Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Canada 0 Russia 2

It's days like today that I'm glad we have the best beer in the world to drown our sorrows in. Team Canada will leave Torino without a medal; Matty Ohlund bruised his ribs; and Sami Salo suffered a suspected separated shoulder.

Why do I hear Nelson Muntz and his cruel "Ha! Ha!"?

Wayne Gretzky willingly took responsibility for Team Canada's performance:

"I'll take, and deservedly so, the responsibility of us not winning," Gretzky told a news conference Wednesday after Team Canada's quarter-final Olympic exit at the hands of Russia. "That's the situation I'm in, the position I have.

"I feel tremendously responsible that we didn't win. And quite honestly, I'm going to re-assess where I fit and what I'm going to do in the future.

"Hockey Canada is wonderful, my country is great, and I love it dearly. But I'm also human, too. It's tough and it's nerve-wracking. It's not fun when you don't win."
I wouldn't be so quick to point the finger at him. It's easy to lay blame on his mix of players, especially when the best of those players were among those who struggled.

To all the armchair GM's out there, would you have left Joe Thornton and Jarome Iginla, two of the best power forwards in the game but were non-factors for most of the tournament, off the team for Sidney Crosby and Eric Staal? Would you have left Chris Pronger, All-Star and Olympic gold medallist but struggled on the big ice, for Dion Phaneuf? You can go on and on and on for every player on this roster - they were, after all, shut out for three of the six games they played - but hindsight is 20/20.

Instead, I prefer to acknowledge the guys who took time out from their NHL seasons - right before their respective team's sprint to the playoffs - to wear the Maple Leaf on their jersey and carry the weight of 31+ million Canadians on their backs.

I also prefer to acknowledge that when it comes to hockey, the rest of the world has caught on. A poster on Tom Benjamin's blog says:

I'm disappointed by Canada's loss but the days where Canada was going to win every game and tournament in hockey are long over. 5 different countries won medals between the 1998 and 2002 olympics and the only major country that didn't medal in that time won gold in 1994.

Despite the loss I'm not any less optimistic about 2010.
We shouldn't be either.


As I mentioned above, Matty Ohlund and Sami Salo apparently suffered some injuries during their respective quarterfinal games. Nolan Baumgartner on the top defensive pairing? It certainly is possible. When the Canucks play Calgary on Tuesday, their defense can potentially consist of Bryan Allen, Nolan Baumgartner, Steve McCarthy, Kevin Bieksa, Tomas Mozjis and (insert another Moose player here).

Maybe James Demone will really make the cut now.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 8:09 PM


At February 22, 2006 8:30 PM, Blogger Rocco said...

No one to cheer for now...I guess go Finland!!

At February 23, 2006 11:38 AM, Blogger Ariane Kitspace said...

Aww, but c'mon, Finland has been playing solid hockey! We've been so enjoying those games thus far. I do hope they win big time. Think of what it'll do for the Canucks too, to have a coupla gold-medal Olympians come the rest of the season.

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