Team Canada Olympic loss

Well, team Canada lost in the quarterfinals to Russia and will go home from the Olympics without any medal. I am sure this is going to bring out all kinds of emotions from people all across Canada as people wonder what went wrong and where to lay blame. There are a number of reasons the teams lost. Here are my thoughts.

1. The injuries to Niedermayer and Jovanovski combined with Blake and Pronger playing with injuries really took a lot away from Canada’s game. Although goals against ultimately wasn’t a problem for Canada that was because of outstanding goaltending and not outstanding defensive play. More often than not the opposition won the battles in the corners and more often than that the Canadians looked confused in the transition game. A healthy defense would have benefitted significantly here.

2. Player selection. The player selection committee has to take some blame for this loss. I criticized the selection committee for taking Draper and Doan and you could have made a strong argument against Martin St. Louis being on the team as well. When I selected my Olympic team I suggested that one of the Tampa players should have been left off the team and St. Louis would have been the obvious choice. Certainly Eric Staal, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Marleau, Alex Tanguay or even Brendan Shanahan would have all contributed more offense than Doan, Draper and St. Louis.

3. Execution. Most of the blame though has to fall on the shoulders of the players who were almost always out skated, frequently out played physically and struggled to make good offensive plays. Gagne, Heatley, Iginla, Nash, Smyth, and others are all supremely talented players but none really looked all that good in the offensive zone. They just didn’t seem to know how to work together as a team and too often tried to do too much on their own. With all that talent there is no excuse for getting shutout in 11 of their final 12 periods of play.

This article has 12 Comments

  1. I think we are all shocked that Canada was eliminated in the quarterfinals. But in the Olympics, the winning team is not the one who has the best reputation, but the one who doesn’t have as many serious injuries. Not having Rob Niedermeyer and Ed Jovanovski really hurt them.

    Also, why do you require we put our email address? Just wondering.

  2. I’ve changed it so you don’t have to put an e-mail address but I may change it back if it means I start getting comment spam.

  3. You cannot really blame player selection. Canada had the most talented team in the tournament. They just didn’t play up to their talent levels. That happens sometimes. Any team can have a bad week (and that is all this tournament was).

    One of the “questionable” choices was Shane Doan. He lead the team in scoring.

    If I told you Doan would lead team canada with 3 points you would think either I am an idiot or Canada lost bad. (maybe both are true).

    In the end, Canada had the best players on paper, but not on the ice. That happens sometimes. Thats why they play the games.

  4. I did not have the opportunity to watch any Canada hockey games, but from what I’ve heard Draper wasn’t used for what he’s good at. Aside from the 2003-2004 season, Draper isn’t going to score lots of goals for you. But he’s good at covering the opponent’s best player and killing penalties and apparently, Quinn did not use Draper in that way thus making it look like a bad roster choice. But then again, I didn’t watch him play so I could be wrong.

  5. – Doan had a decent tournament and I think played his role well as 13th man.
    – Bertuzzi continues his career of taking bad penalties in pivotal moments and was a bad selection IMO.
    – Staal deserved a spot on this team, but couldn’t because of Crosby.

    Canada lost because they couldn’t execute on the PP and because of bad penalties. At least our juniors blew Russia away.

    Vancouver 2010!

  6. The abscence of Super Mario was surely missed. That too bad he couldn,t have played one more olympic tournament. No one could set up a power play better than this man.
    Team Canada power play was the main reason for their demise . The defence and goaltending was good , but couldn,t score.

  7. There were no playmakers on this team. Crosby could have made a significant contribution especially on the PP. Pronger – I don’t even want to talk about how shitty he played. He looked like Jamie McCowan out there. I don’t know how this guy went from MVP of the league about 5 years ago to where he was in this tournament. And for the love of God, get rid of Pat Quinn. He shouldn’t even be coaching the Leafs, let alone Team Canada. When I saw Kris Draper on the ice with 4 minutes to go in the game I just about threw my TV out the window.

  8. Now don’t think I am a traitor saying good things about Team Canada, even though being an inhabitant of Los Angeles. I am an American citizen, but am a huge fan of Canadian hockey. There is no way USA deserved to win. They shouldn’t have even been able to make it to the quarterfinals. Especially since they went 1-4-1 with the win and tie coming against Kasakhstan and Latvia. Team USA has good defensive players, all around players, but need help with its offense. In the other pool, Canada losing was a surprise to us enough, but who would’ve predicted they would get shutout? Now we have to wait for 2010, where I already predict a gold for Canada, having home ice advantage in Vancouver.

  9. It was just our players who stunk. Yes, we can complain all we want about a few of the selections, but guys like Nash, Pronger, Iginla, Sakic all didn’t play up to par, and nobody left those guys off any team selection. Now, why they stunk? Hard to say, but something will change next time. I’d guess we’ll see more of the younger guys, we’ll see a new coaching staff, and we may even see new management. However, that’s still 4 years away, so still a little early to predict for the next one.

  10. Team USA is also in trouble for the future, as the next time the Winter Olympics are going to be played, USA will likely be without Bill Guerin, Mike Modano, Mathieu Schnieder, Chris Chelios, and others.

  11. So what do we do now? We closed down the NHL for a couple of weeks to watch our boy’s defend our title and now we have to sit and wait for a few days before the NHL season resumes. I guess if your a hockey fan in general you will be watching the gold medal game on Sunday.

    The loss to Team Canada started with some of the players that were selected.

    -Chris Pronger who has an injured foot should rest and any player who were also injured should do the same and concentrate on healing themselves to prepare for their NHL teams as the regular season is coming to an end. I know they want to play for their country but if you are not 100% you put your country in jeopardy. Unforutnately that has come about.

    -Where was Paul Kariya, Alex Tanguay and Brendan Shanahan. They should of been selected. They are having a tremendous season in the NHL and especially they do not have any injuries.

    -I cannot believe they did not play Spezza and Staal. They are both fast players and Spezza should of been playing with Heatley since they have chemistry in Ottawa. Against a fast and furious Finland and Russian team you need players that are young and can keep pace.

    When it comes to coaching and Management what can you say. Gretzky was not having a good year, with the death of his mother, the gambling scandal, and his Coyotes not doing well in the regular NHL season. One can say that it may linger on to Team Canada’s outcome. I am not to say that he should not be in Turino because even if he was not there, we would of lost because we did not have the team chemistry and the players did not have the speed to compete with the younger and faster players that the other countries have. We do have the faster and younger players but they were not there. Quinn should of played the younger guys. He is too loyal to his players and you can see that in the Toronto Maple Leafs. He should coach to win. He has the coaching skills to win a Stanley Cup but his loyalty to players are interfering him to win because if he was not loyal he would of played Spezza and Staal. I am not saying we will win gold if we played Spezza and Staal but its not like we are doing well with the rest of the team.

    A positive note I can say is that Martin Brodeur was standing on his head. If it was not for him we would have lost in larger margins. Our forwards did not score and our defense did not defend. Brodeur still got game and hopefully in 2010 he would be wearing the gold. Roberto Luongo also played well and I can see that he will be one of our goaltenders in future Olympics, thats if we continue to use NHL players in Olympic tournaments.

    Another positive note is that the NHL season will be an exciting one with the trade deadline coming up soon and the playoffs just right around the corner.

    To Bertrand, Grey Man, and AndyL.316, good luck this season and hopefully the next and future ones will be a positive outcome. TSE MING you are right about Team Canada and the Maple Leafs. Malik should put his money where his mouth is…haha.

    I hope 2010 in Vancouver will be a different outcome and I hope Hockey Canada will build Team Canada to what it was in Salt Lake City, a winning team that has gold around their necks.

  12. I agree with virtually everything you said. I don’t know Martin Brodeur’s age, but if he could get to the 2010 Olympics, Luongo and other good goaltenders can get some well-needed support offensively and defensively. Now, we have Finland playing Sweden in the Gold Medal game, and who knows if Peter Forsberg is going to play. This game could go either way, as Sweden beat the Czech Republic 7-3, while Finland has beaten everybody they played, including a 4-0 shutout against Russia. Russia, who has won a couple games by large margins in the Round Robin portion of the tournament, won’t have as easy a time against the Czech Republic. I think that if Jaromir Jagr can give 120%, they match up well with Russia. I will take the following teams to win the listed medals:

    Gold: Finland (who I have taken to win from the get-go)
    Silver: Sweden
    Bronze: Czech Republic
    4th: Russia

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