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In the semi, Canada was hanging by a thread. Why?

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11-20-2010, 12:37 PM
  #1
Anderson9
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In the semi, Canada was hanging by a thread. Why?

I still remember that early Saturday morning. Canada were sitting comfortably on a three-nothing lead, already seeing themselves in the final when Slovakia began to speed it up slowly but surely. Even two incompetent Russian broadcasters noticed the change. Team Canada didn’t seem to. Then midway through the third session - yesss! Slovakia scores. Normally, it's no big deal, with such a comfie 2 goal cushion. But Canada somehow was degraded into a torpor, their star players looking like pylons especially in the final minutes they were in utter panic as the Slovaks idiotically missed two perfect scoring chances of forcing overtime.
Two qstns naturally arise:
Coould the leading team have escaped that humiliating last-minute agony if competently coached?
If Demitra had scored in the dying minutes, who would have won afterwards?


Last edited by Anderson9: 11-22-2010 at 07:26 AM.
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11-20-2010, 12:51 PM
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the edler
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a 3-0 lead can misdirect you

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11-20-2010, 12:52 PM
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Hollywood Burrows
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The Canadian players were just trying to give the fans a bit of entertainment for their money. Those tickets were very expensive.

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11-20-2010, 01:27 PM
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Anderson9
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Get serious, it's getting late in Moscow Surrendering the lead and/or agonzing in the closing minutes looks increasingly like a Canadian disease. Check recent history, in case youre so blissfully forgetful.

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11-20-2010, 01:32 PM
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SidGenoMario
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All hockey teams do this inadvertently, I don't remember them starting to play the trap or intentionally saying "We got this cased, let's save some energy for the gold medal," it's just human nature I guess. The side that's suddenly faced with extinction will naturally be flying out there.

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11-20-2010, 01:59 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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It was the Jacques Lemaire trap in action (remember he and Ken Hitchcock were Babcock's assistants), and I don't think the conseverative trap works with no red line - it definitely slows down the opponent's offense, but not as much as the team running it is sacrificing. Just my opinion from watching post lockout hockey. But you also saw Canada collapse into a shell in the Gold medal game about the US and it did actually cost them.

But just like Canada recovered in OT against the US, they may very well have recovered if Slovakia had forced OT.

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11-20-2010, 06:45 PM
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Hardyvan123
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Lou was hardly the answer in net, luckily Demitra missed and the Canadians had the clock on their side

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11-20-2010, 11:07 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Lou was hardly the answer in net, luckily Demitra missed and the Canadians had the clock on their side
If I remember correctly he got a piece of that Demitra shot at the end didn't he?

Yeah that game all of the sudden went from a comfortable lead to a nail biter within minutes. My heart didn't need that. It happens and give the Slovaks credit. Hey what can you say the 1976 Canada Cup team beat the USA 4-2. Not bad right? Well not all that cushy when you consider Sittler notched an empty netter. And has anyone seriously seen the roster for the 1976 Canada team? (of course you have)

Yeah I don't know about the 2010 team. Great, great team and they absolutely humiliated the Russians in a retro 1981 Canada Cup way. But then narrow victories against Slovakia and USA. This team is a team loaded with future HHOFers (much like 1976) and we'll look back on this roster and wonder why they didn't shellack much weaker US and Slovak teams.

Oh well, we won and let's face it for the next 50 years everyone will remember where they were when Crosby scored. Had he scored on that breakaway earlier in the 3rd period or had Heatley buried what looked like a sure goal it would have been nice but not universally remembered so I guess thats better

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11-21-2010, 06:08 AM
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Canucks5551
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Lou was hardly the answer in net, luckily Demitra missed and the Canadians had the clock on their side
Luongo saved that shot.

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11-21-2010, 06:27 AM
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Maybe Canada should try Russia's approach, get walked all over and humiliated until the opposing team has a 5 goal lead, and try to come back.

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11-21-2010, 08:22 AM
  #11
Theokritos
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It happens. 3-0 in the last period, the game seems to be as good as over - but hockey is such a fast game, the opponent manages to score twice in a minute and all of a sudden it becomes a nail-biter. Remember Canada's second game in the 2002 Olympics? Canada outshot Germany, after two periodes the score was 3-0, the game looked like a cakewalk, but what happened? Germany scored twice in the last period, making it 3-2 with six minutes left to play. From cakewalk to nailbiter, within minutes. Pretty much like the Semi against Slovakia in 2010.

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11-21-2010, 12:03 PM
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Big Phil
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If God is a kind God he'll keep Ken Hitchcock and Lemaire away from future Olympic teams though. I know Babcock was the coach but the influence of Hitchcock and Lemaire was not something I agreed with.

Remember the 2008 World Championships? Gold Medal game. Canada vs. Russia. Canada has a 4-2 lead going into the third. They are flying out there. Lots of Canadians decide to play because the tournament is in Quebec City. We have Heatley, Staal, Toews, Getzlaf, Spezza etc. All they had to do was keep the pedal to the medal. Instead Hitchcock has that talent laden team sit back and play defense against the likes of Ovechkin and Kovalchuk. They tie the game and win it in overtime. Canada loses. When a coach has to put his stamp of approval on the game rather than the whole "if it aint broke don't fix it" approach then you run into problems.

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11-21-2010, 01:13 PM
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Hardyvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canucks5551 View Post
Luongo saved that shot.
I was referring to not scoring and yes Lou got a piece of it, Demitra one timed it not in the best spot but it was Lou's shaky play up until that point that allowed the Slovaks back into the game IMO.

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11-21-2010, 01:14 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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I agree with Hardyvan about Canada's shaky goaltending. Canada really won the Gold Medal despite their goaltending (usually a team strength), not because of it.

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11-21-2010, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I agree with Hardyvan about Canada's shaky goaltending. Canada really won the Gold Medal despite their goaltendng (usually a team strength), not because of it.
I agree also. IMO, they also won in 2002 despite their goaltending.We never saw Joseph after the first game and In the Canada/USA gold medal game, I only remember one big save by Brodeur.

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11-21-2010, 01:23 PM
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the edler
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Remember the 2008 World Championships? Gold Medal game. Canada vs. Russia. Canada has a 4-2 lead going into the third. They are flying out there. Lots of Canadians decide to play because the tournament is in Quebec City. We have Heatley, Staal, Toews, Getzlaf, Spezza etc. All they had to do was keep the pedal to the medal. Instead Hitchcock has that talent laden team sit back and play defense against the likes of Ovechkin and Kovalchuk. They tie the game and win it in overtime. Canada loses. When a coach has to put his stamp of approval on the game rather than the whole "if it aint broke don't fix it" approach then you run into problems.
i remember that final, but only the swedish ref and the first period, he was so atrociously pro-canada i couldn't watch more as i was too embarassed

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11-21-2010, 01:36 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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I agree also. IMO, they also won in 2002 despite their goaltending.We never saw Joseph after the first game and In the Canada/USA gold medal game, I only remember one big save by Brodeur.
You aren't necessarily wrong, but I think you are probably in the minority about that. The 2002 Olympics seemed to transform Brodeur into a Canadian hero, like the 2010 Olympics did to Crosby. He seemed to overnight go from being severely underrated (product of the system my ass) to probably being slightly overrated.

In my personal opinion, I thought Brodeur's calm play was really a steadying influence on Canada in 2002. In 2010, Luongo seemed to really feel the pressure and start fighting the puck as soon as he let in the first goal. Lots of really bad rebounds. The NBC announcers actually said that Luongo looked really shaky and if they were Slovakia, they'd just keep putting shots on net because something good was bound to happen.

And as far as early failures go, I think 2010 Brodeur was worse than 2002 Cujo. He was slumping going into the Olympics, and I think he bought into the hype too much about how unstoppable he'd be without the trapezoid and went around trying to do too much.

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11-22-2010, 09:59 AM
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Anderson9
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
In my personal opinion, I thought Brodeur's calm play was really a steadying influence on Canada in 2002. In 2010, Luongo seemed to really feel the pressure and start fighting the puck as soon as he let in the first goal. Lots of really bad rebounds. The NBC announcers actually said that Luongo looked really shaky and if they were Slovakia, they'd just keep putting shots on net because something good was bound to happen
That much is only partly true about a shakey Luongo. However, I tend to put it down to some Slovakian game plan according to which Canada, who had naturally hit an emotional slump after beating Russia was much less alert to lower-seeded Slovakia. Their game boiled down to preventing a Canada runaway early on. Even if they'd scored when 2-0 down, Canada may have rallied for a couple of more goals. Trailing three-nil to a blasť Canada in the 3rd looked like the perfect option for the Slovaks and their soporific strategy. Not Luongo, the whole Canada lineup was rendered helpless once Slovalia picked up the pace. That Hansus goal never looked out of context. From that point on, panic, panic, panic and an enormous amount of luck in the final seconds.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
If I remember correctly he got a piece of that Demitra shot at the end didn't he? Yeah that game all of the sudden went from a comfortable lead to a nail biter within minutes. My heart didn't need that. It happens and give the Slovaks credit. Hey what can you say the 1976 Canada Cup team beat the USA 4-2. Not bad right? Well not all that cushy when you consider Sittler notched an empty netter. And has anyone seriously seen the roster for the 1976 Canada team?
Big Phil, far as I remember, that CC game in the round robin wasn't much of a nail-biter and Canada did at least force a turnover in their own end before Sittler scored an emty-netter. In the Olympic semifinal, Canada were too dumbfounded to gain possession in the final minutes. Add to it some utter stupidity chanted by the Vancouver crowd, sth like, "Bring On USA" or "We Want USA" which could have caught the ear of some Slovaks whose English wasn't too bad...


Last edited by Anderson9: 11-22-2010 at 10:12 AM.
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Old
11-22-2010, 01:45 PM
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I don't think I'd be able to stop myself from trolling all the Canadien posters had Slovakia actually turned around that game.

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11-22-2010, 02:22 PM
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NOTENOUGHBREWER
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Has goaltending really been a team strength for Canada the past decade or so?

Thats probably a totally different topic.

For the question at hand I think the easiest answer is that throughout the entire tournament it was only the Russia game where I thought the majority of the team played well. Most of the other victories seemed to me it one line carrying the show and a few of the defenders playing great. Very rarely did the entire team put in a good performance.

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11-22-2010, 02:24 PM
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Big Phil
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I agree also. IMO, they also won in 2002 despite their goaltending.We never saw Joseph after the first game and In the Canada/USA gold medal game, I only remember one big save by Brodeur.
Gotta agree with another post countering this one. Brodeur made one of the most clutch saves of all time on Hull late in the game. After that, Sakic, Yzerman (out of the box) and Iginla marched down and scored to make it 4-2. Other than that he made a good save on Roenick in the first period when the USA had a 1-0 lead, although the puck dangerously nearly went in. Yeah other than that he didn't make any big saves, but Canada outplayed the USA by a fair margin in that game so he didn't have to stand on his head. But that last save.......

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Old
11-24-2010, 12:55 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by TOOMUCHBREWER View Post
Has goaltending really been a team strength for Canada the past decade or so?

Thats probably a totally different topic.

For the question at hand I think the easiest answer is that throughout the entire tournament it was only the Russia game where I thought the majority of the team played well. Most of the other victories seemed to me it one line carrying the show and a few of the defenders playing great. Very rarely did the entire team put in a good performance.
What do you mean team strength ? The strongest position, or they're solid at it ?

Anyways, unless Canada is playing the US, Russia and even Sweden they don't really care and think they'll win just by showing up. Hell, against the aforementioned teams they tend to think showing up and playing hard for a couple of shifts will deter the other team.

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