(Team Canada’s Scott Niedermayer : he’s no Evan Lysacek, but he’s trying very hard just the same)

Who amongst us hasn’t been frustated by the National Broadcasting Company’s penchant for joining Men’s Olympic Hockey coverage moments after the games have begun?  Try the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, who argues, “If you are one of those people who has been endlessly whining about missing the first four minutes or so of Canada-Norway and the first three minutes or so of Team Jagr-Team Gaborik, you sound childish.”  WAAAAAH!

Hockey is not being disrespected by NBC. Viewers who happened to be home during the day and would have enjoyed watching Lindsey Vonn go for it live in the downhill, they were disrespected. Sports and competition are being disrespected by NBC, but hockey does not measure among the victims.

I have never quite understood why people who love hockey are so consumed with validation from the masses who simply do not appreciate the sport. Of course NBC isn’t devoting three hours of a preliminary-round hockey game between the U.S. and Canada on its prime commercial network.

To expect otherwise is lunacy, and to protest the network’s decision by playing the lack-of-respect card is counter-productive.

Yes, it is unfortunate that the enticing matchup will not be available in HD while it is televised on MSNBC, presumably from start to finish. Anyone who wants to watch — maybe not DirecTV people, actually, which would be unfortunately commonplace for them, given the ongoing dispute that has kept Versus dark all season — can watch, just as every single game in the tournament has been and will be televised.

Live, by the way. As will the gold medal game be next Sunday on NBC.

I’m posting this while in the UK, ironically, a country with far less interest in ice hockey than the United States, and tonight’s US/Canada tilt is scheduled to be shown on the BBC — in high def.   If Sidney Crosby isn’t considered a bigger ratings draw than Lindsey Vonn, fair enough, but we’re also talking about a game that should be a far more enticing showpiece for the sport than all of the Winter Classics combined.  And let history show that Brooks is not necessarily a company man, what with the open plug for MSNBC programming (albeit the sort that doesn’t feature Non-Metallic K.O.)