Gold Again

Anybody remember a few years back when Hockey Canada decided to hold a hockey summit due to our country's poor performance at the olympics? They called on "hockey experts" from around Canada and got their opinions on how we could improve on the training and preparation to achieve international success. I kind of made fun of the whole idea at the time thinking that this was just a ploy aimed at letting the irate Canadian public know that the olympic disgrace would not be tolerated and changes to ensure success would be made. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but the success our hockey teams have enjoyed since that summit is unparalleld. We now hold every major international gold medal at the same time: Men's and Women's Olympic Hockey, Men's and Women's World Championship, the World Cup, and now the World Junior Championship.

Not only did Canada win gold at the World Juniors, they dominated the tournament like no other team before. The team went a perfect 6-0, and did not trail a game at any time. They played a very good Russian team, who happen to have the #1 and #2 picks from last years draft, and blew them out of the rink in the final 6-1. I have never seen a team defence at any level of hockey as strong as the one Canada iced in this tournament, and the skill of the forwards could not be matched even if an all star team of the rest was made to play against them. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the physical pounding our boys put on the cocky Russians, forcing their panzy captain Ovechkin to quit in the 2nd period. The attention to detail by the Canadians through out this tournament was amazing. With a Memorial Cup and World Junior gold under his belt now, Brent Sutter can pretty much coach wherever he wants to.

After watching another great international hockey tournament it makes me realize why I hate the NHL so much. It's nice to watch a game where the obstruction penalties are actually called, and there is no red line allowing for a wide open exciting brand of hockey. This tournament is always the best hockey of the year in my opinion. Wayne Gretzky was there and helped hand out the medals. It's nice to see him at events like this one, supporting our teams. Say what you want to about Gretzky, but I have alot of respect for the man. He could have just retired in Florida with his millions and totally not been involved with Canadian hockey in any capacity. After all, his kids are American. We still would have loved him in this country for everything he gave us when he was a player. But Gretzky refused to do that out of sheer love for Canada. It was Gretzky who said "the only thing that can beat skilled players is great skilled players". I guess we know which hockey nation is the reigning king of great skilled players at all levels. Enjoy this while it lasts Canadian hockey fans. Remember, we just recently ended gold medal droughts in all of these major international tournaments.

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