Canadian Men’s Hockey: The Pride of Canada
Team Canada has a lot of pressure to finish with the Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. They have a strong team full of some of the top players from the NHL, tons of fan support with all the games being played on home ice and lots of pride to win because hockey is known as “Canada’s Game.”
Only The Pros
The whole Men's Hockey Team is full of professional hockey players from the NHL, the most prestigious pro league in the world. In fact, the whole team is full of all-star players, leaders and goal scorers.
At the young age of 21, Sidney Crosby is the face of Team Canada. He is the NHL’s current leading goal scorer and was the captain of last year’s Stanley Cup-winning team, the Pittsburg Penguins.
Team Canada’s goalie, Roberto Luongo, has been the team captain for the Vancouver Canucks for the past few years, so he will get lots of hometown support.
The big surprise in these Olympic Games was that Canadian Mike Green, the NHL’s leading scoring defenseman who plays for the most winning team in the NHL right now, the Washington Capitals, was not selected to play for Team Canada.
But the trick to winning hockey games is not always to fill the team with goal scorers. It’s important to have players who are willing to hustle and play rough to open up space for their teammates. That’s probably why coach Steve Yzerman chose tough defensemen, like 20-year-old Drew Doughty, the youngest player on the team, who isn’t really noted for scoring as much as he is for hitting.
If Canada wins the Gold Medal this year, it will be the 8th time Canada has won gold in Men’s Ice Hockey during the Olympic Games. Canada is currently tied with the Soviet Union for most Gold Medals in hockey but they have only won one Gold Medal since 1952. Professional hockey players were not allowed to play at the Olympics until 1986, and the best Canadian players became professional hockey players very young, so Team Canada has always been playing with secondary caliber players. The NHL finally allowed a 17-day-break in its schedule to allow all the best players to play at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. But now there are rumors that 2010 will be the last time the NHL allows the players to play at the Olympics due to the risk of injuries that may incur during such an intense short tournament.