Canada took on a huge hockey rival in the United States today and managed to squeak by 1-0 in a high-paced, passionate, and well executed contest.
“In some ways that felt like the ultimate game,” Canadian forward Jonathan Toews said, per the Chicago Tribune.
That’s not where this story ends though. While a rematch between Canada and the United States promised to be one of the highlights of the Olympics after the 2010 gold medal game, Canada needs to find a way to shrug this win off and refocus for Sunday’s contest against Sweden.
“Let’s be honest, we haven’t scored, we haven’t finished,” head coach Mike Babcock promised, per the Canadian Olympic Team. “We’re going to finish.”
Sweden is certainly a team capable of challenging the Canadians. They feature some of the games top skilled forwards, have a strong defense, and a potential game-changing goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist. Sweden is 5-0 at this point and hasn’t even been pushed to overtime so far.
It also sets up a situation where plenty of players used to working together will be on opposite sides, like Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene; Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry/Ryan Getzlaf and St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo/Jay Bouwmeester and Alexander Steen.
By far the most noteworthy one, though…
Babcock laughs as he says he knows a lot about the Swedes. Among #RedWings on Tre Kronor: Kronwall, Ericsson, Nyquist.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) February 21, 2014