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10-26-2013, 08:29 AM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Or maybe it has little to do with the exchange of Scott Stevens and company for Eric Brewer and a lot more to do with playing Belarus in the semifinals instead of the Czech Republic? Belarus let in 32 goals in the other five games they played in the 2002 tournament; the Czech Republic let in just 5 goals in their other five games in 1998. Canada in 1998 beat Belarus by a large margin in round robin play, and Canada in 2002 still couldn't beat the Czech Republic when they met them in round robin, so nothing really changed there except the order in which they played the teams. Still couldn't score more than two on Finland in 2002. Still beat the USA by a three-goal margin. Scored more on Sweden in 1998. Beat Kazakhstan in a blowout in 1998 but barely beat Germany in 2002.
As I said, this was a team that improved within each game. 2002 was a far different team than 1998. 2010 did the same thing. Heck, now that we're on topic, 1972 did the same thing. Lots of Canadian teams don't just jump out of the gate. Sometimes it takes a while. With this team it took a while. The final game against the Americans showed this. That team really should have put the game to bed in the second period. Mario somehow hitting the post, Fleury deking out the American defenseman, pulling a move on Richter that made him lose his glove and then losing the puck. A 5-on-3 in the 2nd period. How USA managed to come out of the second period with just a 3-2 deficit is beyond me. Remember, they played only 6 games, not a lot of time to get used to each other but they played their best game against the next best team at the most important time. And to look at the names on that roster, it is hard to believe it wouldn't have happened that way. This team was clearly the best team on paper in this tournament, and as we saw, on the ice as well.

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