the Canadian women! Our women have dominated their male counterparts at these games, contributing 13 medals to Canada’s overall count, compared to 5 for the men. Well, 6 now, since the Brad Gushue rink is guaranteed a medal. And speaking of men and medals…
What a tournament put in by our Canadian Men’s Hockey Team. I haven’t seen that weak of an effort in an international tournament in quite a long time. Everybody talks about Nagano being a downer. What about this one? At least in Nagano they were in the semi-finals. At least they were able to score enough goals to get to a shoot out. Here we were blown away.
What was it that did them in? Lack of leadership. No motivation. These guys played without any committment. They did whatever they wanted on the ice, as if they were practicing. There was no “team”.
The excuse about not knowing the big ice surface is crap because they’ve won world championships and Olympic medals on it before. It’s not as if they suddenly changed the dimensions or took out a line.
Coaching? Possibly. Though it is odd that Pat Quinn got it done at the 2002 Olympics and the World Cup – with a lot of the same cast of characters. They certainly didn’t adjust their game plans at any time during the tournament, only juggling lines. The line juggling could be a factor as no one every really played as a unit long enough to gel. But hey – these guys are professionals.
And you can’t use the excuse of “no time to prepare or workout together”. No one else did either – except the Swiss.
It comes down to the players themselves. Jarome Iginla was nowhere to be found. His 2 goals came against Italy. Todd Bertuzzi contributed nothing, as did Chris Pronger – except penalties. Dany Heatley and Rick Nash couldn’t find the net. Vincent Lecavalier – pass the puck! Defensively, I didn’t think we were that bad. And Brodeur was the only reason we had a chance today.
But leadership. We didn’t have it. Nobody stepped up and took the team on their shoulders. There was no “it’s us against the world speech” which I though might happen with the Mighty One being crucified back in North America over supposed gambling infractions.
There was no heart, plain and simple.
This team will be very different in 2010. The boys should be embarassed. Very embarassed. And they should learn from this – as should Hockey Canada. You thought there was pressure to win this one, boys? Ha! That’s nothing in comparison to the hopes and dreams this country will be pinning on you when the games are held in your own backyard. That’s pressure. Get used to it. And just think – you don’t have the pressure of trying to become 3 time defending gold medallists.
Thinking back to the World Juniors, I’d like to see what Brent Sutter would have done. He took a mediocre at best squad and led them to gold this past January. Imagine what he would have done with this team? I don’t know…
All I hope is that we’re not starting another 50 year gold drought…