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Golden again: Canada tops Sweden for second straight Olympic triumph

Feb 23, 2014, 9:25 AM EDT

CrosbyCanada Reuters

Four years ago, Canada was anointed king of the hockey world.

On Sunday, it retained the crown.

Canada became the first team in over 20 years to win back-to-back Olympic hockey gold medals, beating Sweden 3-0 in the tournament finale at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. With the win, Canada also became the first three-time gold medalist since NHLers began participating in the Olympics at Nagano ’98.

Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz scored the Canadian goals — the first of the tournament for each — while Carey Price was fantastic once again, stopping all 24 shots faced for his second consecutive shutout. With the win, Price finished the Sochi games boasting a 971. save percentage, allowing just three goals the entire tournament.

Price’s counterpart, Henrik Lundqvist, was equally solid in the Swedish goal. Lundqvist was the busier of the two — facing 36 shots to Price’s 24 — and did well to keep the Canadian attack at bay, especially during the opening two periods when Canada fired 23 pucks on goal.

The team in front of Lundqvist, though, failed to offer much support.

Sweden was shut out for the first time this tournament and failed to capitalize on the few chances Canada’s stifling defense allowed. The team was also dealt a major blow prior to the game when Nicklas Backstrom was ruled after reportedly testing positive for a banned substance — already down the services of centers Henrik Zetterberg and Henrik Sedin, Sweden lacked major depth down the middle with Backstrom sidelined.

That said, it’s hard to think any lineup would’ve generated much offense against the Canadians.

As was the story all tournament long, Canada’s team defense was outstanding. It kept the Swedes mostly to the perimeter and prevented them from generating offense through the rush, something Toews said was the plan heading into Sunday. As a result, Canada finished these Olympics with some staggering defensive statistics — three goals allowed over six games (two at even strength), outscoring opponents by 14 while outshooting them 241-129.

As mentioned above, the back-to-back golds put Canada in some rare Olympic company. The country hasn’t won back-to-back since the ’48 Games in St. Moritz and ’52 in Oslo; the last nation to win consecutive gold medals was the Soviet Union in ’84 and ’88 (and in ’92, though under the Unified Team moniker.)

  1. joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    way to go badger;

    badgerhockey77 – Feb 23, 2014 at 3:08 AM
    I actually think Canada will win this one pretty easily. 2-0…3-0…something like that. As a neutral, I’ll be cheering for the underdog. Go Sweden!

    • badgerhockey77 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      Lol…thanks! Got lucky there. Anyways, congrats to Canada on winning gold. Only three goals against in six games played. If Canada ’14 isn’t the greatest team ever assembled, then I don’t know what is. That was a f&cking MASTERCLASS!

      • pfhockey - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        And people were hating on Stevie Y. tsk, tsk.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        Badger, I’d put the 1987 Canada Cup winning squad up as a contender for your greatest team award. For their power play, they had 6 future Hall of Famers on the ice: Fuhr in net, Coffey and Bourque on the blue line, Gretzky, Lemieux and Messier up front. Their depth was also pretty good, including several other future Hall of Famers.

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 23, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Great that Canada won and cemented itself as the hockey powerhouse that it is. Sweden got jobbed with the Backstrom ruling though. I would like to have seen them play with a full roster that wasn’t demoralized before it even took the ice.

      Props to anyone who came close on the prediction, ala badger…

      • badgerhockey77 - Feb 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        @nothanksimdriving123…you read my mind! It might surprise you to know that I have the ’87 Canada Cup Final series and the 8 game ’72 Summit Series DVDs. I’ve watched all three games between Canada ’87 and the Soviets. I’m aware that CC ’87 was perhaps the ‘greatest hockey ever played’. Yah, I agree that Canada ’87 was pretty ridiculous too. However, ’14 Canada is the definition of a COMPLETE TEAM! I think they’d stifle Gretzky, Lemieux & co!

  2. theageofquarrel - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Congrats Canada!!!! Great game!!!

  3. canucks30 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    2002, 2010, 2014

    Olympic Hat Trick

    • thesportsjudge - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      That is like sayin someone got a hat trick, but scoring 2 goals in 1 game, and the 3rd in the next(skipping ’06 is the reference point.)

      • canucks30 - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        No, that would be a NATURAL Hat Trick.

        3 is 3.

    • pfhockey - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      *facepalm

  4. canucks30 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Jonathan Toews looks more and more like a young Steve Yzerman or Joe Sakic everyday.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Apart from Toews is no where near as good.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        He’s damn close. All Star, WJC golds, Olympic gold, Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe. Oh, and he’s still only 25 years old. His name is going to be right up there with Stevie and Sakic and Mario and messier by the time he’s done.

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      He doesn’t have the same humble attitude. Guy is nowhere close to Sakic or Yzerman.

      Toes is a sore/ poor loser. Just watch any of his post game interviews after a loss… Never gives the opposition credit for playing well.

      • you4real - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        So you hold him at a lower standard because he is a professional athlete that doesn’t like losing? Makes sense..

      • elrock7 - Feb 23, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        you are such a diick

  5. bucrightoff - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Complete and utter domination. Most dominant Team Canada ever. Toews is so incredible, most complete player in hockey.

  6. lowenni - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    As an American it’s painful to admit this, but…: Canada is still the best hockey playing country in the world today. To see some of their games was actually beautiful, the way they were able to execute plays and the extreme skill level that was displayed. And just as a hockey fan, it’s extremely exciting to see little countries like Slovenia, Latvia, etc. on the rise. This sport is really growing and that’s a great thing. Congratulations to Canada, hoping for bigger things from the US in 2018.

    • paperlions - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      It doesn’t pain me at all to know that Canada is the best hockey playing country in the world….that is somewhat obvious by the dominance of Canadians in the best hockey league in the world.

      • patthehockeyfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        I am hesitant to take issue with your comment, paper; but, if the best hockey league in the world is the NHL, I am having a problem remembering when the Leafs, Canadiens, Oilers, etc. were dominant.

      • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        patthe, what paperlions is saying is that the best players are Canadian as opposed to the best teams being in Canada.

  7. crazemastercraze - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Patiently awaiting stupid comments from Americans.

    • hammerhead5573 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Pretty pathetic life if all your waiting for is negative comments.

      • kaptaanamerica - Feb 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        crazemastercraze is typical of the rude/ smug Canadians I wrote about many times. sad that you make Canadians look bad with your attitude.

    • lowenni - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      “Lol…thanks! Got lucky there. Anyways, congrats to Canada on winning gold. Only three goals against in six games played. If Canada ’14 isn’t the greatest team ever assembled, then I don’t know what is.”

      “As an American it’s painful to admit this, but…: Canada is still the best hockey playing country in the world today.”

      “Congrats Canada!!!! Great game!!!”

      The comments from this article from non-Americans. Calm down bud. Just cause you won the gold medal doesn’t mean your entitled or that you’re better. I think the commenters at PHT are generally pretty intelligent and can respect a good team when they see one. You clearly don’t hold as high a level of intelligence.

      • lowenni - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        I mean *the comments from this article from non-Canadians

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Not having to wait for apparent inferiority complex riddled Canadian.

  8. canucks30 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    SIDNEY CROSBY!!!

    • theageofquarrel - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Peyton Manning of the NHL wins another gold medal!!!! But of course he didn’t deserve it.

      • lowenni - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        He’s not even 30 yet, man. He’s been to two Stanley Cups, has two gold medals, tons of awards, and will probably win a lot more. This is coming from a Caps fan. Crosby’s an amazing player, and he SCORED today in the biggest game (so can’t reallly call him a choker), the Peyton Manning (also an amazing player) analogy is uncalled for.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        Says the pea brain, hateful LOSER!

      • c9castine - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        im gonna assume that was sarcasm and not thumbs down your comment like everybody else.

      • theageofquarrel - Feb 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        Of course it is sarcasm.

  9. sportsfaninyyc - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    CANADA- the greatest nation on the planet. Yeah, we play hockey, too!

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      let’s not get carried away.

  10. jathomas724 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    4/8 medal game goals were scored by pens. Hopefully that momentum helps them when they get back.

  11. bsaures - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Carey Price is the best goalie in the world right now. 1 GA in 3 elimination games and a shutout streak of 2.5 games.

    • paperlions - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      He’s fine. A lot of Goalie’s could have that streak playing behind that D and with that aggressive back check.

      • patthehockeyfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        But a lot of goalies didn’t have that streak. Price did. Give credit where it’s due.

    • paperlions - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      GA in hockey is like ERA in baseball; it belongs to the goalie and the defensive play of the other 5 guys on the ice, not just to the goalie.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:07 AM

        He had a save percentage over .970 in this tourney, which is just obscene. When he’s on his game there’s nobody better.

      • paperlions - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Again, save % is highly contingent on the quality of the chances, and Team Canada was not giving up a lot of high quality chances.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:38 AM

        True in part, but you still gotta stop the puck, and Price did nothing but that.

      • bsaures - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        That sounds like excuses paperlions he had many clutch saves over the tournament

      • paperlions - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        Excuses for what? The best team won, and they probably would have won with any number of Canadian goalies in net.

        He’s fine, but it isn’t like he was facing break away’s or two on one’s all game long.

      • bsaures - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        He faced plenty of Grade A scoring chances each game he was just clutch the entire time.

        Its notlike other teams had terrible D in front of them either. Price in the entire tournament let in the same/fewer goals than Finland, Sweden, USA did in 1 GAME. He played all three teams and won.

    • c9castine - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      yeah he’s good but serisouly he was the last reason why this team won like that. i didn’t see any good opportunities against in canadas last two games.

  12. ethanmacleod1685 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Overall, the 2014 winter Olympic Games was slightly disappointing. It wasn’t any where near as good as the 2010 Vancouver games. I don’t like the big ice, it make the game slower and the fact that Canada didn’t play USA or Russia in the Gold medal was disappointing, or USA vs Russia.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      I’m not sure if it was the big ice as much as the short offensive zones that were the problem. So much less room in front that it pushes everything out sideways. If they had nhl size offensive zones with the wider ice, or at least the hybrid ice used in 2002, I think it would make the game better.

  13. joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Patiently waiting for positive comments from all those that so strongly criticized the player selection for Team Canada. More specifically those who voiced their opinion about selecting Carter over Gir-who. Or the non selection of Big Joe. Or St. Louis over Gir-who.

    This was without a doubt Canada’s best display of defensive hockey. It took every player every shift to play well defensively. Offense will win gams, but defense will win championship. Will Ovi ever learn? If this Canadian team was able to gel in a short period of time and play well defensively, then why can’t Ovi learn to play 200 feet.

    • leafsilluminati - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      Count me among those doubting Kunitz selection over guys like Eric Staal. They sure showed me!

      CANADA! #hockeyisours #redwhitegold

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        I also doubted Kunitz, but that was tremendous shot he had on the goal. Very happy Canada won, hope the nhl goes to Korea, although if they do the host team will be on the unfortunate side of some lopsided games.

        Not sure why Joey decided to bash Ovechkin in his comments, this is about Canada winning, why not save the comment for one of the other articles?

        Go Canada Go!

      • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        Good point. But it’s not so much about bashing Ovi, but more so about an opportunity for a lesson to be learned here by all fans. Team first always.

    • sunderlanding - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      I pretty sure they would’ve won if they took Giroux instead of St. Louis. Canada is so very deep they have a lot to choose from. Remember we’re talking about a team that was missing Tavares and Stamkos. The loss of two players of that calibre could be devastating to most other teams.

  14. patthehockeyfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Slightly off subject here; but, PHT writer, Jason Brough, was the only one who predicted Canada beating Sweden for the Gold. (February 12 article; PHT Staff Olympic Predictions: Who’s going to win gold?)

    No one on PHT’s staff came close predicting the Bronze Medal game.

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      Here’s the link to the article with every writer’s predictions:

      http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/12/pht-staff-olympic-predictions-whos-going-to-win-gold/

  15. joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Each of the players who were selected to represent TC will come back from Sochi as a better player and person. No doubt Babcock will have left a lasting impression on all of them, and he definitely knows how to use his pedagogical background to teach the details of the system he implemented. Wings are very fortunate to have the best in the world on their payroll. He should a lot of class by sending St. Louis out there today.

  16. atwatercrushesokoye - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    I enjoyed the games that I saw this Olympics, but one thing this has done is made me even more excited for the last quarter of the season, games start again on Thursday. It’ll be interesting to see if the teams that had players in Sochi carry momentum with them or if the teams that had few players over there and instead got an extended period of rest come out flying? Or maybe it’s a complete non-story?

    Trade deadline is March 5th, when do we see moves start? And as a Flames fan I’m interested to see if Burke can acquire even more young assets to a franchise that looks like it has some pieces to build around already.

    I love the Olympics, glad Canada won, but I’m ready for the NHL to go again!

    • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      Correction! Season restarts on Wednesday with a few interesting post Olympic games. Coach Babcock and his six Swedes will be in Montreal. Price should be rested enough assuming he gets back to Montreal later to day, or early Monday morning.

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      People underestimate jet lag. After returning from a week-long trip to Russia (9 time zones away from the eastern U.S. [and Canada]), it was a little disconcerting for a couple of days. Returning after a separate 10-day trip to Europe (6 times zones away) was worse.

      These guys have been in Russia, what? Two weeks? They’ll feel a little loopy for a while.

      P.S. Correction: Buffalo plays this Tuesday (a make-up game). Lucky Anaheim doesn’t play until Friday.

  17. withseidelinn - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    The clutch guys show up – Crosby, Toews, etc. When the stakes are high you can count on those players.

  18. jimeejohnson - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Glad the gold medal will stay with the Canadians in North America. The best hockey nation in the world deserved this win.

  19. djshnooks - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Congrats, Canada…you win.

    I never said they were a bad team. But Carey Price is NOT that good, he had the best defenseman in the world playing a defensive system in front of him.

    But yes, you are better at hockey…but we are still better at football, and let’s be honest…that’s the more popular sport! ;-)

    To be an American who is also a Sabres fan…hockey sucks, ok? I apologize for my hate-filled comments, they were uncalled for…and as much as I hate Crosby, I would never truly wish harm on anyone.

    Not like the way you Canadians wished the USA plane would crash, anyways.

    Stay classy Rob Ford and Justin Beiber.

    • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Stay classy Charlie & Martin Sheen, Nick Nolte, DMX, Snoop Dog, Bobby Brown, T.I., Robert Downey Jr, OJ, Tyson, LIL Wayne, Paul Reubens, Fred Willard, Winona Ryder, Lindsay Lohan, Andy Dick, Dick Cheney, G.W. Bush etc… Shall I go on? ;-)

      • kaptaanamerica - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:47 PM

        you forgot Barack Obama, Bill&Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the guy who invented the internet Al Gore, George Soros, Daily Show guy, the other guy on the Comedy Network, Bruce Springsteen the political campaigner, John Kerry, etc.. etc…

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      Let’s just say there’s a lot of socialists and left wingers who would be in that boat regarding the plane, if you generalize all Canadians you are casting too wide a net. Lutzy, Dueman, Elrock based on their posts and most of Ontario and Toronto (esp. Leafs fans) fall into that boat.

      Rob Ford is actually one of the better pols in Toronto, gets things done like fixing parks, traffic lights/ signs, outsourcing garbage pickup, etc… the drug/ alcohol use is an issue, but he’s getting the help he needs.

  20. gregman98 - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    From Alan Muir:

    Assistant coaches Claude Julien and Ken Hitchcock will never get the credit they deserve for this win, so let’s take a moment here to acknowledge their contributions to what may have been the greatest shutdown performance in hockey history. That system was their baby, and while Team Canada needed a few games to get the defensive scheme’s specifics down, the players executed it at a level that approached perfection once they got to the games that mattered. There was a total buy-in from every guy on that roster–you literally cannot point to one player who wasn’t fully committed to the system. It’s hard to imagine any group of players making its coaches happier.

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      now we know why the Bruins have been so good the past few years…

  21. joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    “They’re leaders for a reason. Jonny and Sid, they brought it every night. When you’ve got your top guys going like that, it’s pretty easy for us to follow.” — Jeff Carter, on the play of Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby

  22. har21441 - Feb 23, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    LOL giroux

  23. smyl11 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Nice work. Now can you predict how long Kelser will be out of VAN lineup?

    Brough Prediction:

    Gold Medal Game: Canada beats Sweden

    I’m keeping this simple. The two best teams on paper playing for gold. The best team on paper winning gold. Yeah, yeah, I know the best teams on paper don’t always win, but a lot of the times they do. Like in 2010, for example. Even without Steven Stamkos, Team Canada is still stacked up front, and there’s no matching its blue line. Goaltending could be problematic, but no team is without a potential Achilles’ heel. Canada’s goaltending could also end up being quite good.

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