VANCOUVER – In case the start of the 2010-11 hockey season is threatening to push memories of the Olympics out of your mind, the new DVD set Hockey Gold 2010 should make everything fresh again – particularly for Canadian fans.
Released on September 2, the five-disc set from Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium features all seven of Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey team’s games from Vancouver, plus the Olympic women’s final. It’s more than 18 hours of coverage altogether.
Both genders, of course, brought glory to the host nation. Sidney Crosby scored the 3-2 “golden goal” at 7:40 of overtime in the men’s final versus the United States, while a pair by Marie-Philip Poulin paced the Canadian women to a 2-0 triumph, also over the Americans.
The 2010 Olympic men’s final was the most-watched TV event in Canadian history, attracting a peak audience of 22 million during overtime. That dramatic game is certainly worth reliving in glorious high-definition and crystal-clear stereo sound (Vancouver’s Winter Games were the first in history entirely broadcast in HD).
Now, it’s less likely that anyone apart from those who were actually at Canada Place and want to spot themselves in the crowd or friends and family members will hanker to sit through Canada’s 8-0 shellacking of Norway to open the tournament, or its 8-2 rout of Germany in the playoff qualification round.
Of course, these games are significant in the overall historical picture, and will make completists happy. Still, it would have been nice to include some other high-intensity, non-Canada games, such as the 3-1 Czech win over rival Slovakia, featuring a Jaromir Jagr breakaway goal, or Russia’s 3-1 victory against the Czechs, where Jagr was memorably crunched at centre ice by Alexander Ovechkin.
Still, this is quibbling. A documentary on the first disc delivers tournament previews and an hour-long retrospective on the path to gold, touching on all key games. Throughout, pounding soundtrack music reminiscent of Gladiator or Pirates of the Caribbean reinforces the epic feel of what’s occurring on the ice. (As a change of pace, a sad violin plays when 2002 Olympic hero Martin Brodeur is replaced by Vancouver favourite Roberto Luongo between the Canadian pipes.)
Naturally, there is visible relish from TSN’s Canadian commentators during the unforgettable 7-3 destruction of Ovechkin’s Russians in the quarterfinals. Stentorian voiceovers aplenty by Brian Wiliams offer such reminders as, “They know it’s about more than national pride. It’s about history.”
And when you think about it and watch the games again, it really is.
Another neat feature of Hockey Gold 2010 is “Arena Sound,” which enables viewers to enjoy an ice-level perspective with no audio commentary. Just as if you were lucky enough to get tickets to those magical games back in February.
Hockey Gold 2010 is available in both DVD and Blu-Ray formats. Visit HMV.ca, CTVOlympics.ca, or RDSOlympiques.ca to purchase it.