Canada gets boost from scandal

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by time, Feb 10, 2006.

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  1. time

    time Registered User

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    I have this gut feeling that the betting scandal will help focus Team Canada. The American media is all over Gretzky, making rather dubious innuendo at times, while the Canadian media is trying to cut him some slack.

    Canada always plays better when they think that everyone is against them, that no one has faith in them. The best thing in SLC was how they got pasted by the Swedes in Game 1; the game meant nothing but it led to a bunker mentality that was so eloquently expressed by Gretz later in the tourney.

    Team Canada will win if they play up to their ultimate potential. A siege mentality will only contribute to that goal.
     
  2. Shoalzie

    Shoalzie Trust me!

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    I kind of have that same feeling however Gretzky didn't want the attention this time around like he did when he went on his little rant in '02. I'm sure some of the pressure is taken off Team Canada by the media when there is so much on Gretzky's plate right now. I still don't think the Canadians will accept anything less than a gold medal though. Gretzky not playing in the Olympics, it's the other 23 guys that count. Whether or not #99 lied about his wife and his involvement in Operation Slapshot probably won't affect the team as much as you think unless the media hounds the players constantly about it. It can become a distraction in that way.
     
  3. time

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    That's the beauty of it. Instead of the players facing the pressure of meeting lofty expectations, Gretzky will become a media lightning rod -- on a completely unrelated topic.

    It's not so easy to get access to atheletes at the Games. There will be structured events like news conferences, but Canada will send out Sakic, Iginla, Smyth and others to speak for the team.

    The "cloud" hanging over the team will be its greatest motivator. From Espo's rant in '72, to the supposed underdog WJC team last month, Canada gets all ferret-like when they feel cornered.

    Come to think of it, I remember Tocchet playing like the Tazmanian Devil after the Soviets went up 3-0 in the deciding game of the '87 Canada Cup (and I think Brent Sutter was on the same line!).
     
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