Skip to main content

1991 Canada Cup

The Arrival Of A New Rival

The 1991 Canada Cup will not be remembered as being the best. The tournament was very different than all the other Canada Cups. The fall of communism in Eastern Europe saw a weakened Russian and Czechoslovakian squads both miss the playoffs. Also the United States emerged as the newest hockey power, and Finland, perennial basement dwellers, also emerged as a strong contender.

The 1991 Cup was definitely more "NHL" or "North American" in its style of play. Physical bumping and grinding combined with a defensive team approach was the name of the game for the successful teams in this tournament.

In 1987 Canada relied almost strictly on two lines, and more specifically on Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. This time Canada relied on its depth to outlast the opposition. Canada's great depth was besides the fact that Lemieux, Ray Bourque, Steve Yzerman, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy and Cam Neely all missed the tournament for various reasons.

Wayne Gretzky continued to prove he was the best player on the planet, although USA's Gary Suter also made a name for himself by cross checking The Great One into the boards causing Gretzky to miss a game due to back spasms. The check also would cause Gretzky's recurring back problems in the early 1990s.

Canada's two game sweep of the Americans reaffirmed Canada's dominance in international hockey. However the tournament served to highlight  the changing face of the game of hockey. The most exciting change is that parity began to creep into international hockey. No longer was it a battle between Canada and the Soviets for 1st and Sweden and CSSR for 3rd. Now the Americans had arrived as genuine threats, and Finland had its most successful tournament ever.

Another interesting change highlighted in this tournament was the rise to prominence of role players. Never before had the bangers and crashers ever been so important, and it continues to this day. Names like Fleury, Tocchet, Granato and Samuelsson were becoming superstars in their own right, and not because they lit up the scoreboard.

Finally, the 1991 Canada Cup will also be remembered for the unofficial arrival of Eric Lindros. Though just 18 and still in junior hockey, the giant phenom came in and played an important role in the Canadian victory. Lindros scored 3 goals and 5 points in 8 games, but more importantly physically intimidated the opposition as a teenager.
Results and Statistics

Round Robin Tournament
Aug 31 Canada 2 Finland 2 (Toronto)
           USA 6 Sweden 3 (Pittsburgh)
           CSSR 5 USSR 2 (Saskatoon)
Sept 2 Canada 6 USA 3 (Hamilton)
           Sweden 3 USSR 2 (Montreal)
           Finland 1 CSSR 0 (Saskatoon)
Sept 5 Canada 4 Sweden 1 (Toronto)
           USA 4 CSSR 2 (Detroit)
           USSR 6 Finland 1 (Hamilton)
Sept 7 Canada 6 CSSR 2 (Montreal)
           USA 2 USSR 1 (Chicago)
           Finland 3 Sweden 1 (Toronto)
Sept 9 Canada 3 USSR 3 (Quebec City)
           USA 4 Finland 3 (Chicago)
           Sweden 5 CSSR 2 (Toronto)

Semi Finals
Sept 11 USA 7 Finland 3 (Hamilton)
Sept 12 Canada 4 Sweden 0 (Toronto)

Sept 14 Canada 4 USA 1 (Montreal)
Sept 16 Canada 4 USA 2 (Hamilton) 

Scoring Leaders
Goalie Leaders
All Star Teams
G - Bill Ranford, CAN
D - Al MacInnis, CAN
D - Chris Chelios, USSR
F - Wayne Gretzky, CAN
F - Mats Sundin, SWE
F - Jeremy Roenick, USA
Tournament MVP
Wayne Gretzky - Canada


Anonymous said…
MVP was Bill Ranford not Gretzky

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M