interested in this contest. Patrick Kane may have been their most dangerous player. Twice he was denied on penalty shots. The high scoring Americans failed to score a goal in their final 2 games.