After Team Canada won the final gold medal that was up for grabs at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games against Team Sweden, the hockey-obsessed nation once again solidified themselves as the world’s ultimate hockey power. Throughout the tournament, it seemed as though teams such as Sweden, Team Finland and even Team USA had caught up to them in regards to pure talent level. That may indeed be so, however, it was the way the Canadians managed to dictate their opponents play that sets them apart from every other nation in the world that has a passion for the fastest game on ice.
It’s very easy for Canada’s many critics to come out and say that USA didn’t play well against the Canadians in their semifinal matchup this past Friday. It’s probably even easier for them to state the claim that Sweden didn’t bring anything to the table in the gold medal final and that’s why Canada won a second straight gold medal in Olympic men’s ice hockey. The fact of the matter is that Canada played a style of hockey that wouldn’t allow these two very talented hockey clubs to play their game and even get a chance to get organized on the ice.
The Canadian defense was absolutely flawless. Led by NHL stars Duncan Keith and Shea Weber, Canada only managed to give up a total of three goals in six games played. Not only was the Canadian defense stingy in regards to the momentum they allowed their opponents to gain, they were also able to help put the puck in the back of the net. Both Weber and Drew Doughty combined for a total of 12 points in six games to help overcome every single team they faced in the tournament. The defense conquered at both ends of the ice.
Although Canada as a whole only scored a total of 16 goals in six games played, their cycling of the puck and their ability to always have fresh legs on the ice was absolutely relentless and proved to be frustrating for their opponents. The forwards weren’t flashy, they were stable and consistent. They were on each and every puck at every moment of every game. They didn’t need to score five plus goals a game to come out on top, and that’s what makes Team Canada such a fantastic hockey club. They play a brand of hockey that is so complete that no matter who they face, they manage to come out of the game victorious.
After winning the gold medal for a second straight Olympics, Canada’s hockey supremacy is truly alive and well. The way they play the game is like no other international team in the world and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Hockey isn’t a game in Canada — it’s a passion and an identity. They clearly are the best hockey nation in the world, and although there are many other countries that exemplify a great amount of talent, nobody executes a game plan like the Canadians. They play and coach as if they are a well-oiled machine. They play a brand of hockey that is nothing short of perfection, and that perfection has once again proven to only be as good as gold.