February 15, 2002

Canada gets smoked: by the Swedes. Joe Thornton is at home in Ontario right now, giggling uncontrollably. If Sweden and the Czech Republic play as we know they can, the "unstoppable Canadians" might not make it into the medal rounds. What will Wayne & crew do to get back in the hunt?

posted by Samsonov14 to hockey at 07:34 PM - 8 comments

It's the "Canadian Choke." It's Nagano all over again. They better get their act together, because this time, no one's giving us another gold medal.

posted by dai at 07:40 PM on February 15, 2002

Nicely put, dai. I wonder if having a team of All-Stars is more difficult than having a team of really good players (with a few All-Stars). Egos are difficult to manage, especially in mid-season and with no real "bonding" time.

posted by jacknose at 07:45 PM on February 15, 2002

I wonder if having a team of All-Stars is more difficult than having a team of really good players Yeah, that's why Germany went 3-0 in the qualifier, beating the mish-mash of NHLers and European Pro Leaguers that made up Latvia and Slovakia. But it's equal ground for the second round though, as every team (except the two qualifiers - Belarus and Germany) is mostly all nhl stars. It doesn't matter though, the first round is completely useless - except for positioning in the medal round. From watching a lot of Canadian hockey, Canada never really was a round-robin type of team. Once they get into sudden death, then you can expect their A-game (as opposed to their D-game today).

posted by mkn at 08:01 PM on February 15, 2002

The Swedish players just seemed to use the ice surface way better than the Canadians. Whether that's because of growing up on the larger rink or having more teamwork, I don't know. I think that after a couple more games, Canada will adapt a little better to the Olympic rules. This seemed to be a feel-them-out sort of game. Oh, and Joseph was terrible.

posted by sauril at 08:43 PM on February 15, 2002

Canada got dominated. I don't think Joseph played a bad game at all; he had no help from his defense...why all the breakaways/2-on-1's? When the game started, it seemed like an all-Canadian affair, but the second period was a complete mental lapse on the part of Team C. The Swedes played the best game they could ever hope to play. A major upset. Let's just hope it's a wake-up call for the defensive squadron. What a joke effort. Why is Pat Quinn the head coach of this team?

posted by Succa at 01:35 AM on February 16, 2002

I'd like to think that this is a warm up kind of game, but it still worries me to no ends. Canada looked like a team lost in the blue and yellows streaking across the ice as they please. They gotta light the fire within, because there was no fire today in the way the Canadians played. Possibly because they're tired, possibly because they lack practice. But 5-2 is too big a difference. I just hope we don't lose to Germany.

posted by dai at 03:23 AM on February 16, 2002

I thought Joseph was okay. Not brilliant but okay. he was left naked on the ice by his team. Watching it all I could think was that I was seeing the difference between hungry players and jaded players. The Canadian team looked like it thought it would be 'neat' to win the game. Sundin and company looked like they thought it would be a great thing. I'm too lazy and not enough of a hockey fan to do the work myself but I wonder if there is a difference in Stanley Cup counts amongst the six NHL all-star teams competing. After winning the Stanley Cup a few times wouldn't and Olympic gold just seem like another chunk of metal on the mantle?

posted by srboisvert at 12:22 PM on February 16, 2002

Oh, I think everybody wants a gold medal. It's not like the Swedish team just fell off the herring truck. The Canadians have to adjust to the Olympic rules, the Swedes did a great job of catching them flat-footed. I'm not saying all these all-stars are lazy, they just haven't had in any practice under these rules and it really is a substantially different game. Chelios said that the US team watched the Canadian game and learned a lot, in that game they used their superior speed to catch Finland off-guard during line changes rather than the other way round.

posted by pastepotpete at 12:41 PM on February 16, 2002

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