NHL Olympic Canadian Corner – February 17, 2014

Reaction to Canada’s overtime win over Finland and of the club’s performance thus far in the Sochi Olympics.

Drew Doughty (top) celebrates his overtime goal against Finland.

Drew Doughty (top) celebrates his overtime goal against Finland.

NHL.COM: Drew Doughty scored twice, including in overtime, to lift Canada to a 2-1 victory over Finland. Tuomo Ruutu scored for Finland. Canada will face the winner of the Switzerland-Latvia qualification game on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canada dominated the play throughout much of this game but the Finns’ defensive play in their own zone made quality scoring chances difficult to come by.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons was critical of the performance of Canada’s forwards thus far. The forwards have only five goals thus far while their defensemen (specifically Drew Doughty and Shea Weber) have six.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Roy MacGregor examines the difficulty the Canadian coaches are having in finding the right linemates for captain Sidney Crosby.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston notes Crosby may not be contributing on the scoreboard but he’s been invaluable in other ways, noting he hasn’t been on the ice for a goal-against.

NBC SPORTS: Canadian coach Mike Babcock defended his team, which went undefeated through the preliminaries. “No one ever seems to be happy with us”, said Babcock, referring to the criticism Canada always faces from the media at every international tournament.

NBC SPORTS: Canadian forward Matt Duchene was critical of what he considered uncalled obstruction in this tournament.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The concern over the lack of scoring from Canada’s forwards is justified, but many critics seem to be overlooking the fact the Canadians have dominated every game they’ve played thus far. They do have to try to adjust to the opposition all falling back to their blueline and taking away the slot. That means a lot of dump-and-chase and using the points to generate shots and scoring chances. So much for the big ice allowing for more offensive creativity and scoring.


  1. I disagree with Spectors note stating the Canadiens dominated every game they’ve played so far. They were extremely sloppy against Finland and were lucky to come out with win, their PP looked minor league at best. IMO.

    • That is a joke right? Their “sloppy minor league” powerplay is where Canada scored their goal against Finland, oh it was also their ONLY powerplay of the game. So going 1-1 on the powerplay equates to them being sloppy and that powerplay determined the outcome of the whole game because they could have scored, what 4 more goals on it?

      If you are going to criticize a game, watch the game or at least make a moderate effort to look up stats. The Finnish team did an amazing job defended during this game and Rask looked very good. The Canadians needed to find more ways to get into the slot area and pressure the puck close to the net and take advantage of the smaller Finnish forwwards, however it was clear they were worried about the speed of the Fins.

      Good hockey game, terrible comment.

      • @JJB, relax, I watched the game and saw it differently than you did, you must be a Canadien fan, I’m a USA fan. All I can say is the Canadiens have a great team and need to find a way to get more scoring chances, I didn’t think they were the better team that game.

  2. Price über Rask once again–not that Rask was bad.

  3. Canada’s lack of scoring and lack of good chances seems a little worrisome but at the end of the day they haven’t had to dig deep yet and that’s usually when you see the best come out of guys like Crosby. I’m sure things will come around as this elite group of goal scores adjust to the dump and chase game. I also believe these guys look at these Olympics as a 3 game tournament so until they play the quarter finals you probably won’t see 100% from most guys.

  4. Does it matter what Steve Simmons says? Its just an opinion not much better than the next guy, maybe even less considering its the Toronto market talking head (bubble).