For anyone thinking the Swiss should be easy pickings for Team Canada tonight, think again.
By now, everyone has been reminded of Team Canada’s loss to Team Switzerland in 2006. The Canadians lost 2-0 in that game; it was the first of three games where they were shut out.
It was the day the Mighty Chocolatiers conquered Canada.
Four years ago today, Switzerland beat Canada 2-0 at the Olympics in hockey. Yes, ice hockey. Others remember it simply as the day hell froze over.
“In Swiss hockey, if they talk about something special, they talk about that win against Canada,” goalie Jonas Hiller said Wednesday. “Even if you didn’t play, you were excited about what Swiss hockey proved to the world.”
It was an epic upset that defined not only Swiss hockey – and Team Canada’s disaster at the 2006 Games in Turin – but also how a lot of people narrowly viewed Switzerland. A nation of bankers and yodelers, they were supposed to be tough on snow, timid on ice when it came to winter sports.
Canada’s $100-million lineup of National Hockey League stars learned otherwise.
Team USA almost learned the same lesson on Tuesday. The Americans prevailed 3-1 over the Swiss a couple of afternoons ago, but not before the Swiss gave them a pretty darn good fight.
Martin Brodeur will start in goal tonight. It’s also expected that the line of Sidney Crosby, Rick Nash and Jarome Iginla will play together (at least to start the game). If Team Canada can pick up from where they left off on Tuesday – well, the final two periods anyway – then they should be okay. Anything less and they could be courting a disastrous repeat of ’06.