Thread: Sochi 2014
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04-24-2014, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Yakushev72 View Post
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Westerlund.

Seriously, its easy for Westerlund to say that, when his team performed so well and, in my mind, but for the untimely illness of Rask, could have easily played for and won the Gold Medal. For Russia, its a story of a former perennial champion under the Soviet banner who now can't even buy a vowel. There is a lot of frustration after having fallen into the "also participated" category for the third consecutive Olympics. And with the games being held at home, the frustration was even greater. Maybe expectations in Finland are sufficiently lower that Westerlund won't have to fear being hung from a tree by angry fans for not having won the Gold, but I'll bet that if Finland finished in 5th or 6th place in the Olympics for 3 consecutive times, he would find that his "destination" was the unemployment lines.

The press was tough on Bill, but he made it much worse by responding to the "eaten alive" comment. He should have just said "next question." Its hard to defend Bil because, by most accounts, he did a really horrible job. He did an absolutely miserable job at the Worlds last year, but his job was probably saved by the sheer proximity to the Olympics. In my mind, Russia did not play even one single good game at the Olympics, and that falls on Bill. They struggled against Slovenia, Slovakia and Norway. They had a real opportunity to beat the US, but they found a way to lose. Once they went down 2-0 against Finland, admittedly as the result of 2 extremely demoralizing defensive atrocities, they skated around like zombies for the rest of the game. Except for Datsyuk, all of our big name NHL stars were exposed.

Its true that Russian journalism is like no other in the World, but I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't see the same behavior in Canada and the United States, for example, if the results were the same. Maybe the fact that sports in Scandinavia are a "destination, not a result" would tone down the press, but the coaches would certainly be fired the next day.
Firing national team coaches isn't exactly the Finnish way. The last one to get fired/released was Raimo Summanen after the 2004 World Cup. Our coaches are usually on 2-3 year deals anyway, because there's a line to become the next NT coach.

I think if Westerlund had been in a similar position, the questions would have been very different. More like why were there no changes in the lines, tactics(line balance and distances between the forwards and defensemen), goalie rotation and stuff like that. Without giving too much credit to a certain individual, Finnish hockey media is very well educated on the tactical side and stories and interviews rely heavily on tactical issues.

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