What to take from Gemany’s upset win over Canada
If you were one of the dedicated fans up for 7:10am this morning, then you witnessed first hand the disappointing result that the rest of Canada woke up to news of. In the semi-final at the Olympics, the Canadians came up short in their quest for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal after losing to Germany 4-3. The Canadians can still earn a bronze medal with a win against the Czechs tomorrow, but in the eyes of most, anything less than gold is a disappointment.
As shocking as the result looks, you have to remember that this Canadian team was never built to be dominant. Without NHL players it was a team made up of scrap parts and NHL players who are no longer talented enough to compete in North America. Then, add in the fact that Ben Scrivens missed the game with an injury, forcing Canada to rely on Kevin Poulin. And finally, one of Canada’s top forwards, Gilbert Brule, was ejected for an illegal hit to the head of Germany’s David Wolf about halfway through the game. When you put all of this together it was a recipe for disaster for the Canadians, who fell behind early and were never able to find an equalizer.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort though. Canada managed 31 shots to Germany’s 15 including only 1 in the 3rd period, but German goalie Danny aus den Birken had one of the best performances of the Olympics. At the other end of the ice Poulin was off his game, allowing 4 goals with a save percentage of just .733%.
No matter who is on the team, expectations are always high for Team Canada when it comes to hockey. Even without NHL players, many were still optimistic about the chances of another gold medal. But here’s why some of these nontraditional hockey countries had a better chance at the Olympics this year: they were still sending most of their top players. Look at Slovenia as an example. The only player they were missing was Anze Kopitar, and the rest of the team were actually their top players. Canada sent a group of players who no longer represent the best in the country, and have limited experience playing together in the past.
Playing for anything other than gold is something that we aren’t used to. It doesn’t feel right playing for bronze, but there is still a medal on the line. So while your first reaction might be to stop caring about hockey for the bronze medal game, remember that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a lot of Canadian athletes to earn an Olympic medal. Tune in, cheer for bronze, and hold your breath for NHL players to participate in the 2022 Olympics.