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Babcock on Canada: ‘No one ever seems to be happy with us’

Feb 16, 2014, 4:41 PM EST

Mike Babcock Getty Images

Canada finished round-robin play undefeated with two wins in regulation and a 2-1 overtime win against Finland on Sunday.

You’d think that would be enough to keep everyone satisfied with how the team is playing, but complaints still arise because the offense isn’t quite all there. Yes, the defense is scoring well, but with guys like Sidney Crosby out there, you expect more from the guys up front.

VIDEO: Canada needs OT to beat Finns

Coach Mike Babcock wonders what that is all about as he told reporters following the win against Finland.

With a team a loaded as Canada is, expectations are understandably high. They’re coming off a gold medal win in 2010 and have, arguably, the deepest offense in the Olympic tournament.

Now that the elimination rounds are coming up, everything is analyzed under an electron microscope to find what’s wrong and what could be better. Instead, Canada just keeps winning despite the seeming bumps in the road. If they have any hiccups in this part of the tournament, however, it could lead to serious disappointment.

  1. patthehockeyfan - Feb 16, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    “With a team a loaded as Canada is, expectations are understandably high. ”

    This is the answer to why people aren’t “happy,” Babcock.

    P.S. I’m happy Canada is winning. I’d be happier if the front line starting scoring.

  2. deezenucks - Feb 16, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    A win is a win but I’m getting concerned with the lack of offense from the forwards absolutely. They played a good game today but with the injuries the Fins had I think we were all expecting more. That’s alright it’ll come together, now the games get real!

  3. blomfeld - Feb 16, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    ICEBERG WARNING ?

    The bottom line is that Mike Babcock is sounding more and more like RMS Titanic Captain John Smith … and that is ‘not’ very reassuring. Canada should have ‘demolished’ Norway the other day and yet they didn’t ? Likewise today, they should have ‘crushed’ a badly damaged Finnish team and again they didn’t ? Something isn’t adding up here, which is why one is ‘ominously’ reminded of those final ‘fateful’ hours leading up to Titanic’s collision with the iceberg and the mitigating human negligence involved … I hope it isn’t so friends, however I am ‘seriously’ concerned … :(

    ***********************************************************************************************

    The fourth message was sent to the Titanic at 9.05 p.m. New York time, on Sunday, the 14th of April, approximately an hour before the accident occurred. The message reads as follows:

    “We are stopped and surrounded by ice”

    To this the operator of the Titanic replied:

    “Shut up. I am busy. I am working Cape Race”

    While this was the last message sent by the Californian to the Titanic, the evidence shows that the operator of the Californian kept the telephones on his head, and heard the Titanic talking to Cape Race up to within a few minutes of the time of the accident, when he “put the phones down, took off his clothes, and turned in.

    • sportsfan69 - Feb 16, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      love the song

  4. lonespeed - Feb 16, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Canada’s national team is loaded, so much so, the Canadien second team would be favored for gold and even the third team would be favored to medal. Therefore, going into elimination play, a third seed doesn’t exactly cut it. That’s why no one is happy with their performance.

    The difference is now a medal round game against the U.S. in which gold / silver is in jeopardy versus a better setup against a lower seed while the U.S. and Sweeden get in each others way. Now the Canadien team likely has to face both. Given the roster, the path should have been easier.

    • paperlions - Feb 16, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      If by “second team”, you mean the next group of guys that didn’t make this team….um, no, that group would not be favored to win the gold.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 16, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        Maybe not favoured, but they would have as good a shot as any other nation’s top squad.

      • paperlions - Feb 16, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        Put together that roster and tell me you think that team would have even odds with Russia or the US.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 16, 2014 at 10:01 PM

        I would, but what’s the point? You’ve decided that roster doesn’t have a chance.

      • lonespeed - Feb 16, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        Okay, here it goes. I think my team would fair pretty well actually. Remember, many of the Russians are KHL players. This would still be a 100% NHL roster top to bottom, and I’m still leaving some quality players off.

        Forwards

        T Hall – E Staal – C Giroux

        J Neal – L Couture – J Skinner

        A. Ladd -T Seguin- J Eberle

        S. Horcoff – J Thorton – P. Dupuis

        Defense

        Giordano-Seabrook

        M. Staal – D. Phaneuf

        B. Seabrook – M. Green

        F. Beauchemin – M. Geordano

        Goal

        C Crawford

        M Smith

        C Ward

      • thesheabutterfactory - Feb 16, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        Couture-Thornton-Giroux
        Hall-RNH-Eberle
        Staal-Staal-Skinner
        Seguin-Spezza-Neal
        Lucic-Lupul/Simmonds

        Giordano-Seabrook
        Staal-Letang
        Phaneuf-Boyle
        Green-Beauchemin

        Fleury
        Ward
        Crawford

        I’m sure I forgot some. Paperlions, that 2nd Canada team is as good on paper as any team in the tournament except Canada’s 1st team. Russia does have more fire-power and the US has better goaltending but that 2nd Canada team has more depth then both.

      • 19to77 - Feb 17, 2014 at 5:17 AM

        The very fact it’s even possible to have this conversation speaks volumes about Canadian depth. Nobody else could produce a “B Team” that would still be a medal favourite. Canada, though? Hell with a B Team. We could build medal-capable C and D Teams just to screw with everyone’s heads. The depth just never ends.

  5. endusersolutions2013 - Feb 16, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    I wonder if the oddsmakers are re-thinking. I remember some favored Russia, with Canada being the #2 fave. Looking at goal differential, so far, team USA has a good chance. Russians and Canadians cold both be upset the next round with how the Finns and Swis are playing.

  6. c9castine - Feb 16, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    people realize there are olympians on the other side of the ice too? olympic goaltenders and defenders and coaches and forwards.

    but we don’t want to check our arrogance, do we Canada?

    best game team canada played yet and were pretty even up with Finland. but they finally looked alert. i know it was prelim games and everything but at some point you gotta decide who is going to carry the ice time load and who isn’t, right? clearly keith and doughty, pietrangelo and bouwmeester are the defenseman. marleau has really not been that effective, nor has nash. i know they’ve collected a few points but thats not all you gotta do to take gold.

  7. 19to77 - Feb 16, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Thing Babcock needs to understand is that we looked less dominant against several lower-seeded teams than the other gold contenders did. It’s not that our team did anything particularly WRONG. The Americans and Swedes just looked BETTER. What happens when a supposedly stacked Canadian team that could only manage 3-1 against Norway and 2-1 against a Finnish team that lost its top three centres before even playing us goes up against a thus-far stellar Team USA? It’s a legitimate question, and one Babcock shouldn’t be surprised by given that he’s been here before. There are teams that look better than we do going into the elimination round, and that’s valid cause for a measure of concern.

  8. sportsfan69 - Feb 16, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Teemu Selanne tells Sidney Crosby to stop diving. Be a professional hockey. Play it right.

    • blomfeld - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      go tell ‘m comrade Sportsfan !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  9. deezenucks - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    A second Canadian team IMO would easily be just as good. Sorry if you don’t think so but just compare these guys hypothetical rosters to the American and Russian 1 teams. There isnt one other country who could put a 2 team in and expect to medal. It’s just what we do here and what were good at, your not taking that away from us.
    The states has improved by leaps and bounds, I like their goaltending and speed. But no one comes close to the defense depth Canada has, maybe Sweden.

    • pastabelly - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      Who’s playing goal? Fleury? :)

      • 19to77 - Feb 17, 2014 at 1:07 AM

        In all fairness, Fleury-Crawford-Harding or something like that would be almost as effective as our first-team selections.

      • elrock7 - Feb 17, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        Jonathan Bernier

  10. sippindasyzurp - Feb 16, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Canada is doing alright.. I think though they cant just roll 4 lines 15 mins each guy. There gonna have to give two lines in the 18-20 min range and cut the bottom 2 lines.. Tough when you have a team loaded with stars used to playing in the 20 min range every night but thats the reality none of the top lines can get in a good flow with 15 mins a night. Gonna have to roll Sids line 22 mins, Getzlaf line 18, Toews line 12, Tavares 8.. Toews and Tavres need to accept they are a checking line and go out and play good defensively..

    • 19to77 - Feb 17, 2014 at 5:21 AM

      I don’t know, with the invisible performances Sid’s mailed in so far, I’d be loading the minutes on Toews or Tavares. Sid’s been hugely underwhelming by his own NHL standards of performance. Guy’s way over a point per game and he’s scarcely even sniffed the net in this Olympics. Gonna have to show up if he wants to get ice time. A couple of other Canadian centres have been earning the time more than him so far.

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