Skip to content

Shero: Canada ‘might be the greatest Olympic hockey team ever’

Feb 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

raysherogetty Getty Images

After David Poile suffered a major eye injury that kept him from going to Sochi, Pittsburgh’s Ray Shero handled Team USA GM duties at the Winter Olympics.

What Shero saw, he says, is one of the greatest teams of all time.

“The credit has to go to Canada,” Shero explained, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That might be the greatest Olympic hockey team ever.”

The numbers have been mentioned several times, but bear repeating: Canada went a perfect 6-0-0 and never trailed at the tournament. It outscored opponents 17-3, out-shot opponents 241-129 and racked up 120 minutes of combined shutout hockey against the U.S. in the semifinals and Sweden in the final.

Historically speaking, this put Canada in a conversation with other powerhouses. In 1984, the Soviet Union went a perfect 8-0 en route to winning gold, outscoring opponents 58-6. In 1960, the Americans went 7-0 while outscoring opponents 48-17. Canada’s last gold medal-winning team in the non-NHL era, the 1952 club that won gold in Oslo, went 7-0-1 and outscored opponents 71-14.

But since NHL participation began at Nagano ’98, the Olympics haven’t seen this kind of domination in any way, shape or form.

Consider…

– In ’98, the Czechs won gold after losing to Russia in the opening round.

– In ’02, the Canadians lost to Sweden and tied the Czechs before getting hot and winning gold.

– In ’06, Sweden was bombed 5-0 by Russia, then was accused of “throwing” a 3-0 loss to Slovakia… before winning it all.

– In ’10, Canada lost to the U.S. and went to a shootout with Switzerland prior to capturing gold.

So it’s easy to see why Shero said what he said. Though, to be fair, he wasn’t willing to concede the Canadians were untouchable in Sochi, alluding to their tight 1-0 defeat of the U.S. in the semifinals.

“We had great group of guys,” he explained. “It’s not so much a negative about Americans, how we played.

“Canada scored one goal.”

Latest Posts
  1. Agent: Vanek was not ‘involved’ in money laundering

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT

    Thomas Vanek, Jan Hejda AP

    “He was the bettor. He bet on football games.” And that, according to Steve Bartlett, is all he did.

  2. With healthy Rinne, Preds off to great start

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:52 PM EDT

    Pekka Rinne Getty Images

    We’d say we were surprised, but we totally thought this could happen.

  3. Sounds like Semin will be a healthy scratch Saturday

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    Alexander Semin, David Perron AP

    Hurricanes forward was benched Tuesday in Vancouver.

  4. Even after big changes, Isles still struggling defensively

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    “We’ve given up a lot of goals and we need to be better, help our goaltenders out.”

  5. After three-game stint, Chicago sends Darling back to minors

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

    Scott Darling AP

    Antti Raanta retains the backup gig behind Corey Crawford.

  6. Back to junior: Sabres return Reinhart to WHL Kootenay

    Oct 31, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Anaheim Ducks Buffalo Sabres v Anaheim Ducks

    As most expected they’d do with the No. 2 overall pick.

  7. MGM in early talks to attract NHL team to Las Vegas

    Oct 31, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

    Vegas Strip Arena-Groundbreaking AP

    They’re building a $350 million arena with AEG, which owns the Kings.

  8. Report: Phone hearing for Burrows, who says hit on Emelin wasn’t late

    Oct 31, 2014, 9:57 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    The Canucks forward has been fined twice but never suspended.

  9. Heads up: Scott Stevens reportedly interviewed for Player Safety gig

    Oct 31, 2014, 8:50 AM EDT

    New Jersey Devils v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Just replace Chris Pronger with his name from your previous jokes …

  10. Stamkos scores twice as Bolts edge Flyers

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 AM EDT

    Steven Stamkos AP

    Rookie Jonathan Drouin played less than 10 minutes in the win.

  11. Video: Burrows catches Emelin with a late hit (Updated)

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:34 AM EDT

    New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens - Game One Getty Images

    Michel Therrien: ‚ÄúThat was a dirty hit to the head”

  12. Video: Daniel Sedin scores overtime winner

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:01 AM EDT

    Canucks AP

    Canucks conclude October with a 7-3 record.

  13. Hossa reaches milestone as Blackhawks top Sens

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 12.19.19 AM

    Picked up his 1,000th point.

Featured video

Worst team in the NHL?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Crawford (3296)
  2. E. Staal (2840)
  3. A. Kopitar (2599)
  4. M. Gaborik (2473)
  5. E. Kane (2434)
  1. P. Stastny (2362)
  2. N. Foligno (2034)
  3. V. Nichushkin (1993)
  4. D. Heatley (1977)
  5. V. Hedman (1961)