Did I just jump into the Delorian and go back to the year 2006?
The Canadian Men’s Hockey team lost early in the tournament. They are having trouble scoring goals. They will now have to go through Russia to get to the Semi Finals? Turin sure is lovely this time of year.
The Canadians are in a bit of a pickle.
What is the problem you ask? Well, they must now win four games in succession rather than the three they should have had to win had they beaten the Americans. Oh yeah, and they must also go through, arguably, the scariest team in the world right now.
To start off, there is one thing people keep bringing up and that is the small amount of time this team has had together. Bollocks I say!
Optimists have said that the loss to the USA would give this team more time to come together as a team. But the question I have is this: Why is it an excuse to begin with? All the top teams including the Americans, Swedes, Fins, Russians and Czech’s all have the same amount of time to get to know each other, considering a majority of each of those teams players compete in the NHL. The Americans are not having problems gelling as a team, but Canada seems to struggle mightily and fans and others continue to use that same lame justification. It’s trite and simply should not be a logical rationalization.
However now, the Canadians are out of excuses and out of options; they must win or go home.
They must win or face four more years of every sceptic, pundit, blogger, tweeter, journalist, and hockey fan alike asking you what went wrong when the pressure was on in Vancouver.
With the loss to the Americans Coach Babcock announced that Roberto Luongo will get the start in goal. The proverbial torch has been passed as Martin Brodeur will be a cheerleader from here on out. One bad game can cost you a job, and in this case it cost Brodeur his. It’s not a slight to Brodeur skill as what he has done in his career and for this country will not go unnoticed. It is simply a way to hopefully create a spark for a team that is struggling to score goals despite one of the most stacked rosters ever assembled.
What is the first rung on this ladder that now seems so much higher?
The Canadians have to face a German team that has lost all three of their games and have only scored 3 goals all tournament. Ze Germans have only a handful of NHL regulars on their roster—Ehrhoff, Goc, Hecht, Seidenberg, Sturm, and goaltender Thomas Greiss. The Canadians should be ready to crush this team. That being said, Canada does have their problems with teams of lesser quality (See: Switzerland 06’ and 10’)
Assuming the Canadians get by the Germans, they will face Russia in the quarterfinals. The Russian’s are far and away the scariest team in the tournament. Ovechkin, Malkin, Kovalchuk, Datsyuk, and Semin; all names that would frighten a goalie. They, much like the Canadians though, lost a game they should not have. They faltered in their second quarterfinal game and lost to Team Slovakia in a shootout. A match-up between Russia and Canada that most thought, and hoped, they would see in the final on Sunday. Well, the Olympics have always been a little unpredictable and it is no different this year. One team is going to have to face years of heartache while the other will roll into the Semi Finals.
Assuming Canada takes care of the Germans tonight, tomorrow nights game will be one for the ages. Much like the Penguins-Capitals series last year lived up to all its hype, I would expect no less from a match-up between the two best players in the world.
Sid vs. Alex
Canada vs. Russia
I think the energy in the building on Wednesday night might create the 1.21 Jigowatts needed to take me back to the year 2010. Here is hoping as I am not sure I can relive four more years of hearing
“What happened to the Canadian Men’s Hockey team at the Olympics?”
This has been,
Newman on the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games
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