Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Draw 6 reflections

It's a little hard to write anything uplifting from a Canadian perspective after the 6-3 loss to Team USA. Canada gave up an opening steal when Armstrong almost made a double take-out but rolled too far to get shot. USA stole again in the second. With Canada sitting 4, USA skip Perez hit and rolled open to lie second shot. Armstrong's last rock overcurled and instead of removing the USA stone he removed shot stone and gave up one.

The teams swapped singles until the 8th. A pile of rocks in the front of the T had Canada lying 1 and seemingly certain to gain at least an extra end. Coach Rea felt it would take at least two stones to dislodge Canada's shot stone in the centre of the pile. Goose Perez called his team together. His voice carried across the sheets. "Do you trust me to try this shot for the win?" he asked, pointing to a wriggly path between several stones. Ray Turnbull would have had a screen full of arrows.

The team said yes, he went back to the far end and threw a rocket that blasted the rock pile asunder, leaving two yellow American rocks closest to the button.

"I knew it was there," he told me afterwards. "Were we lucky this evening? Sure, but it's the first luck we have had in five games. I told the team we were losing and not having any fun. So tonight we were going to have fun win or lose."

Jim Armstrong doesn't look like he's having fun. He played well tonight, called an intelligent game and outplayed Perez by 10% but can't catch a break. Canada's lead, Chris Sobkowicz had a very tough night, as did the tournament's top 2nd, Ina Forrest, who dropped 40 points from her morning performance.

Germany lost their first match 12-7, giving up 3 big ends, a 3, a 4 and a 5 to Sweden. Italy continued to roll, handing Switzerland their fifth loss 7-4. Switzerland, with a very inexperienced team playing behind skip Bollnger, have been in every match, often ahead at the break, but have always faded in the second half. 

China won a tight match against Korea, stealing 1 in the 8th for a 7-5 win and a 4th place 3-2 record behind Sweden, Germany and Italy at 4-1. Canada sits at 2 and 3 having already played Italy and China above them. A fourth loss would be cause for worry.

Canada has a bye tomorrow afternoon, and plays Korea in the evening.


Anonymous said...

Win or lose, ice or rocks, nothing is working!

Jim was not the answer!!!!

I say again, where is Chris Daw,
The only medals at worlds ever won is when Chris was on the team!!!

We really need to bring this guy back, FAST!

Chris Daw, Jim, Ina and Darrly would be a hell of a team.

Experience at all ends, shooting lights out and Jim being a playing coach!

CCA has to look at something becuase leaving it in Joe's hands has NOT worked!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I agree with Jim's assessment. Jim may have been a competitive able bodied curler & certainly calls a good game but he doesn't seem to have the feel for curling with a stick (too many missed draws). Jim needs to finish the ends & for what ever reason hasn't been able to do that so far. Perhaps another position but not skip or third, Darryl has proven himself as third & may work at skip but is there someone out there that hasn't been considered as a possible skip? Ina at second without a doubt. Lead might work for Jim for a couple of years until Jim gets his draw weight down unless his ego prohibits this. As for Chris Daw he's from a different era when the sport was young and less competitive. We'll see if he still has it when he shows up at the Nationals. When Jim & Chris square off then we will see who has what. It's going to be a fun event with all of us armchair & wheelchair skips critiquing every shot. I agree that Darryl & Ina should be part of the mix, they've curled well during this event & should be proud of their efforts to date. As for Rea & his coaching he's batting 500 on his pick of the team so let's see what he does about his decisions for the rest of the games before we send him to the minor leaques (lol). Anyways, keep up the good work and Go Canada Go. Oh, by the way this is a great blog Eric. Between you and Curlit this is more entertaining than watching the Scotties.