Re-evaluating the Olympic field 

February, 19, 2010

VANCOUVER -- On the third day, I was forced to re-evaluate. I figured it would be at least four or five days before this tournament threw me for a loop. After Thursday's games though, I'm already thinking twice.

Now I wonder if the Americans' 3-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday wasn't a lot more impressive than I first thought. It seems like it might have been after the Swiss nearly beat Canada yesterday.

Perhaps, in light of Russia's 2-1 late night shootout loss to the Slovaks, Alex Ovechkin and company aren't quite the run-away freight train they appeared to be when they routed Latvia on Tuesday.

And what am I supposed to make of Team Canada blowing a two-goal lead on home soil to Switzerland? Swiss/Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller was fabulous, but the Canadians certainly didn't look unbeatable.

Yes, it was an interesting day three.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.