February 08, 2010
Making Sense Of It All
There are two different senses about Team Canada and Team Russia here in Canada with Olympics just days away.
There seems to be this sense of great confidence, even invincibility about the Russians. They are a ridiculous offensive juggernaut with arguably the best goaltending in their country's history. They are led by the best player on the planet, but more importantly he has set the tone for the team. The Russians are coming all on the same page all with the same goal - win Olympic gold and open the Sochi 2014 Olympics as defending gold medal champions. It will be a great victory, and to do it on Canadian ice would be that much sweeter.
The sense of Team Canada here in Canada is not the same. It is a sense of nervousness, especially about the Russians. Winning the gold medal on home ice under so much pressure seems almost improbable, especially in such an unforgiving tournament set up. The sense is a gold would not be so much a great victory so much as a great relief. The players may not be uniformly driven to win so much as they are just trying to survive.
We better not forget Sweden, USA, Finland, Slovakia and Czech Republic in all of this, as they all have their own golden aspirations. One thing is for sure - no matter who wins, hockey is the winner.