March 01, 2006

Taking stock of a hockey Titanic: Why the U.S. should be freaking and Canada relaxing after the Olympics. By sportsfilter columnist wfrazerjr.

posted by justgary to other at 01:42 AM - 13 comments

Both teams needed this much wake up call. They both tried to leave home with the gold around there neck. They should both look at the 72 series between Canada and Russia to see were their over confidence affected there game. Canada in the beginning and Russia in the end. Lets get back to old time hockey were the Hype is on the ice not in the Media.

posted by putitallin at 02:37 AM on March 01

Old time hockey? Why am I now thinking of the Hansen brothers from 'Slapshot'?

posted by owlhouse at 02:56 AM on March 01

Preach on. I give you my agreement, 110%.

posted by fabulon7 at 07:23 AM on March 01

old-time hockey?

posted by Amateur at 07:23 AM on March 01

You know Eddie Shore? Great article fraze. I agree fo' sho'. Canada rewarded a lot of people for loyalty (and domination in the World Championships a scant year ago), but should now realize that they need the passion that comes from an injection of new blood. Way too listless and Bertuzzi - it's official - is just plain bad now.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:30 AM on March 01

Excellent article, wfrazerjr. You put to words what a lot of us have been steaming about ever since the end of the Olympics, and probably before they even started. On a personal note, they shoulda put the Hanson Brothers in the game. Then there woulda been a parade!

posted by wingnut4life at 10:17 AM on March 01

Now if only the United States had a large number of Red Wings players, then they would have gone all the way. Anyway, I think the United Staes "collapse" (although that is subject to opinion) went along perfectly with USA's dissapointing Olympics. I think one problem is that the USA doesn't have the top talent other teams have, and there was no way they have the goaltending (of course had Ryan Miller been there, all would be different).

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:58 PM on March 01

had Ryan Miller been there, all would be different You're kidding, right? Ryan Miller is a fine goaltender, having a much better season than DiPietro for sure, but he still can't put the puck in the net. USA needs realistic expectations more than anything else. They could hope for two, maybe three, wins in pool play. With all the stars aligned and a lot of luck on top, they could have reached the semis. So the results are not too far off the expectations. Canada, on the other hand, has no excuses. (Or, what wfrazerjr said, but looking back instead of forward.)

posted by qbert72 at 03:10 PM on March 01

I don't know if The States had a "dissappointing" Olympics. I guess if you're going with total medal count, second ain't bad, especially in the Winter Games. I had a great time watching it, especially (surprisingly) curling. Some of the U.S. "stars" choked, but I kind of enjoyed the drama in that, too. No disappointment here. As far as the hockey talent in The States goes, the result wasn't particularly surprising. I agree with Fraze when he says that we (U.S. types) should be worried about the team we put out there. Before I get to the U.S., let me say that Canada should have done better. That's a huge disappointment, what with the talent pool they had to pull from. I picked Sweden to win, but to be honest, I only did so because everyone else had picked Canada. Canada's got ridiculous hockey talent. They just didn't use it the right way. Relaxation may be in order for Canadian hockey fans, but only after a span of time in which they only feel shame. Let's say two months of shame. Then relax. Is that reasonable? As for the U.S.: We're not producing talent at the level that most hockey fans here would like to us to be. If you look at our roster, you'll find a lot of guys that shouldn't be there, but there's not a lot of players you can think of to replace them with. Hatcher and Chelios? Shouldn't be on the team. But who would you replace them with? Leetch? Jay Bouwmeester? Oh wait, he's Canadian. So maybe Hall Gill? No. Even as a Bruins fan, I say no. Guerin and Tkachuk? Same thing with Hatcher and Chelios. Not on the big International ice surface. Honestly, I think this wasn't too far from the best team the U.S. could put on the ice, and they didn't do very well. My hope (and expectation) is that in 2010, we'll see more guys like Carter, Parise, Suter, maybe O'Sullivan ready to play. Four years is a long to time to relax or freak. I'm not "freaking" yet. We'll see.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:29 PM on March 01

fraze, great article. I have one small bone to pick; I think the Canadian defensive scheme was designed to force the Russian's wide. The Junior team used the same idea in December, obviously to much better effect.

posted by garfield at 03:59 PM on March 01

Ryan Miller is a fine goaltender, having a much better season than DiPietro for sure, but he still can't put the puck in the net. Well said, qbert. Our problem wasn't defense, it was offense (and boy, was it offensive!).

posted by wingnut4life at 03:59 PM on March 01

After winning in 2002, losing in 2006 doesn't seem so bad. I agree that "legacy" picks probably hurt the Canadian squad (from 2002 and from the 2004 World Cup). Thankfully, they won't have to worry about that in 2010. However, 2010 will mean even more pressure on the Canadian men's team than even 2002 had. Winning at home is a must, and there will be no excuses accepted if it doesn't happen. I look forward to a team that is built with Captain Canada (Ryan Smyth) as the team leader, Thorton as the top forward and Crosby, Spezza, the Staal brothers and Phaneuf as the all-star performers. That said, the European teams will also be chock full of superstar youngsters as well. If 2010 is the last of the NHL-powered Olympics, I think we'll be in for one hell of a treat.

posted by grum@work at 04:27 PM on March 01

"When you're relying heavily (pun intended) on Keith Tkachuk, you have serious issues." Hilarious line from a great column.

posted by Venicemenace at 04:06 PM on March 02

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