Feb 192010
 

I wasn’t surprised that the Swiss team played Team Canada hard last night in their 3-2 shootout loss. I was surprised though that Team Canada had a tough time against them.

Not that anyone expected Team Canada to walk all over the Swiss like they did against Norway on Tuesday, but likewise, I don’t think anyone expected the game to have to be decided by an extended shootout.

Like every other Canadian, I breathed a huge sigh of relief after Sidney Crosby scored on his second shootout attempt and Martin Brodeur stopped the Swiss’ fourth shooter. In a way, the win avenged Team Canada’s loss against the Swiss in Torino in 2006. And winning the game means that they could still win the group and get the bye to the quarter finals as long as they beat Team USA on Sunday. But losing the point – in this tournament, a regulation win counts for 3 points and OT and SO wins only count for 2 – means they could be seeded lower and face tougher opponents on the way to gold.

But that’s looking too far ahead.

For now, Mike Babcock and crew need to work on their execution and focus on Sunday’s game. There’s no reason that this group couldn’t have moved the puck up effectively against a defense which featured Mark Streit, Luca Sbisa and Yannick Weber. There’s no reason for their powerplay to only score once in seven PP opportunities. And the Americans are a much better team.

The good news is, they fully realize this:

“Good thing I have two days to figure all that out,” Babcock said with a smile. “I think the big thing is when you look at our whole group, we didn’t think we were as good as we are capable of being at all (against Switzerland). We didn’t think our D moved the puck like we could. We didn’t think we were a good five-man unit. We didn’t think we attacked their net and were relentless like we could have. We thought we got outworked at times. When you go through the whole thing, all of us have to be better.”

Damn right they have to be.

  • Justin

    A lot of shitty passes and a lot of opportunities to shoot turned into questionable passes. They need to quit being so fancy and just shoot the puck and go to the net.

  • Justin

    A lot of shitty passes and a lot of opportunities to shoot turned into questionable passes. They need to quit being so fancy and just shoot the puck and go to the net.

  • blaine

    the pressure got to them – and that is unacceptable. You could literally see them freeze up in the second period; it was only in the third when they started to raise their game. You see, the reason why teams like the excited states and the czechs are so dangerous is because there is no pressure on them; they are not expected to win. Canada is expected to win, however, and that pressure can lead you to playing below your top level. In any case, babcock may have to go in there and alternately kick some ass and apply salve to some egos. I still feel this is an excellent canadian team and a very well-coached team (Babcock is a cosmic mile ahead of Quinn behind the bench) – but they have to get the pieces to fit together.

    And another thing…..

    Folks, lets be honest: this is not women’s hockey where half the teams can barely stand upright and only the excited states and canada actually care about the competition. The men’s game is much deeper, played at a MUCH higher level, and the hockey federations are very passionate about winning this tourney; it matters in a way the women’s event does not.

    So there you have the mine-field facing Canada.

  • blaine

    the pressure got to them – and that is unacceptable. You could literally see them freeze up in the second period; it was only in the third when they started to raise their game. You see, the reason why teams like the excited states and the czechs are so dangerous is because there is no pressure on them; they are not expected to win. Canada is expected to win, however, and that pressure can lead you to playing below your top level. In any case, babcock may have to go in there and alternately kick some ass and apply salve to some egos. I still feel this is an excellent canadian team and a very well-coached team (Babcock is a cosmic mile ahead of Quinn behind the bench) – but they have to get the pieces to fit together.

    And another thing…..

    Folks, lets be honest: this is not women’s hockey where half the teams can barely stand upright and only the excited states and canada actually care about the competition. The men’s game is much deeper, played at a MUCH higher level, and the hockey federations are very passionate about winning this tourney; it matters in a way the women’s event does not.

    So there you have the mine-field facing Canada.

  • http://dailysportscard.com/blog Rookie

    if they would have lost that game, (assuming a loss to the americans)would they have made it past the round?

  • http://dailysportscard.com/blog Rookie

    if they would have lost that game, (assuming a loss to the americans)would they have made it past the round?

  • Pingback: Close comfort too

%d bloggers like this: