Feb 23, 2014, 3:00 AM EST
It comes down to this. A winner-take-all gold medal final between Canada and Sweden at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
For the Canadian side, it could become the first repeat champion in Olympic competition since NHL players began participating in men’s hockey in 1998 (see the five challenges Canada faces against Sweden). For four years, Canada has basked with the bragging rights brought on by Sidney Crosby‘s heroic overtime Golden Goal against the U.S. in Vancouver.
A nice memory for Canadian hockey, but it’s in the past.
This Canadian team has been the subject of scrutiny and criticism because it hasn’t been lighting teams up on the score board, despite a plethora of chances in every game. Crosby has yet to score in this tournament. Yet as a team, they’ve given up only three goals in a total of five games, most recently shutting out the U.S. team in the semifinal to advance to Sunday’s gold medal game.
“They want to win. It’s real simple,” said Canada’s head coach Mike Babcock, as per the L.A. Times.
“Sometimes I think we get a little bit confused. It’s not about who scores the goals or who blocks the shots or who plays. It’s about winning. It’s about Canada. It’s about hockey supremacy. We like to brag that it’s our game? If you think it’s your game, you better show it’s your game.”
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