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Does Canada ever lose a major tournament with Mario Lemieux playing in all of them?

View Poll Results: Does Canada ever lose a major tournament with Mario Lemieux playing in all of them?
Mario helps Canada win in 1996 and 1998 and they don't lose until 2006 22 59.46%
They win in 1996 but not 1998 9 24.32%
They win in 1998 but lose in 1996 0 0%
Mario doesn't make a difference in either tournament and Canada still loses 6 16.22%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
11-03-2012, 04:47 PM
  #26
Mr Kanadensisk
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The 1998 team was pretty poorly put together IMO and still almost won. If Mario helps them win, maybe Canada doesn't make adjustments and loses in 2002. It's not like 2002 was a blowout
In a way I agree with you that winning the previous best on best is not always an advantage going into the next tournament. When you win people almost feel obligated to bring back most of the team, coaches etc for the next tournament, whereas when you lose you have a clean slate the next time. Canada has won back to back best on bests in '84, '87, '91 and in '02, '04 but it certainly is not easy to do.

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Old
11-04-2012, 08:44 AM
  #27
tony d
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Option 1. I think Mario helps them win both in 1996 and 1998.

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Old
11-04-2012, 02:00 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by leeaf83 View Post
2002 and 2004 Gretzky GM and Quinn coaching, neither ran canada again (elite level) 2006 that crew lost and none returned for 2010
Ken Hitchcock was an Assistant Coach of Canada's Olympic teams in 2002 & 2006, along with the same job at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. He was the only one who was apart of Team Canada 2010.

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11-04-2012, 02:54 PM
  #29
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I know this is extremely hard for most Europeans to understand but for most Canadian hockey fans the Canada Cup / World Cup prior to '98 was just a big a deal as the '98 Olympics.
Maybe so, but in general (not just hockey), the Olympics stand out. You could probably find some guys in grass skirts deep in the Congo who have still heard of the Olympics... or some Eskimoes who have never heard of Mario who know what they Olympics are.

I'm just saying, for a player who had never played in the Olympics, who had a chance to play the next year in the first best-on-best Olympic hockey tournament, with the chance for Canada to win its first gold medal hockey since the 50s... well, it seems like that would be a lot to pass up for a player if he really thought he could play another season.

Maybe it wasn't important to him, maybe he thought Canada would win in a cakewalk, maybe he just wanted to be with his family or had a critical top secret mission to attend to... IDK, I was just curious after thinking about it.

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11-04-2012, 05:56 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Maybe so, but in general (not just hockey), the Olympics stand out. You could probably find some guys in grass skirts deep in the Congo who have still heard of the Olympics... or some Eskimoes who have never heard of Mario who know what they Olympics are.

I'm just saying, for a player who had never played in the Olympics, who had a chance to play the next year in the first best-on-best Olympic hockey tournament, with the chance for Canada to win its first gold medal hockey since the 50s... well, it seems like that would be a lot to pass up for a player if he really thought he could play another season.

Maybe it wasn't important to him, maybe he thought Canada would win in a cakewalk, maybe he just wanted to be with his family or had a critical top secret mission to attend to... IDK, I was just curious after thinking about it.
There is some truth to this, I think. Roy and Bourque both skipped out on Canada Cups but went to the 1998 Olympics. That may be partially due to the timing of those respective tournaments, but who knows. Obviously Roy's interest waned by 2002.

One thing that I disagree with though is that the players cared about the long gap between Olympic gold medals. I honestly never met a person who cared about how long Canada had gone without gold in Olympic hockey prior to 1998 when the best Canadians actually started going.

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Old
11-04-2012, 09:38 PM
  #31
Mr Kanadensisk
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Maybe so, but in general (not just hockey), the Olympics stand out. You could probably find some guys in grass skirts deep in the Congo who have still heard of the Olympics... or some Eskimoes who have never heard of Mario who know what they Olympics are.

I'm just saying, for a player who had never played in the Olympics, who had a chance to play the next year in the first best-on-best Olympic hockey tournament, with the chance for Canada to win its first gold medal hockey since the 50s... well, it seems like that would be a lot to pass up for a player if he really thought he could play another season.

Maybe it wasn't important to him, maybe he thought Canada would win in a cakewalk, maybe he just wanted to be with his family or had a critical top secret mission to attend to... IDK, I was just curious after thinking about it.
I'm pretty sure there have been many times where professional athletes took a pass on going to the Olympics. In hockey Nikolai Khabibulin comes to mind in 1998 and if I'm not mistaken Sami Kapanen also took a pass in 2006, P Roy in 2002, Miikka Kiprusoff is another. If Mario was an active player in 98 he might have gone but I can't see it having any impact on his decision to retire.


Last edited by Mr Kanadensisk: 11-04-2012 at 09:50 PM.
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Old
11-05-2012, 02:32 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony d View Post
Option 1. I think Mario helps them win both in 1996 and 1998.
I do believe in 96 for sure. 98.. do they get past Hasek with him? Maybe, but Hasek was just that good in 98 so it could really go either way.

Canada did win in 02 with Mario in the team but I do think bigger ice surely is a bigger factor than some might think, maybe that is just me but I really do think it. I do to this day still believe that Sweden would have won the 2002 if they didnt crap the bed against Belarus, but they did and they've got no one but them selves to blame for it.

What do you think, do Sweden get past Belarus and win the Olympics in 2002 with a healthy Peter Forsberg ? He came and won the MVP just the year after so he was surely in his prime at the time.

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Old
11-06-2012, 09:43 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by cam042686 View Post
Mario played super in the 1985 World Championships and helped Canada upset USSR 3-1 in the semi-finals- the first time Canada beat the Soviets in the WC's since 1961. But even with Mario, Canada lost to the Czechs in the Gold Medal game and only won Silver. Mario then refused to play for Canada in the 1985,86, and 89 WC's. If he is playing does he help Canada win Gold?

Craig Wallace
Probably they would have won the 89 WC with Lemieux. That team had Anderson, Fuhr, Messier, Yzerman, and won the silver. Lemieux would have put them over the top.

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Old
11-07-2012, 12:03 AM
  #34
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by vippe View Post
I do believe in 96 for sure. 98.. do they get past Hasek with him? Maybe, but Hasek was just that good in 98 so it could really go either way.

Canada did win in 02 with Mario in the team but I do think bigger ice surely is a bigger factor than some might think, maybe that is just me but I really do think it. I do to this day still believe that Sweden would have won the 2002 if they didnt crap the bed against Belarus, but they did and they've got no one but them selves to blame for it.

What do you think, do Sweden get past Belarus and win the Olympics in 2002 with a healthy Peter Forsberg ? He came and won the MVP just the year after so he was surely in his prime at the time.
I doubt it. Sweden has a long history of doing well in the preliminary games but choking in the important games. It can go back the 1984 Canada Cup. Not to mention a whole slew of World Junior tournaments. Canada progressed and got better and better as the 2002 Olympics went on. That team was almost like a well oiled machine by the time they met the Americans in the gold medal game. I can't imagine Tommy Salo standing on his head to beat Canada in the clinching game. Early on in the game Mike Richter had to stand on his head to prevent a blowout.

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11-07-2012, 09:36 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I doubt it. Sweden has a long history of doing well in the preliminary games but choking in the important games. It can go back the 1984 Canada Cup. Not to mention a whole slew of World Junior tournaments. Canada progressed and got better and better as the 2002 Olympics went on. That team was almost like a well oiled machine by the time they met the Americans in the gold medal game. I can't imagine Tommy Salo standing on his head to beat Canada in the clinching game. Early on in the game Mike Richter had to stand on his head to prevent a blowout.
Yeah i almost felt sorry for the US team in that final. Full of stars but neutralized by Canadas even bigger stars.

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11-07-2012, 01:54 PM
  #36
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Mario would have been great in '98, but Hasek was out of this world.

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11-07-2012, 03:10 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I doubt it. Sweden has a long history of doing well in the preliminary games but choking in the important games. It can go back the 1984 Canada Cup. Not to mention a whole slew of World Junior tournaments. Canada progressed and got better and better as the 2002 Olympics went on. That team was almost like a well oiled machine by the time they met the Americans in the gold medal game. I can't imagine Tommy Salo standing on his head to beat Canada in the clinching game. Early on in the game Mike Richter had to stand on his head to prevent a blowout.
Yeah perhaps, we will never know. But I also think the final game was the only game that Canada played really well during the entire tournament. But as you said.. best when it counted. Still believe it though

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11-07-2012, 04:29 PM
  #38
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It certainly wouldn't have hurt Canada to have Lemieux in '98, but can't say much more than that about the final result. The Czechs were playing really well as a team defensively and Hasek was at his peak. They outshot the Canadians and Lindros tied it up near the end of regulation. Maybe Lemieux's line ties it up before that or instead of Lindros, but I see it probably still going to a shootout. That would mean Lemieux would have to score on the shootout for it go to extra shooters. I just don't see Lemieux, at 32 and playing his third straight full NHL season (something he hadn't done since '88-90), being enough to turn the tide in regulation or OT. Again, the only time Canada scored was near the end of regulation when they really had nothing to lose by going all-out offensively, so it's difficult to see Lemieux's line being responsible for two goals in that context... but then he was Super Mario, so anything's possible.

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11-07-2012, 05:07 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by vippe View Post
Yeah perhaps, we will never know. But I also think the final game was the only game that Canada played really well during the entire tournament. But as you said.. best when it counted. Still believe it though
If Sweden gets Forsberg and does not implode against Belarus I would give them a very good chance against Canada. The beatdown in the first game was worse than the score indicates.

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11-13-2012, 04:39 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
If Sweden gets Forsberg and does not implode against Belarus I would give them a very good chance against Canada. The beatdown in the first game was worse than the score indicates.
you're an excellent poster, Jack, and I think you might be right about this one. While it is very hard to beat an elite team twice in a short tourney, it is not inconceivable that sweden could've beat canada 2x in 2002. Canada was a pretty vulnerable hockey club: a little too old, a little too porous on the back-end, weak head coaching - and there were teams, like sweden and the russians, that would have been bad stylistic matchups. Still, if canada brings their A game, I think they might well edge the swedes out - mostly because swedish teams tend to gag in the big moments (though, as we know, canadian junior teams have done that recently, too).

In any case, mario is likely the diff in 1996 and, in 1998, it's a toss-up; I honestly don't know if he drags canada across the finish line since, frankly, the 1998 russian olympic team was everything canada didn't want: really fast, really explosive, and very good goaltending of their own. Canada would have been better with the big fellow present - but not sure he's the ultimate difference-maker.


Last edited by whatsupcomrade*: 11-13-2012 at 04:42 AM. Reason: added thought
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Old
11-13-2012, 05:51 AM
  #41
GWOW
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In 1996, Canada could have had the ghost of Rocket Richard, a prime Mario and 1972 Bobby Orr with a jet pack strapped to his back.

Nobody was beating Richter that series.

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11-13-2012, 09:08 AM
  #42
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Niedermayer captained Team Canada to gold in 2010, and was a top player on their previous gold medal championship in 2002. Niedermayer was inexplicably left off of the 1998 team, and was injured in 2006. Canada did not step on the podium without him.
http://njdevilslegends.blogspot.com/...edermayer.html

Maybe Scott was the real X factor in Canadian Olympic gold from 1998-2010.

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