Feb 13, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
In the wake of Thursday’s 3-1 win over Norway, Canadian players and coaches were mostly talking about one thing.
Mike Babcock: “We probably in the end didn’t have enough traffic and enough second chances. We feel we got 24 chances tonight and didn’t have seconds.”
Patrice Bergeron: “We’ve got to do a better job of finding the front of the net to create loose pucks.”
John Tavares: “We’ve got to do a little better job trying to find some second, third opportunities. Getting to the front of the net, getting pucks there.”
Traffic, traffic and more traffic. Theme of the day.
And just in case you weren’t convinced…
“We got a little bit too fancy,” said Jonathan Toews, per the Olympic News Service. “We tried to make all the cute plays and we’ve got to just get the pucks to the net.”
So yeah. Traffic.
It’s not surprising Canada made this the focus. Norway played a passive box defense for the majority of Thursday’s game, making the net-front a difficult place to conduct business. According to Tavares, Canada is prepared to see more of this as the tournament progresses.
“Teams are protective of the middle of the ice,” he explained. “Particularly a lot of the European teams.”
Overall, though, the Canadians sounded pleased with how things transpired, suggesting they’d need to only make minor adjustments moving forward. Tavares said he “liked the way we built — we got better every period,” while Bergeron noted “we kept improving throughout the game.”
As for head coach Mike Babcock, he found Thursday to be a bit of a learning experience.
“What I learned tonight about the big ice is the big ice isn’t very big,” he explained. “What I mean by that is the offensive zone is way smaller, length-wise. So the D have a harder time getting to the middle to shoot the puck. So our active D got chances, our D sliding got no chances; they can get to you way quicker.
“We spent all this time talking about the ice being way bigger, but the scoring areas inside the dots is smaller. … So, is it bigger or smaller?”
Babcock and company won’t have much time to figure it out. Canada is back in action tomorrow against Austria.
- Video: Zidlicky’s first goal with Detroit gives Red Wings OT win over Rangers 6
- Video: P.K. Subban illustrates hockey instincts through GoPro camera perspective 1
- Video: Lundqvist could be back in 10 to 14 days 5
- Isles’ Martin suspended one game for ‘reckless’ knee on Daley 8
- More bad luck for the B’s — Connolly out 6 weeks with fractured finger 21
- Fehr willing to give Panthers ‘a reasonable opportunity’ to redevelop market 46
- Video: Isles’ Martin to face hearing for ‘stupid’ knee-on-knee hit 39
- NHL on NBCSN: Reloaded Red Wings, Rangers set to battle tonight 51
- Bernier bests Panthers as Luongo goes from injured (and in street clothes) to back in net 4
- Phaneuf, Cuthbert and Lupul threaten lawsuit after tweet goes to air 59
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (171)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Winners and losers of the 2015 trade deadline (78)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils (74)