Despite their slow start against a speedy team from Norway, Team Canada was able to get a 3-1 win in their first game of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. It’s no surprise that the Canadian team took a little while to come together and put the puck in the Norwegian net as they continue to try to create a sense of cohesiveness amongst each other and figure out how to deal with the immense pressure of being a player on Canada’s most important team.
It’s well known around the world that hockey is regarded as much more than a sport in Canada. It’s a religion. It’s a nationality. It’s an obsession. The anxiety currently being experienced by Canadian hockey fans all around the world can be felt from miles away leading up to any sort of international competition, and it’s obviously no different this time around at the Sochi Olympics.
The players who have been given the task to defend the Men’s Ice Hockey gold medal in Sochi, Russia are under an amount of pressure that is only comparable to the weight of an entire country. Canada as a whole expects nothing but gold when it comes to hockey and would rather not even speak of the other two medals that are up for grabs in the tournament.
Some may think that this type of immeasurable pressure is an unfair undertaking for the likes of Canadian captain Sidney Crosby. However, the members of the star-studded Canadian team have no choice but to welcome the pressure and use it as motivation as they journey towards that coveted gold medal game on the final day of the Sochi Olympics in Russia.
Team Canada’s general manager, Steve Yzerman, is confident that he was able to put together a roster that would not only be able to conquer what they go up against on the ice but also be comfortable with dealing with the fact that they are under such an enormous microscope. Team Canada veterans Shea Weber, Jonathan Toews and Roberto Luongo help solidify a lineup that should be able to skate their way to victory despite carrying the weight of Canada’s great expectations on their shoulders.
The journey has begun, and as the days move forward for the Canadian Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey team the pressure they are under will only grow larger. That very pressure will be embraced as every player on their talented roster grew up with those same exact expectations for the Canadian teams that they had the pleasure of watching when they were growing up. Team Canada’s journey has begun, and whether or not it will be completed with the expected end result remains to be seen. However, if you ask any random Canadian what they think will happen they will be the first to tell you that there is only one thing that can happen: Gold.