Stan Butler's Diary

DAY EIGHT, MOSCOW - Jan. 2, 2001
Post Game Report vs. United States

Talk about feeling great, but feeling lousy at the same time. First the great part: How was that for an effort? I'm so proud of the way this team continues to develop. We were focused, our big players came up big and everyone bought into the plan defensively as well.

Max made some great saves for us, Steve McCarthy showed the kind of grit and determination that we all expected from him as our leader and, as a team, we just kept chipping away offensively until it clicked. I'm glad for Jamie Lundmark. There was a lot of pressure put on him to produce heading into this tournament. We thought he had the talent to be one of our primary "go to" guys; and it turns out we were right. It's funny, but I talked to Jamie earlier in the day and told him that I had a feeling he was going to come up with a big game. (Hey, if coaching falls through maybe there's a future as a palm reader or a fortune teller out there for me.)

Now for the lousy part: I felt absolutely terrible before and during the game. I'm pretty sure it was a case of food poisoning that I picked up somewhere. I guess you can't always feel the way you want all the time but, man, did I feel awful. Not that I really wanted to let on to the players about it that much before hand. As a coach you have to set an example. Heading into a big game like that the example you want to set is that there are no excuses. No matter what I felt like, I had to be ready to do my job to the utmost of my ability; I expect the same of my players. By the way, I don't know whether it's from people reading my diary on the web site or what - but I've been overwhelmed at the supportive e-mails and faxes you've all been sending along. Not only to me personally, but to the entire team.

A special thanks to the people in Prince George (where I spent a season coaching in the Western Hockey League). I'm touched that the folks out there remember my time with their club and are taking the time to write. I also get e-mails almost everyday from my wife and kids. The last one said something along the lines of "keep working hard and good things will happen". Well, good things happened for us tonight. And it'll be a lot of hard work to keep it rolling tomorrow against Finland. It will be hard work, but I can hardly wait to get to the rink and for them to drop the puck.

Right now I feel like a kid at Christmas. You remember that feeling you had? You couldn't wait to see what was under the tree - you just hoped it was what you wanted.

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