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02-25-2013, 05:38 PM
NSHPreds1835's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Monroe GA
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Alright I know what you are thinking, EVERY team faced pressure to win the Olympics/World Cup. However, I would think there was a bit of urgency with some more than others. Not to discount any other team since we all love hockey in this country and put pressure on all of them but I think I can fairly rank the pressure put on each team with a top 5 list.

#1 Team Canada 1972 - Yeah it was supposed to be a cakewalk but there was a ton of pressure on this team. Clarence Campbell stepped up and said it would be a disgrace if Canada lost even one game. This was the time for us to step up and show the world what happens when you play OUR best and not our amateurs. Plus Orr and Hull weren't there. The more experienced Cheevers couldn't play. That left what we forget were somewhat new kids on the block in Tony O and Dryden. Lots of pressure on this team and it intensified as the games went to Russia.

#2 Team Canada 2010 - We had a disaster Olympics in 2006 that I still hate to talk about. We had home ice in 2010, we had Sidney Crosby and the team that was supposed to give us the biggest threat, Russia, had an outstanding team on paper. There wasn't a weakness on this team and to lose at home at OUR game in front of the whole world. Yikes. We had to win this one and when the team didn't come out of the gate flying in the round robin I think the heat got cranked up. I loved that line up at that time and still do looking back on it. There are going to be at least a dozen HHOFers on that team and if we couldn't win with that team.............well, maybe it would be about time to admit we aren't the best.

#3 Team Canada 2002 - We lost in the 1996 World Cup and 1998 Olympics in dramatic fashion. There was an inquiry about our game, and almost a bit of panic in our country. This was a very experienced team and Russia, Sweden and USA had great teams. The Czechs had Hasek still at that time too. It wasn't on home soil, but it was in the U.S. and there were enough Canadians who were there to witness it. But man, you lose three of these tournaments in a row and who is going to call Canada the best anymore? I remember how we would never have heard the end of it if Canada lost to the U.S.

#4 Team Canada 1987 - Rendez Vous was a prelude to just how good this Russian team was going to be. We knew it. Mike Keenan knew it too. The Russians were stung after losing to us in 1984 and this was perhaps the best team they ever iced. You've got a prime Gretzky and a Lemieux on the verge of exploding and the games are often played in Copps Coliseum of a city that doesn't have an NHL franchise so they rally around this team. There was lots of pressure on this team.

#5 Team Canada 1984 - The Soviets had been beating the tar out of Canadian team for a few years. The big mess in the 1979 Challenge Cup. The 1981 Canada Cup. This was 1984 and Canada had a team built by Glen Sather who chose a lot of Oilers knowing full well this was a team who had to skate well. Looking back there was a few selections you have to wonder about but Sather knew what he was doing and he didn't want another 1981 on his hands. There were also some Islanders on the team and eventually the Oilers and Islanders teamed up to win the tournament and in poetic fashion beat Russia in the semis. Canada would have been 2nd best for much of the 1980s had they lost this one.
I would put the Vancouver 2010 team at #1. I mean if you guys had lost to Team USA on your home ice your country probably would have seen a decline in the population.

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