Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Evil Empire Defeats The Colonials

Sheamus Murphy

I'm despondent. We give Team Canada hero in the making status and they respond by making Nagano seem like a good outing. I didn't know our team on the ice today. No play-making to be had, we had way too many problems clearing our own zone, and our leaders were nowhere. Sakic rang one off the post but was otherwise invisible. Sloppy penalties by Bertuzzi and poor clearances by Pronger and Doan led to Ovechkin's goal. And why bring in large hitting players when they don't throw their weight around? The only player that struck me as dangerous was Dany Heatley.

When all the chips were down, we didn't show up. To argue that we can't handle the large ice surface is preposterous - so many players have been at the World Championships, and it's never been a problem before - and to blame the lock-out is even worse when the other teams are stacked with NHLers. What we really lacked was leadership and experience - too many players on Team Canada have only a few years of top-flight play to their credit. Let's hope that by 2010 some will have veteran experience. But today is a real shame.

Alex Abboud

Russia 2, Canada 0.

All I'll say about the game is:

• Canada didn't generate nearly enough offense.

• I missed Evgeny Nabokov's transformation into Vladislav Tretiak.

• Both of those goals were Pronger's fault. What a terrible tournament for him.

Anyway, let's discuss!


At 3:21 PM, Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I just thank god I'm in Toronto. They're so used to losing here that I'm sure there won't be any riots or anything. Just placid acceptance.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

LOL. I can TOTALLY see the Sun media chain pulling a Swede media stunt tomorrow, listing player names and NHL salaries on the front page.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Where do we begin the discussion? Scoreless in 11 of the past 12 periods. Shut out 3 of the past 4 games. Victories against Italy, Germany and the Czechs. Losses to the Swiss, Finland and Russia. Bad defence. Inability to dump a puck in. No hitting. Not a single game-breaker on the roster. Terrible penalties. Poor coaching. Slow skating. Chris Pronger. Jerome Iginla.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Here's a thought. Mark Messier must still be in reasonably good game shape. Couldn't we have left him on the bench, and just sent him out in Peter Klima-esque situations? At the very least, he could have elbowed a Russian in the head or stared down Todd Bertuzzi.

Oh, one more thing to discuss. With all those games in so little time, why didn't Staal and Spezza get any playing time?

And Alyssa Modano was benched in the American game today. How awesome is that?

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Alex said...

And Modano complained about the management of USA hockey afterwards too. What a douchebag.

I don't know what happened to Canada's offense. Perhaps they should have payed more attention to how players were doing this season, not to past tournament performance. Of course, I also complained about the selections of Draper and Doan, and they were two of the better forwards.

They just seemed to lack that extra gear - I don't know if it was jet lag, or the lack of a playmaker on the ice or motivator in the locker room (Mess would have been perfect, you're right).

Hopefully they can get things sorted out for 2010. I have a feeling we're going to be cursing the name 'Alex Ovechkin' for many tournaments to come.

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

Jarome Iginla played well.

The reason we lost was because of da-da-da-daaah!: poor reffing. Yes I said, it: bad, Superbowl bad, reffing. That goal that was dissallowed due to the whistle being blown? Obviously an early call, and it wasn't the first time in the game either. I seem to recall the puck sliding right through Nabokov's pads to the other side of the net, without so much as a pause between the Ruskie's legs and the play being called dead. Had it not been blown dead the Canadian team had a wide open net, and a chance to tie the game.

The fix is in I tell's ya!

Actually, in all honesty, I don't really believe any of that, but it makes me feel better. And, again to be honest, Iginla did not play up to expectation, I kept wondering why everybody was picking on him, but in situations where you expect someone to step and make a big play, he was one of the few that the team were relying on, and he completely dissapeared. In fact thats how I felt about this team in general. In Salt Lake the Canadian team had this incredible presence on the ice, this team just seemed completely ordinary.

I don't know about anyone else, but this is a very, very sad day for me. And to tell the truth (yes I am in a tell the truth type mood) I hope they don't allow NHLers to play in Vancouver.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Kevin Kimmis said...

I didn't see the game, but I can say that I didn't have a good feeling about this team going into the tournament. (I don't know how much of that comes from my general dislike of being the overwhelming favourites -- schadenfreude, anyone?) For example, a lot of people seemed to make this team as character guys; but when you're talking about character, it always seems like an explanation about why a younger, better but less-experienced player was left out. Given the final result, I guess we had a bit too much character, and not enough of anything else.

When does the CBA expire? Is it possible that the NHL won't send players to Vancouver, so we can watch a bunch of kids play instead? That's my preference, but short of another lockout or some kind of revolt amongst NHL teams who will see their best players return banged up from Torino, I don't see it happening.

Does anyone know if Vegas is taking odds on how many rooms at the athlete's village will get trashed tonight? My money's on Bertuzzi breaking someone's neck by sunrise in Vancouver tomorrow.

At 5:01 PM, Blogger Kevin Kimmis said...

And hey -- at least my picks for the medal round are still in play. Go Russia! Go Czechvars!

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

Does someone know the rule for reviewing goals in the Olympics? I hate to harp on about this, but I really thought they should have looked at it again, unless there is a "once the play has been called dead, you cannot review it" type deal. If there isn't, then why the hell didn't they? It was clearly a goal.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Well, the Canucks lost two defenseman to injury today (Ohlund and Salo), so there's one team who will probably vote against it. My understand though is that the NHLPA was far more vocal in pushing for Olympic participation than the League was this past time around.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I hate to harp on about this, but I really thought they should have looked at it again, unless there is a "once the play has been called dead, you cannot review it" type deal.

There has to be. Otherwise the whistle would blow and you'd have players thinking "Should the whistle have gone? Can this whistle be upheld on review? Should I keep playing?"


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