FanDuel - WFBC

February 23, 2006

Well, it looks like North America is out.: Russia ousts Canada, and Gretzky blames himself. But he's thinking of the wrong things. Everyone speculates his 'gambling wife' syndrome did it, but it's the silly keeping of the oldies that did it to Canada.

posted by mrhockey to hockey at 06:06 AM - 38 comments

It's the lack of scoring that did it to Canada, oldies or no. Tough to say that plugging in Spezza, Crosby and Staal would have made all the difference. It's convenient to point the finger at the coaching. It was their system. The talent was there. Maybe the talent wasn't there to win the whole thing (evidently), but that team shouldn't have been shutout three times.

posted by gspm at 10:27 PM on February 23

good grief... here we go again. For the life of me I don't get your point. The level of International Competition levels the playing field and the answer is this nonsense. Give some credit to the teams that won and learn your lessons on the ice.....

posted by skydivedad at 10:35 PM on February 23

On the plus side we didn't really suck too bad in Curling. Kinda. Not real bad. Oh never mind.

posted by commander cody at 12:33 AM on February 24

Give some credit to the teams that won The teams that won were great, sure. But if you look at Canada's roster, it's nearly unfathomable that they could get shut out three times. Win or lose, a team with that much goal-scoring talent should be able to score some goals.

posted by fabulon7 at 07:52 AM on February 24

Face it, hockey fans, the Europeans' skill and speed won out over the grind-it-out style of North American Hockey. I hope you hosers from the Great White North can swallow that fact, heh. The same goes for my fellow American fans. I guess I will yell, "go Teemu! Raise the white and blue for Finland!"

posted by rexlex at 08:37 AM on February 24

Offensively, Canada's last four games were brutal. Only three goals scored, including two gifts by Vokoun (the tournament's biggest individual disappointment, in my opinion). From what I saw, Canada didn't have a passing game at all. Their only chances came from individual efforts and crashing the net. I'm not sure there were that many useless "oldies" on that team. I'd have gone for a younger blue line, but up front and in net pretty much every choice is hard to argue against. We can all complain about Bertuzzi in hindsight, but he's still the quintessential Canadian power forward. Maybe they could have tried to keep lines or duos from the NHL. For example, Thornton and Cheechoo are tearing it up together. Why not have both of them on a line in the Olympics? Same goes for Spezza and Heatley. But the real solution is simple: hang Quinn.

posted by qbert72 at 08:41 AM on February 24

the Europeans' skill and speed won out over the grind-it-out style of North American Hockey. This is mostly correct. What is frustrating is that Canada has enough skill and speed. They just didn't want to use it.

posted by qbert72 at 08:43 AM on February 24

Oh god - Team Canada was hardly a collection of grinders. It was comprised some of the best offensive players in the world. Quite simply, they didn't gel, and didn't perform. In a one-game elimination tournament, it's very uncompromising. If any team is a team of grinders, it's Finland. And they're doing very well. And they DID keep NHL lines intact - specifically the one from the defending Stanley Cup Champions (Lecavalier, St. Louis and Richards). It just didn't do any good. I think the truth is: Great team - bad performance - changes needed.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:56 AM on February 24

'Changes' would be a return to the original concept of the Olympics. 'Fans' have made the whole procedure a farce in today's world. Back when the Olympics were real, there were no pros participating. The best athletes won, and that's how it should be, not a bunch of spoiled-rotten-by-big-bucks professional athletes.

posted by mrhockey at 10:15 AM on February 24

mrhockey, I think that axe of yours is pretty sharp by now.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:25 AM on February 24

Wasnt the Olympic field like pretty even this year??? Or Am I taking too many pain pills again?

posted by daddisamm at 11:06 AM on February 24

Good lord Mr. Contradictory - If you want the 'best athletes' to win, you can't exclude the professionals, because, say it with me: They're the best athletes. That's why they're professionals. And there WERE pros participating in the great ol' Olympics. They were state sponsored groups of professional athletes that maintained amateur status only because of loose designation - not because of reality. As I have said before - the best example is the USSR hockey entry - it was a PRO team. The entire East German Olympic team were all PROs by any standard. The current crop of Chinese athletes are all pros by the same token. And if you think otherwise I have some Moose Pasture in Northern Sudbury to sell you. On preview: Get a clue.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:12 AM on February 24

Weedy, I agree with you the Canadian players are not grinders at all, I just think that they played too much like they were. The talent just didn't shine through. Lecavalier, St-Louis and Richards did not all play on the same line in the last Stanley cup. I can't recall exactly, but they were spread over two lines. It's still at least one intact duo, so your point is taken. I was just trying to find how they could have improved the selection, which is really nitpicking as the selection was fine. I think you're right that the main problem is that they didn't gel as a team. The coaching staff has to take the heat for this. I'm not a coach, so I can't provide constructive criticism here, but ultimately, getting 20 guys (pro, amateurs, blind, whatever) to perform as a team is the coach's responsibility, even if he has a very short timeframe to do so.

posted by qbert72 at 11:27 AM on February 24

getting 20 guys (pro, amateurs, blind, whatever) to perform as a team is the coach's responsibility My Official Retrospect GogglesTM say that we should've brought Brent Sutter on board.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:33 AM on February 24

The best athletes won, and that's how it should be, not a bunch of spoiled-rotten-by-big-bucks professional athletes. Just a reminder again: the teams that won were filled with "spoiled-rotten-by-big-bucks" professional athletes as well.

posted by grum@work at 12:05 PM on February 24

Except maybe the backup-backup goalies. I'll bet Stefan Liv isn't a multimillionaire. Especially with those Swedish taxes!

posted by fabulon7 at 12:19 PM on February 24

Or Am I taking too many pain pills again? daddisamm No, dude. That was Sami Salo... The current crop of Chinese athletes are all pros by the same token. WeedyMcSmokey I still say the old Chinese women's swim team were all dudes with makeup on... Personally, though. I want to see a Finn-Swede gold medal final. You know they hate each other with passion! They'll want to kick each other in the ding-ding!!!

posted by wingnut4life at 12:30 PM on February 24

With you all the way, q.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:41 PM on February 24

You can say what you want about Canada's team....the real embarrassing thing is that they are BETTER than the USA team!!! Watching that team was the pits.

posted by nflhou02 at 12:42 PM on February 24

What about playing Sakic and Tanguay together? I was reading Tom Benjamin earlier today and he feels the Canadian strategy wasn't conservative enough to win on the larger ice surface. I see it exactly the opposite. Any thoughts?

posted by garfield at 02:14 PM on February 24

I just saw a series of players attempting individual rushes through traffic with little thought to where support was coming from. I didn't think they had much difficulty in keeping players from the front of their own net, or defensively in general (the Russians were kept to the outside for most of the game). On the rush though, they looked like they had no idea what their linemates were doing, and the guys without the puck didn't seem to be funneling into good spots. Also - very little hitting and forechecking. They looked passive and like they were waiting for someone else to do something. I don't think they weren't working hard, they were just clueless as to how to execute with each other. Though Nash, Lacavalier, St. Louis, McCabe, Bertuzzi, Iginla, Sakic, and Gagne were all completely ineffective. Total passengers. Just never woke up.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:44 PM on February 24

Weedy, my reference to the type of Olympic competition was not for anything of this century. I was referring to the ancient history of the Olympics, but I wouldn't expect you'd be catching anything without any date on it. If one wanted true competition, that's where it'd be found.

posted by mrhockey at 02:56 PM on February 24

Defense definitely wasn't a problem. The rush/break out is where everything went....nowhere. I saw what you saw weedy, but I thought the over-individualism resulted from frustation at the lack of coherent attack plan. The NBC commentators noted how the Russians would carry the puck, while Canada opted for a pass just over their own blue line. It looked like carrying the puck was a much more effective method of attack, when your teammates expected this to happen.

posted by garfield at 03:01 PM on February 24

I was referring to the ancient history of the Olympics They played hockey in Ancient Greece? Man, these guys invented everything.

posted by qbert72 at 03:18 PM on February 24

my reference to the type of Olympic competition was not for anything of this century. I was referring to the ancient history of the Olympics posted by mrhockey at 2:56 PM CST on February 24 The Olympic Games were held every four years from 776 B.C. to A.D. 394, making them the longest-running recurring event in antiquity. We have a very sentimental attitude toward the ancient games. But this romanticized image with gentlemanly behavior and chivalry was largely devised by Victorian scholars in the 19th century. Perhaps the most inspiring ancient ideal was the moratorium on war during the games, a sacred truce that allowed travelers to safely get to the games. But the ancient Greeks were not as idealistic as to try to stop all wars. They just didn't want anything that interfered with the operation of the games. If you wanted to have a war in Sicily, the truce wouldn't stop you at all. There were times when the truce fell apart. In 364 B.C. the regular organizers lost control of the games, because they had become involved in politics. To get revenge, they attacked the games' new organizers in the middle of a wrestling match. They had this pitched battle going on inside the sanctuary, with archers up on the temples. The fans took it in stride. They stopped watching the wrestling match and instead watched the battle, applauding as if these were opposing teams at a sports match. Athletes represented themselves first and their city-state second. There was no second place in the ancient games, no Victorian ideals of a handshake and gentlemanly slap on the back for a game well played. If you lost, you'd scamper home through the back streets. Your mother wouldn't even talk to you. It was the sheer spectacle of it. Sports were one part of a grand, all-consuming extravaganza. It was first and foremost a religious event, held on the most sacred spot in the ancient world. It had this incredible aura of tradition and sanctity. Today's Olympics is a vast, secular event, but it doesn't have the religious element of the ancient Olympics, where sacrifices and rituals would take up as much time as the sports. And there were all these peripheral things that came with the festival: the artistic happenings, new writers, new painters, new sculptors. There were fire-eaters, palm readers, and prostitutes. This was the total pagan entertainment package. The Athletes had to appear at the nearby city of Elis a month before the games. This was the first Olympic village. There, they had to submit to a grueling training regime designed to weed out those who weren't up to Olympic standards. While there was no shame in dropping out before the games, athletes who dropped out during the actual games were humiliated. There is a story of one huge wrestler showing up for training. As soon as he took his clothes off, all the other athletes dropped out because they all knew they couldn't beat this guy. The ancient Olympic Athlete was there to win Fame and most important Fortune. Compared to the life afforded the average Greek of the time an Olympic Champion was the most honored (hence wealthy) man of his generation. Many given entire counties of land and store houses of the most valuable objects and slaves available. T.O. is a pauper in comparison. They were as close as you could get to being a demigod in the mortal world. You would gain incredible prestige and wealth from an Olympic victory. Officially, the winner was given an olive wreath. But your home city would give you piles of money, honors like front seats at the theater, lifetime pensions, vats of olive oil, maybe even priesthood. Your name would be passed down from generation to generation. You became part of the very fabric of history. Normally the Greeks didn't get terribly drunk. But this was like five days of living it up. People didn't sleep much at all. Students would organize these symposia that turned into drunken orgies. The debauchery of the Ancient Olympic Games so concerned the Christian Emperor Theodosius I he outlawed all pagan festivals in in A.D. 394. The Olympic Games were the most hated pagan festivals by the early Christians especially for their debauchery and idol worship of the human body. This attempt at portraying the ancient games in any kind of honorable light is merely a Christian Victorian Construct from the late 1800's. The Olympic Torch itself was 1st introduced by the Nazi's in 1936, thankfully it has transcended that awful beginning. The ancient games didn't actually have a marathon. The three-mile [five-kilometer] dolichos was the longest running event in the early ancient games. The marathon is a Victorian invention, based on a story about the Battle of Marathon. A courier, Philippides, who fought in the battle, dashed from the battlefield to bring news of the Greek victory to Athens. Once there, he collapsed and died. The 26.3-mile [42.3-kilometer] distance from Marathon to Athens is the length of the modern marathon races around the world. Their are many other modern myth surrounding the Ancient Olympics probably the one furthest from the truth is this ideal of Amateurism. It would be a concept totally foriegn to the Ancient Athlete. Attempt to use this arguement of "Ancient Amateurism" is building your argument upon a false premise and we all know what that leads to.

posted by skydivedad at 09:06 PM on February 24

Attempt to use this arguement of "Ancient Amateurism" is building your argument upon a false premise and we all know what that leads to Huge fucking kick-ass replies, that's what.

posted by qbert72 at 09:39 PM on February 24

The Olympic Torch itself was 1st introduced by the Nazi's in 1936, thankfully it has transcended that awful beginning. Wow, I am just learning all kinds of new stuff today! I'm liking these history lessons. Kinda makes me feal kinda funny -- kinda like when I climb the rope in gym class...

posted by wingnut4life at 10:11 PM on February 24

Once there, he collapsed and died. Sort of like how my Dad finished the Grandma's Marathon, in Duluth, way back when...except instead of dying he said: "get me a beer," drank it, then immediatley puked it up. I heard a bell ring when Skydivedad posted that comment, because school was in session...

posted by chris2sy at 10:39 PM on February 24

Wow, I am just learning all kinds of new stuff today! I'm liking these history lessons. Kinda makes me feal kinda funny -- kinda like when I climb the rope in gym class... posted by wingnut4life at 10:11 PM CST on February 24 Ahh, but nothing could beat that slide back down the rope...

posted by commander cody at 11:48 PM on February 24

Note to self: don't dis the Olympics while skydivedad's around.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:27 AM on February 25

lol

posted by commander cody at 12:48 PM on February 25

Thanks skydivedad, there went 10 min. of my life that I'll never get back. Just kidding.

posted by njsk8r20 at 10:47 AM on February 28

Holy crap that may be the longest post I've seen since RZA turned everything into a racist discussion.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:21 PM on February 28

Wow, skydivedad, that is a boatload of education. That needs to be placed somewhere other than the middle of a thread about how North American hockey teams suck. That should be an article or something more easily searchable. Well written, and definitely a worthwhile read.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:42 PM on February 28

That needs to be placed somewhere other than the middle of a thread about how North American hockey teams suck. Make it a column!

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:06 PM on February 28

Make it a column! Column hell, a book!

posted by commander cody at 11:10 PM on February 28

Commander cody we need to make a publishing company and introduce skydivedad to the world of literature.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:08 PM on March 01

definitely column material. sdd, submit!

posted by garfield at 03:52 PM on March 01

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