Blog Entry

Reality sets in for Canada

Posted on: February 18, 2010 11:39 pm

What a relief it must be for everyone in the Great White North to know there will be no need for mourning in the morning.

A little deep breathing and everyone should be just fine. That countrywide catastrophe thing? No biggie. Team Canada avoided creating it by escaping with a 3-2 shootout win over Switzerland. And Sidney Crosby played the hero too, so all is good. At least until everyone realizes this was really a stark reminder that no matter how talented Canada may be, its gold medal chances remain tenuous.

Then again, the Canadian players probably had a pretty good idea because they ran into a very hot Martin Gerber in Switzerland’s net in Torino and were eliminated from the 2006 medal chase. And if they didn’t, Jonas Hiller made them understand.

Taking a break from his regular gig in Anaheim, Hiller showed why  goaltending is the great equalizer in what is as a result, a wide open tournament. Most of the teams in these Olympics have big time goalies, but none of them is likely to turn in a better performance than Hiller did. The Ducks goalie was spectacular as he gave the feisty if overmatched Swiss team a chance to pull off the first major upset of the Games by stopping 44 shots, 18 of them in the third period, and frustrating Canada on six of seven man advantages.

“If it wasn’t for their goalie, the game would have been over a long time ago,” said Canadian netminder Martin Brodeur told a television interviewer soon after stopping the four Swiss shootout shooters he faced.

Brodeur had a pretty good night himself, but for a while it didn’t seem to matter against a Swiss team that has become a thorn in Canada’s side internationally in the last few years. The Canadians had that in mind coming into the game and started fast, taking an early lead when Dany Heatley scored for the third time in the tournament, and then doubling it when his San Jose Sharks linemate Patrick Marleau scored in the second period.

But then Hiller went to work. He was helped in several instances by Team Canada players getting a little too fancy with their plays, but he was rock solid and possibly in the Canadian players heads a bit after Switzerland went into the final period tied at 2.

“At times we didn’t execute as well as we wanted to,” Crosby said. “Maybe we’re a little guilty of passing up some shots. We could have made it more than 2-0, and that hurt us as game went on.”

Quite a bit actually as Canada’s frustration level seemed to rise in direct proportion to the possibility of a major disaster taking place on home ice.

“They pushed us to the limit, but we came through,” Brodeur said. “Adversity is a big thing. As a team with all these superstars, sometimes you don’t get to face it. We faced it early in the tournament and we responded well.”

Exhale everyone. But don't get too comfortable.


Category: NHL

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2010 5:16 pm

Reality sets in for Canada

To those complaining about 18-0 by Canada's women.

Goal diferential determines seeding.  since Canada and the US will almost for sure meet in the Final, we would want to get the #1 seed's advantages.

Also, US beat a team 13-1 IIRC so don't bitch

Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 5:12 pm

Reality sets in for Canada

For the person who comlained about the Candian Women putting up 18 goals. It is the Olympics not elementary school. were everyone get a trophy for participating. You are suppose to show that you are the best in the world!! If that means that some Country comes with a weak team and they get killed so be it!

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 4:53 pm

Reality sets in for Canada

The USA women have trounced the odd poor nation in their historic rivalry with Canada. NBC announcers jsut the other day were bragging how the USA and Canada combined had dopponents 35-1. Are we classless north americans?


Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2010 4:34 pm

Reality sets in for Canada

"How can Steve Yzerman or anybody on his staff justify leaving Mike Green off the defensive unit. Pronger? Boyle? Niedermeyer? I'm at a loss for words on this decision. Team Canada needs to get back to Canadien hockey"

You are contricting your self in this. 

First, Mike Green was left off this team because he (compared to the other guys) is a defesive liability.  Whats the best part of Greens game, he scored 30 goals last year.  Well There are plenty of guys on this team who scored 30 goals last year, we can live without his.  And dont throw his plus minus at me, its inflated by both how many goals he scored for and how many PP goals he was on the ice for.  Rewind the tape and look and how many goals were scored when he was on the ice

Second, if Team Canada needs to go back to Canadian hockey, Green stays in DC.  Offensive defensemen are not "Canadian Hockey".  Yea yea Ray Borque, Paul Coffee, Bobby Orr, the list goes on forever.  But they were all COMPLETE defensemen, Green isnt 

Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 3:58 pm

Reality sets in for Canada

Can I use this space to also say that I thought it was completely classless for the Canadian women to score 19 goals in their opener?  Playing an inferior opponent always presents this conundrum, but pasting the weak teams and humiliating them leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Who's the bully on the ice, eh Canada?
Do you think Canada felt bad doing that to a team that beat a team 82-0?  Slovakia vs Bulgaria... look that up before you say 18-0 is classless, plus they interviewed several players, and they thought letting up would have been more humiliating.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 3:03 pm

Reality sets in for Canada

As a Canadien living in Detroit, I couldn't be more embarrased. Babcock doesn't have command of this team, they were outcoached and outhustled against a mediocre team playing a nuetral zone trap. Last time I checked, the inventor of the nuetral zone trap is standing on the bench right next to Babcock (Lemaire) How can Steve Yzerman or anybody on his staff justify leaving Mike Green off the defensive unit. Pronger? Boyle? Niedermeyer? I'm at a loss for words on this decision. Team Canada needs to get back to Canadien hockey, the effort was average at best. The American team can smell blood. I hope they get it together before the next game.

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2010 1:38 pm

Reality sets in for Canada

see: this year's World Junior Championshi, where our juniors team beat, and more importantly, physically beat up, Canada's), The difference in that tournament was speed and goaltending.  The US had great speed and skill, while Canada got some shaky net minding.  They didn't physically beat up Canada at all.
Not to mention that two of Canada's best "junior" players - John Tavares and Tyler Myers - were in the NHL when the junior tourney was played.

Since: Feb 18, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2010 12:44 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 11, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2010 12:41 pm

Reality sets in for Canada

Alrright time for my 20 cents

About the Canada Swiss Game

Canada played OK.  OK isnt good enough, but its enough to get by the Siwss by the Skin of thier teeth.  Remember, if that Swiss shooter doesnt miss the net on the shoot out, its game over...  I was shocked by how well the swiss played, yea Hiller stole it in the end, and they were badly out shot, but alot of those were terrible week shots.  The swiss came out flying.  When I watched it on TV all I could think was "who cares, they cant play that way for 60 minutes".  Well, they did, but for 65.  Yea, the Swiss outshot us in OT

Also, Marty was awful.  Two goals and and shaky shaky saves.  I wish MAF would play sunday, but that will never happen

Abaout the upcoming Canada USA game

Totally agree with anyone who says the USA should be VERY afraid of this team now.  Our media is going to ride them like dogs until Sunday.  Plus they finally get some practice time.  They will be much much sharper.  The USA will need Miller to be Hasek 2.0 to have ay chance in this one.

that being said, if Canada had blown out the swiss I would have predicted an upset, I think the USA is very good and could win a medal, to bad for them Canada already got a scare

About the Canadian Womens team

Exibt A why womens hockey should not be an olympic event.  Only two teams matter.  Yea there MIGHT be an upset, but come on eh, who are we kidding.  If it isnt a Canada USA final, one of them screwed up.  Why not just let Canada and the USA complete for the Mens medal, make things interesting

Since: Feb 15, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2010 11:05 am

Reality sets in for Canada

that was  canada's women's team that won 18 -0

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