Team Canada has won all four of its games in Sochi but the team has struggled offensively. Team Canada has relied on goals from their defensemen. If we looked back at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics we would see Canadian teams that weren't only talented and were able to score but they took the body. That is, they body checked and played rough when they had to.
Team Canada seems to have thrown their brand of hockey out the window for a pretty style of hockey. Gone are the days when Team Canada would use their strength and muscle to dominate their opponents. Team Canada was able to sap the will out of their opponents by checking, body checking and winning all the battles along the boards.
Team Canada has cycled the puck well but it's been a long time since I've seen so many Canadians being muscled to the ice. What's happened? Team Canada has a team more suited for the ice dancing competition than for the hockey one.
Canada plays Team USA in a quarterfinal match-up that features the 2010 gold medal game participants. Team Canada beat the Americans in Overtime. Team USA has been on fire during this tournament and has dominated their opponents, especially inferior ones. Unlike their Canadian counterparts, Team USA hasn't struggled scoring goals.
Team Canada must think that they will be able to magically find their scoring touch against the Americans. They will get a dose of reality when they face Team USA. Team USA is determined to avenge their gold medal loss to the Canadians.
Team USA seems to have a great work ethic. They look like they are willing to do whatever they need to win the gold medal. While Team USA has been playing great hockey, Team Canada has been prancing around the ice practicing their dancing routines. It's time for Team Canada to wake up and start playing real hockey.
Pretty hockey doesn't win gold medals. Rough and tough hockey mixed in with great skill does. It's not an all or nothing approach to the game that yields success. Team Canada can play both a skilled brand of hockey mixed in with a tough one as well.
I would love to see Canada's opponents battered and bruised after a match. I want team Canada to destroy their opponents. I want their opponents to be out of breath and battered after the match. I want the team's opponents to have no will to fight to the end. That used to be the Canadian brand of hockey.
Canada's quest for gold will end when Team USA destroys the Canadians. Team USA plays with heart and passion and they aren't afraid to take the body and beat up on their opponents.
My prediction is that Team USA will win 6-1.