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Yzerman rejects notion that Team Canada lacks motivation in Russia

Feb 11, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

Team Canada's Patrice Bergeron (37), Corey Perry (24), Rick Nash (61), Jay Bouwmeester (19), head coach Mike Babcock, front left, General Manager Steve Yzerman and Bob Nicholson, far right front, look on as Ryan Getzlaf tickles Sidney Crosby's ear as players wait for a team photo at the start of practice at the Sochi Winter Olympics Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld) AP

There’s no question that there will be tremendous pressure put on Team Russia in the 2014 Winter Games, but is that a bad thing? It didn’t bring down Canada in 2010, in fact it might have been the push they needed to win the gold.

Meanwhile, Canada’s results outside of North America haven’t been nearly as good. Since the NHL started allowing their players to participate in the Olympics in 1998, there has been two tournaments in North America and two outside of the continent. Canada won gold in Vancouver and Salt Lake City while they failed to even get a medal in Nagano or Turin.

There are varying theories as to why that is, but Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman took issue with the idea that Canada simply isn’t motivated enough when they leave North America.

“Yes, we won in the U.S.A. in 2002 and Canada in 2010, but we also had great opportunities to capture the gold in Turin and Nagano, especially in Nagano, where we had a really strong team and could have gone all the way, but we lost to the Czechs in a shootout,” Yzerman said, according to the KHL’s website.

It’s hard to read too much into Canada’s — and for that matter the United States’ — lack of success at Nagano and Turin as these are short tournaments and we haven’t seen enough of them to necessarily have a reliable pattern. Canada remains a strong team and one of the favorites to win gold.

Related:

Canada’s Toews: ‘The Russians have a little more pressure’

  1. workdriveskate - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Can we please stop saying that Canada has only won on small rinks? Many many sources confirm that the international rink size was used at the 2002 Salt Lake games!

    • JoeAvg - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Nice!

      And kudos to the photographer. Boys havin’ fun.

      • theageofquarrel - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        Sid laughing!?!?!?!
        I thought he was supposed to be whining and crying!!!!
        How dare he!!!!

  2. djshnooks - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Why would an international-sized rink be used in the United States? Lmao.

    There is no way/reason to do that. They would not build an international-sized rink, just to use it only once…ever. No way.

    Feel free to provide me with a link and prove me wrong…but I’m about 99% sure that is not the case. It makes no sense.

    • sanfranbruinsfan - Feb 11, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      I don’t have a link for Salt Lake City, but there are a lot of international sized rinks in the U.S. because figure skaters compete on them. For example, in Oakland CA the ice complex has a NHL and an Int’l size rink, and my hockey league uses both.

    • 19wasthebest - Feb 11, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      Here is a link for you. The only time the larger ice surface was not used was in Vancouver.

      http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/ice-ice-baby-olympic-sized-rink-factor

  3. djshnooks - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    I don’t see any mention in this article about rink size though.

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