WELL, THAT ONE HURT

Four years after suffering heartbreak at the hands of Team Canada in the gold medal game of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, all America wanted was another shot.

We got it, and it went wide.

I began my plea for belief by asking Americans to abandon reason, foresight, and logic because reasonable, logical foresight led to the conclusion that Canada would win. I used reasonable, logical foresight when I predicted Canada would win gold.

Throughout the game, the Canadians were faster than the Americans. Canada’s passing was crisp, while the US had trouble connecting tape to tape. For most of the second period, the Americans looked like they were just trying to keep up, while Canada dictated play with a textbook offensive zone cycle that exhausted America’s defenders and opened up plenty of room for Canada’s big, speedy forwards.

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Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Preview

Every four years, the NHL suspends play for a couple weeks in February to allow players to participate in the Winter Olympics. There has been much debate over whether to continue this practice or bar players from traveling to the Olympics, but 2014, at least, will continue to feature NHL talent.

In fact, all 12 participating countries – Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States – have at least one NHLer on their roster. Some, like the US and Canada, are entirely comprised of NHL players; Sweden’s roster has only one player that isn’t currently playing in the NHL, while teams like Russia, the Czech Republic, and Finland have a fairly even balance of NHL players and those from European leagues like the KHL, Liiga, Elitserien, and Extraliga. Some of the lesser-known squads like Austria, Latvia, and Slovenia simply don’t have enough NHL players to fill a roster and, by necessity, are filled with players from their own professional leagues.

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