VANCOUVER--Team Canada goalie Martin Brodeur was in Robson Square on Friday at a GE event ostensibly to talk about health and health technology in sports, but naturally the talk quickly turned to hockey and, specifically, the incredible pressure on the host nation's team to win gold.
"I think it's just normal," Brodeur told reporters. "People have been waiting for a lot of years to have these Olympics in Canada...Expectations are high and we definitely are looking forward to the challenge. It's what we do in Canada--we play hockey."
Brodeur, for those not keeping track of hockey, was on fire in last night's shootout, stopping everything the Swiss could throw at him as the Canadians pulled out a 3-2 victory.
Asked what it would take to beat the Americans in a key matchup on Sunday, Brodeur quipped "Score more goals than them."
"It's a big rivalry," he said. "It started in 1996 when they beat us in Canada at the World Cup. We played them in 2002 in the finals and we were able to win against them in their country...It's building up. It's because of the people on each side--we know each other. We're teammates (on NHL teams). It's definitely an interesting matchup."
I also had a chance to quiz Brodeur about the role of technology in hockey.
"Technology, it's everywhere and definitely hockey it's a big part of it," Brodeur said. "You see a lot more broken sticks than before. That's a technology that's probably good for shooters and tougher for durability, and more expensive for parents, and that's not a good combination but it makes for better hockey, I guess.
Here's a video of Brodeur, starting with my question on technology.
Microsoft, Yahoo in Olympic spat
In what has become an Olympic tradition, Yahoo and Microsoft issued dueling press releases this week, each claiming to have the most significant online audience for the Games.
Yahoo issued a press release declaring that "Yahoo Sports dominates Winter Olympics Traffic, maintaining that it beat out NBCOlympics.com and ESPN for the opening ceremonies and first weekend of competition. To bolster its claim, it cited ComScore numbers that showed Yahoo with 9.3 million unique users to its Olympics site between February 8 and 14, compared to 6.5 million unique users to NBCOlympics.com.
Microsoft shot back with a release headlined "NBCOlympics.com on MSN leads all competitors through first weekend of Vancouver Games." The company noted that it had upwards of 177 million page views, which it said was five times that of the nearest competitor.