With only hours to go until the Olympic men’s hockey team takes to the ice for Game 1, the anticipation is uncontrollable. For as long as I can remember, the Olympic games have been about hockey for me.

I can remember sitting six inches away from the TV watching Tommy Salo stone Paul Kariya and then Peter Forsberg scoring the winner against Sean Burke in the shootout in the 1994 Lillehammer: Canada vs. Sweden gold medal hockey game. What a devastating loss. I can remember almost crying as the puck tight-roped the goal line, barely squeaking in.

But it was in 2002, when Canada struck gold against the Americans when I really felt the magic. I still get goose bumps thinking about the final minutes of the game, before Martin Brodeur threw off his mitts and got completely pummeled by his teammates.

We tore off out the front door into the streets, where car horns were blaring; people were crying; random games of street hockey appeared. I can even remember someone handing me a snow shovel to use as a goal stick. They said ‘hey, stand here. Just use this thing to stop the ball.’ What a moment.

In 2006, Italy was not so nice to Canada, finishing a dismal seventh place. I’m not sure what would happen here in Vancouver with another disappointing result. Would there be riots in the streets? Would people lose their minds? Probably not, but it’s pretty safe to say that there would be some questions to be answered and some heads would most likely roll in the upper rungs of the Hockey Canada brass.

Today: excitement, nervousness, anxiety and joy all fill my heart. I’m not sure why a simple game gets me so excited. I’m not sure why, for one moment, all the World’s problems seem to just go away. It’s not logical; it’s not even sane. But one thing’s for sure, I ain’t gonna fight it!

Let’s go boys……