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Canada's worst team

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02-24-2005, 03:08 PM
  #1
canucksfan
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Canada's worst team

Canada has had some great teams in best on best tournaments but what team was their worst?

Canada has only lost three times in best on best tournaments.

1981 - Canada lost to the Soviets 8-1. Mike Luit played horrible that game but so did the whole team. In the round robin play Canada beat the Soviets 7-3.

1996 - They played the Americans in the finals. They beat them the first game but the Americans won the next two due to great goaltending by Mike Richter.

1998 - Canada started off in Nagano great but then they played the Czechs. They lost in the shootout and again lost in the Bronze medal game to Finland. This was Canada's worst finish ever in best on best tournaments.

I think the worst team is the 1998 team. Their offence wasn't that great.

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02-24-2005, 04:07 PM
  #2
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To me it's 1996.The Americans clearly (at least in my opinion) had a better team that year and Richter really only stole the last game for them when he had to because the Canucks sucked it up and drained the tank and the American players(relatively young and not in this position before) had too many nerves in that final game. We had players on that team who never should have been there but were because of no-shows or injuries.Slyvain cote on defense? Oh brother!! Ray bourque declined to play,Mario pulled out due to injury/fatigue,Kariya could'nt play because of injury.We simply could'nt ice our best team and it was'nt enough against a great crop of American players that had developed during that time period.They were outplayed by that 96 American squad,we were lucky to win the first game.There is a fairly big myth among a lot of Canadian fans about richter supposedly "stealing" that world cup for them,nothing could be further from the truth.the only game we outplayed them in was the last game of that series,every other game we played them in(inclluding exhibition) that i watched they handled that Canadian team fairly easily.That 1996 U.S team does'nt get the love it deserves imo.They had a great team and absolutely outstanding mix of forwards just hitting their prime mixed in with good or great veterans(Leetch,Chelios,Otto) who could control a game or play a role.They were big,fast and talented and wilson coached them real well and put in a game plan that took advantage of that size,talent and team speed while Lamarrillo made sure not to neglect the role players such as Otto that he knew he would need to beat Canada in a final series. They were'nt the best international team i ever saw but they were one of the best i think.They even went without an in his prime Jeremy Roenick who did'nt play because he had no nhl contract. That was one damn good team.The guys we did'nt have may have made the difference(Lemieux,Kariya,Bourque...some other d-man too i believe) but we still would have been in a major battle.


The 98 team did lack scoring but was way better then people give them heck about up here.They could have easily won the thing and almost did even without Kariya(our best offensive player at the time) and Sakic...our most dangerous threat once Kariya went down but who got injured and could'nt play in the Czech game.Up to that point they had played really well and the defense and goaltending was top notch.A little less bad luck and a few bounces and they could have taken the gold home.They were far more solid then the 1996 team in my opinion.

The 1981 team? Just had a terrible day (especially between the pipes) against a great,great team that you could not possibly afford to have a bad day against.Can happen to anyone, even those soviet teams(1980!!)If it had been a series it would have been different,they may not have won but it would have gone 6-7 games i think.That team had plenty of talent.


Last edited by espo*: 02-24-2005 at 04:24 PM.
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02-24-2005, 04:49 PM
  #3
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Yeah to me that '81 Canadian team was still very good. They beat the Russians 7-3 in the round robin but even in the semi finals they looked sluggish beating the Americans 4-1. By the time the final came they had one bad game and it cost them. Yes Mike Liut played like sin, and he was never given another chance by Canada even though he wasnt all to blame. Its easy to say now but Scotty Bowman should have put Billy Smith in there for the final game. It wouldnt have been 8-1 that's for sure. Even so that team had Gretzky, Bossy, Trottier, Lafluer, Dionne, Perreault and etc. not bad.

The '96 team was missing a bunch of guys. Lemieux, Bourque, Kariya, Roy, MacInnis, Francis. Put those guys in and it wouldnt have been even close against the Americans. But instead they had Graves, Linden, Primeau and C. Lemieux. Not to mention Cote, and Odelein on defense! Yikes. Not our best team, but they made the finals at least and if Richter hadnt of played out of this world they would have never lost. They still had Sakic, Lindros, Shanahan, Fleury, Yzerman all in their primes. And they still had Gretzky, Messier and Coffey as good players. Joseph played good in net too so this wasnt a bad team per se.

In '98 this was a really weird team. This was our worst I think. Not just because we didnt even make the final but who we were missing. Roy was good in net but everything else was just average. Pronger, Bourque, MacInnis, Stevens, Blake, Foote and Desjardins were a good defense. But how they left the free skating Niedermayer off that team on the open ice is anybody's guess.

Up front we were weak. Yzerman, Shanahan, Lindros, Fleury, Primeau, Brindamour, Linden, Recchi, Gretzky, Corson, Sakic, Zamuner and Nieuwendyk were the forwards. Kariya was injured and so was Sakic for the big games. If you take Sakic out of that mix there isnt very much speed on the open ice. Gretzky was still decent but Lindros never really took charge like they thought he would. A little more skill would have helped. Jeff Friesen's speed would have helped. Messier's leadership. Even Peca should have been there over Linden or Zamuner.

Yeap this is our worst team ever. Still some Hall of famers on the team but up front we were just weak. 22 shots against the Czechs in the semi final show how badly we needed offence. It was a bad time, Gretzky, Messier, Lemieux, and Coffey and co. were not great anymore and this was before Thornton, Lecavalier, Richards, Iginla came along. Bad timing. Not a great team.

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02-24-2005, 06:40 PM
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I'll say 96. CuJo was not up to the task and shouldn't have been selected above Roy or Brodeur (same goes for 2002)

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02-24-2005, 06:49 PM
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Big Phil said:

Its easy to say now but Scotty Bowman should have put Billy Smith in there for the final game. It wouldnt have been 8-1 that's for sure.

That may have been true, Big Phil, except for one problem. You may have forgotten that Billy Smith suffered a broken finger in the morning practice before Canada's third game of the round-robin against Czechoslovakia on Sept. 5 and was lost for the remainder of the Canada Cup tournament.

Team Canada had to emergency airlift Don Edwards in that same day to replace Smith on the roster. Under tournament rules, Canada Cup teams kept two goalies but an emergency reserve was allowed on the roster even though he couldn't remain on site even to practice. Fortunately, and even with the U.S. air traffic controllers' strike situation in progress, connections between Buffalo and Winnipeg (where the CAN-CZE game was being played that night) were in good shape and Edwards arrived in time for the game as the backup goalie.

Smith, who was a vocally reluctant backup man to Liut, got his wish -- the hard way through injury -- and headed back to Long Island to enjoy a vacation before his Islanders team opened camp.

By the way, Canada had to settle for a 4-4 tie against the Czechs. Two nights later, Canada defeated Sweden 4-3 but suffered another huge injury loss when they lost their points leader Gilbert Perreault to a broken ankle. In the next game on Sept. 9, Scotty Bowman said Don Edwards needed some work so he'd have some game conditions under his belt for the playoff round. Edwards went on to lead Canada to a 7-3 victory over the Soviets stopping 20 of 23 shots in his only appearance in net.

In the CC '81 playoffs, Liut stopped 16 of 17 American shots as Canada beat the U.S. 4-1, but then faltered in the final against USSR giving up 8 goals on just 26 Soviet shots. In the round robin portion, Liut had a 2.50 GAA in 4 gp (240 minutes) surrendering just 10 goals against, but in the 2 playoff games Liut's GAA swelled to 4.50 giving up 9 goals in 120 minutes of play.

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02-24-2005, 07:20 PM
  #6
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Which team had Zaumner? I'm too lazy to look it up right now.

That team would get my vote.

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02-24-2005, 07:35 PM
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Pavel asked:
Which team had Zamuner?

Robbie Zamuner played on Canada's '98 Olympic team at Nagano, where he scored one goal in 6 games as a 4th line left wing and primarily used as a penalty killer.

Zamuner had won a gold medal with Canada at the '97 World Championship in Finland where he scored 4 goals and 2 assists in 11 games. And also had just completed his best offensive season with Tampa Bay in '96-'97 with 17 goals and 50 points.

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02-25-2005, 01:45 PM
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I've seen some decent arguments against the 98 team but i still have to go with 96 as the weakest myself.Our defense and goaltending in 98 was superior,granted 96 offense was better but i still think a little overrated.A lot of the core players were not in their prime such as Gretzky,Messier,Coffey,etc,we missed Kariya and Mario and Bourque a lot. I think the 98 team could have beaten them.We also scored just fine and often enough in all our other games in 98 just not the Czech game and that had a lot to do with not being able to adjust to the fairly new tight trap system the Czechs were playing at that time(hell,they were hoping for a shootout!!)they might have had only 20 shots themself in that game themselves) and not having Kariya and Sakic on board for that game. People make too much about that teams lack of offense when situations and bad luck had a lot to do with it imo.It was a solid team that was'nt really outplayed by anybody.....the 1996 yeam definately was.

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02-25-2005, 01:55 PM
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96 World Cup

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02-25-2005, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksfan
Canada has had some great teams in best on best tournaments but what team was their worst?

1998 - Canada started off in Nagano great but then they played the Czechs. They lost in the shootout and again lost in the Bronze medal game to Finland. This was Canada's worst finish ever in best on best tournaments.

I think the worst team is the 1998 team. Their offence wasn't that great.
The 1998 team was much more impressive than the 2002, team during the round-robin. Hasek stole the game from them with a great performance

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02-25-2005, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
The 1998 team was much more impressive than the 2002, team during the round-robin. Hasek stole the game from them with a great performance
A fact that was too often overlooked in the outcry after that series. We got it back this year though-Czech deserved to beat Canada in the semis, and Luongo, although letting in a softy, won it for us.

The OT in that Czech game was just unreal. Czech was just trying to get to the shootout. They won, but flip the goalies, and Canada would have won. Roy played well, but Hasek was unreal.

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02-25-2005, 04:47 PM
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Canada's worst team ?

The Leafs of the 1980s and the next 10 years ???

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02-25-2005, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksfan
I think the worst team is the 1998 team. Their offence wasn't that great.
If we look at the team's overall game, and not the results of a shootout, I think the 1998 Team Canada surpasses the 2002 team in every way.

I mean look at the round robin games in 1998 and 2002 :

1998 : 3-0-0 (with wins against Sweden, USA and Belarus)
2002 : 1-1-1 (with a big loss to Sweden, a late tie against the Czechs and a very poor outing against Germany, 3-2)

The 1998 team got to face Hasek in a shootout, it explains a lot.
The 2002 team faced no opposition in the semis ... only Belarus. The 2002 Olympics were just about one game for Canada, and that was the final.

So what I'm trying to say is that results are often deceiving, especially when you've got single game elimination playoff rounds.

In my opinion the 2002 team was the worst. And I did see the 1981 team get banged 8-1 ... but they were still playing well.


Last edited by wilka91: 02-25-2005 at 09:09 PM.
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02-25-2005, 11:04 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilka91
If we look at the team's overall game, and not the results of a shootout, I think the 1998 Team Canada surpasses the 2002 team in every way.

I mean look at the round robin games in 1998 and 2002 :

1998 : 3-0-0 (with wins against Sweden, USA and Belarus)
2002 : 1-1-1 (with a big loss to Sweden, a late tie against the Czechs and a very poor outing against Germany, 3-2)

The 1998 team got to face Hasek in a shootout, it explains a lot.
The 2002 team faced no opposition in the semis ... only Belarus. The 2002 Olympics were just about one game for Canada, and that was the final.

So what I'm trying to say is that results are often deceiving, especially when you've got single game elimination playoff rounds.

n my opinion the 2002 team was the worst. And I did see the 1981 team get banged 8-1 ... but they were still playing well.
Gotta disagree,they had difficulty gelling at the start but after the Finland game i knew no-one was likely to beat them.They had a tough game against the Fins and still handled them.They ran over the states in the final and the states had played as well as anybody up to that point.By the final game everyone on that team knew their roles,had come together and were too good to lose.You underestimate that team.

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02-26-2005, 02:12 PM
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The Toronto Maple Leafs :lol , I misunderstood the question .

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02-26-2005, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilka91
The 1998 team got to face Hasek in a shootout, it explains a lot.
It doesn't explain why they were outshot 27-20, though. Hasek was good, but Roy kept Canada in the game at all.

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02-26-2005, 03:05 PM
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The 98 team. I still don't understand how they could lose against the Finns for the bronze.

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02-26-2005, 08:53 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jekoh
It doesn't explain why they were outshot 27-20, though. Hasek was good, but Roy kept Canada in the game at all.
Sure but in last year's World Cup the Czechs outshot Canada 40-24!!!

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02-27-2005, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH
Canada's worst team ?

The Leafs of the 1980s and the next 10 years ???
Don't you mean the 70's?

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02-27-2005, 02:59 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilka91
If we look at the team's overall game, and not the results of a shootout, I think the 1998 Team Canada surpasses the 2002 team in every way.

I mean look at the round robin games in 1998 and 2002 :

1998 : 3-0-0 (with wins against Sweden, USA and Belarus)
2002 : 1-1-1 (with a big loss to Sweden, a late tie against the Czechs and a very poor outing against Germany, 3-2)

The 1998 team got to face Hasek in a shootout, it explains a lot.
The 2002 team faced no opposition in the semis ... only Belarus. The 2002 Olympics were just about one game for Canada, and that was the final.

So what I'm trying to say is that results are often deceiving, especially when you've got single game elimination playoff rounds.

In my opinion the 2002 team was the worst. And I did see the 1981 team get banged 8-1 ... but they were still playing well.
I disagree. The 2002 team played horrible against Sweden. Joseph had a bad game and Sweden really played well. After that loss and when Quinn put Brodeur in, the team played a lot better. Granted, they just beat Germany 3-2 but Canada seems to have a hard time sometimes against the Germans. They tied a great Czech team, and in the third period I think that is when you could see that this team isn't going to lose.

They beat an American team that hadn't lost in the tournament and also the Americans had never lost a hockey game in the olympics on their soil.

The 2002 team started off slowly. Even if Sweden didn't choke I can't see them beating Canada twice in the same tournament.Sweden usually does poorly in the medal rounds. The 2002 team got better after ever game.

The 1998 team had a great round robin but when they faced a challenge in the Czechs they chocked. They didn't have the offence that the 2002 team had. They also lost to Finland in the Bronze medal game, a team that was missing Selanne.

You are comparing Round Robin games and that is unfair to do imo. You can say that Team Sweden 2002 was better than Team Canada 2002. Sweden went 3-0 but when they chocked against Belarus that record is meaningless.

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