The 2010 Vancouver Olympics have been a success so far for Canada with 13 gold medals but, years down the road, the only thing that people will remember is whether or not the men’s hockey team won gold. Eight years ago, Canada won the gold on U.S. soil in Salt Lake City, beating the Americans 5-2 in the final. A lot has changed since then as Martin Brodeur, Jarome Iginla, Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger are the only four returning Canadian players while Chris Drury and Brian Rafalski are the only two returning Americans.
As I mentioned a few days ago, there’s no doubt that Canada has a more talented team than the USA but it’s one game and anything can happen. This is especially true after the semi-final games that these teams played on Friday when the Americans dominated Finland and Canada barely hung on against Slovakia.
The Americans are undefeated so far in this tournament winning each of their games by at least two goals while Canada lost to the USA and had a couple of close ones against the Swiss and the Slovaks. The Canadian team has had a very up and down tournament and was especially disappointing in the semi-final after such an impressive performance against the Russians. All the pressure is on the Canadian squad for this game as this game is expected to set a new record for the most-watched sports program in Canadian television history. You have to believe a Canada – USA final will be good for the NHL but a according to this article, the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City didn’t do much for the NHL but that’s a debate for another day.
Everything has been said about this game so there isn’t much analysis to do. The Canadians are much more talented, but Ryan Miller has been the best goalie in this tournament and could steal the game for the Americans once again. One thing is for sure, this will be a great game played between two excellent hockey teams and hopefully the NHL can benefit from this.