Last night over gourmet pizza and beer, a TV executive suggested that Sweden's Peja Lindholm (photo) would win all his remaining games, clamber into the playoff tiebreakers and go on to win gold.
Not going to happen, as the twice world champions are now at five losses following Andy Kapp's 7-5 win this morning. The disappointed skip also lost his national final for the second year in a row – to another Carlsen brother, this time Nils – and will not be in Lowell for April's men's worlds.
USA's Pete Fenson took another giant step this morning, beating former frontrunner David Murdoch of Great Britain 9-8 to grab a share of first place. One sheet over, Italy's amazing run of wins hit a wall – a 6 ft. 4 inch wall named Markku – as Finland won the match 7-4... and U-15 is now 6-2 as well. Norway's Pal Trulsen beat the Kiwis 9-6 to hang tough with four losses, along with Italy and Switzerland. Canada, at 4-3, was idle.
Hold on to your seats folks, as The Curling News paints the picture for you.
If Canada defeats New Zealand tonight, it will all come down to their last match against the USA on Monday afternoon. If Canada wins that, they are into the semi-finals along with USA, GBR and the Finns. If the USA beats Canada – and the teams with four losses keep on winning – we'll have a mess of tiebreakers, with Canada involved.
But tonight's match with winless New Zealand is key for the Canadians. It's time for them to jump back onto the tracks, and make it a happy 50th birthday for the veteran, Russ Howard.
Some media reports:
• the shocking Canjun losses yesterday;
• the mesmerizing and hypnotizing sport of curling;
• Canada's focus on medal count versus the colour of gold;
• Rumours that Canada may finally start rewarding Olympians with cash for medals;
• a quick feature on Marco Polo;
• and this arse from New Yawk, who may not even be factually correct. We hear that CNBC's audience numbers for curling are up 300 hundred per cent from Salt Lake (we also heard that TSN had 350,000 watching a 3:00am ET game earlier in the competition). Not a sport, eh chump? Somebody had better tell the Russian girls, who are on something like their 40th lap around the arena right now... a full hour before their next match.
Final thought: Canada's Christine Keshen ate some bad food and missed yesterday's loss to Japan. We don't know what to eat anymore, said third Amy Nixon. However, Keshen was feeling well enough to attend the curling reception at Canada Olympic House last night, so she should be back in action this afternoon. Meanwhile, there's chatroom hysteria back in Canuckistan over all this. No surprise there...