Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Canadian Junior loss has a silver lining

I don't mind when you get beat by a better team and last night's loss by Canada's Junior men's hockey team was just that. The Americans had more speed, more discipline, and more grit. But more important, the Americans had better goaltending.

In the four games played against opponents other than the U.S., Canada outscored the opposition 36-3. It appeared they had superb goaltending but as it turned out the results were skewed by weak opponents. A fairer test was the U.S. who managed 10 goals in the 2 games played. Clearly not good enough to win gold. In fact, had they not pulled out the win on New Years Eve, they may not have made it to the gold medal game. This is no knock on Jake Allen who is an excellent player but his glove hand failed him throughout the tournament.

Losing to a team like Team USA is no shame. Those were incredibly exciting and entertaining games. As well. winning 5 golds and 2 silvers over 7 World tournaments speaks volumes to Canada's outstanding Junior hockey program. I would doubt Canada's professional players could match that record.