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Backes on Miracle on Ice: ‘We’re still living on something that happened 34 years ago’

Feb 10, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

DavidBackes Getty Images

Heading into his second Olympics, St. Louis captain David Backes knows what to expect — namely, the time-honored tradition of comparing the current U.S. team to the Miracle on Ice squad from the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.

That said, Backes would like to see one thing change.

“I think the Miracle obviously is a great accomplishment for the U.S., but it was 34 years ago, and we’re still living on something that happened 34 years ago,” Backes said, per the Associated Press. “As great as it was, and as awesome an accomplishment, I think the guys here would like to write our own chapter, and then we can talk about ’80 and 2014.”

While there’ll never be another Miracle team — especially with NHLers in the Olympic fold — Backes’ sentiment is understood. He wants this current team to make history and become just the third American squad to win gold at the Olympics, joining the 1980 team and the one that won it all in 1960 at Squaw Valley.

But make no mistake, this current U.S. squad has no aspirations of being the plucky underdog that stuns the world. The Americans are headed into Sochi as one of the pre-tourney favorites, and expect to win it all.

“Our goal is to go over there and win gold this time around,” head coach Dan Bylsma said over the weekend.

GM David Poile, the architect of the team (unable to be in Sochi because of injury) said the Americans are battle-tested, talented and ready to compete. He alluded to this being the deepest U.S. team ever during the selection process and, as a result, the stakes are the highest he can remember.

“We’ve got guys that have played in very big situations, a lot of pressure situations, hostile environments,” Poile said, prior to the tournament. “When the lights are the brightest, these guys have excelled.

“We’re excited about our opportunity and our chances in Sochi.”

  1. ibieiniid - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    bottom line. if you want us to stop talking about it, MAKE us stop talking about it.

  2. bmoreredfury311 - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Win Gold and Lake Placid is well in the past. Make new memories to talk about. Lets go USA!

  3. charlieconway96 - Feb 10, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    Even if the US wins gold (and I’m pulling for them), it will never match the 1980 victory. The US and the rest of the world were so out matched by the Russians that no one expected anyone other than Russia to win. Add in all of the other political, economic and societal factors of the times and you get the miracle.

    All that said, lets make some new memories and bring home some loot!

    USA! USA! USA!

  4. jpat2424 - Feb 10, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Backes is a douche

    • PhillySN - Feb 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      Pot calling the kettle black

    • jhaegs - Feb 10, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      Nice contribution, dipsh¡t…

      • ibieiniid - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        your i is falling out.

      • jhaegs - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:43 PM

        Need an i-patch… 😬

  5. muckleflugga - Feb 10, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    wait until they fail to make the medal round … then the moaning will start in earnest

    poile … bylsma

    pure genius

  6. hardkor07mn - Feb 10, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    There is no comparison. The 80 team were a bunch of college kids playing against professionals. I don’t care if they do win gold this year, they will never have the story that the 1980 team did.
    The 1980 team is one of the feel good stories in American sports history. Backes needs to shut his mouth and figure out how they are going to win a medal, let alone gold!

    • kcbruinsfan - Feb 11, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      I’m sorry, but what is Backes supposed to say here? It’s not like he came out of the locker room, found some reporters and started talking about how this team wants to make it’s own Olympic memories. He was asked a question about this team and it’s comparison to the ’80 Miracle team and he gave an answer. I agree that nothing will really compare to the feelings associated with that win (hence the “Miracle on Ice”), but his answer isn’t disrespectful to the ’80 team. Merely stating a fact, which your comments seem to support, that the two aren’t comparable and they are working to establish their own legacy. Given that they are an assembled team of the some of the best American NHL players, a victory wouldn’t be of the same miraculous nature, though still impressive in its own right. Are you saying that when asked a question he by the media he should walk away? Not sure what he’s supposed to do or why he’d need to shut his mouth.

  7. dirte42 - Feb 10, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Until miller chokes again…..

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:12 AM

      Sorry, but in my book, helping your team get to OT in the Gold game, then being beaten by the best player in the world, well, that falls well short of my definition of choking.

  8. nathanevan - Feb 10, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Lol, not going to happen, won’t even medal

  9. stepanup - Feb 11, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    As a USA fan, that’s exactly what I’d want to hear coming from the USA players. “Get out there and take it!” boys.

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