Monday, February 24, 2014

Canada dominates and Backstrom gets a needless suspension

From where I sit it looks like this was the best Team Canada ever iced...


Sure 1972 and 1987 saw some of the greatest players ever. 2010 was thrilling, complete with hammering the Russians. But each saw their speed bumps along the way to a dramatic finish. But this was domination. Three goals in six games. None in the last eight-plus periods. It was so simple, but ever so complex. Convince the best players to accept short shifts and defend. Back-check hard and trust the offence will score enough to win. Five of the top 10 scorers in the NHL combined for 8 points (3-5). Shea Weber (3-3) and Drew Doughty (4-2) tied for the team lead in scoring with 6, Jeff Carter was the top forward with 5 (3-2). In Vancouver, Canada had five players with 7 or more points. However, every member bought into the Mike Babcock system. They played their best when it mattered most. This was, simply put, the best Team Canada we've ever seen. By the time the final arrived there was no doubt Canada was going to win.

I do have a couple thoughts on Nicklas Backstrom missing out on the gold medal game...


For starters it wouldn't have made any difference in the outcome. Secondarily, this was a needless, stupid suspension. And, no, I'm not blaming the IOC for this. They have their rules. It's up to the athlete and, more importantly, the doctors to know what everyone is allowed to take. I'm not an athlete, but even I know Pseudoephedrine is banned. After initially being banned, it was monitored between 2004 and 2009, before being banned again starting in 2010. I do feel bad for Backstrom. He trusted that the doctors knew what was allowed, clearly they didn't. There's plenty of blame for this and most of it belongs with the Swedish Olympic Committee for not knowing what was happening in their own camp.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

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