Thread: Player Discussion: Olympics in Sochi 2014
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04-08-2010, 03:45 PM
  #26
Ribban
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic View Post
We all saw what youthful grit and passion did for the Americans this Olympics, while the more skilled and experienced team didn't seem to care at all.

The best mix is 5-6 30+ players that brings experience, but then you also need a few 20-24:ish players for enthusiasm.

We also need an energy line, both Canada and USA played a much faster game than we did - we weren't even close. Not that it's our way to play the game, but we must be able to match their intensity if need be, and we just weren't.
I quoted you becasue I agree with what you are writing, and my post is one out of frustration, not geared towards you.

USA Hockey is probably the best managed federation in the world today, and it is starting to show and will be very evident from hereon out. The reason being is that they took a long hard look in the mirror and decided to revamp the system, and the changes didn't come about becasue they somehow tried to protect egos. They were quite ruthless with themselves and can today show some pretty impressive results, which are only buds of what USA Hockey will be in a few years if they can keep it going like they are.

Swedish hockey continues to bet on horses that don't deliver. The Swedish puck possession style (for one) is not paying off, and as you pointed out, we have suffocated on a defensive minded, lathargic style of hockey, which clearly isn't successful on any international stage (NTs or club level).

Don't think I say it's all bad. We have great talent in the ranks, and Swedish players are some of the best coached and fundementally skilled players in the world, year in and year out, but after a certain age, we no longer manage to win based on skill alone. We sorely lack grit and instinct to challenge our opponents, offensively as well as defensively, and that is something they have no chance to learn in Sweden today. Most hockey people in Sweden today can't seperate dirty play from physical play, and when watching an SEL game, the battles along the boards and in front of the net (the few times they manage to get out from the corners) is more about crazy jack moves than sound positioning and strength.

As I see it, the NT might change a bit with Mårts behind the bench, but nothing dramatic will happen, as the core of Swedish hockey, the SEL and its big clubs, set the tone and show no sign of rethinking their philosophies. The arrogance will kill us as their eternal whining is about not having enough money to attract "better" players to stand around in their traps, which would somehow be a better product... and yes, the opposition needs to come from out of Sweden too. But, as I said, there is no second guessing themselves, which is natural when you get a small, stagnant hockey community. I love the Swedish expression, "Skyddad verkstad," and it's really fitting for Swedish hockey at the moment.

Ad nasium with the Federation going out with their Soviet like contract on players being fined and punished for trying to fulfill their potential outside of Sweden, they are not only shutting down any possibility of any young player developing to contribute effectively on the international stage, but they are also killing all the guys who can't or don't have parents who can get them around the political obstacles of being considered a future resource by the Swedish brain thrust.

Having said all that, I think you can forget having a Swedish energy line, or a checking line, worth its name in Sochi, as Tre Kronor will not understand why that would be beneficial, and if they do put something like that together, pray that its made up of seasoned NHLers who got out before the federation's iron curtain dropped and got to learn how to bring the heat and passion for the job.

It's depressing to say the least. It's like realizing that smoking is killing us, so let's give the tobacco companies more influence and resources to figure this out for us.


Last edited by Ribban: 04-08-2010 at 03:54 PM.
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