One of the biggest challenges of the Olympics is taking a group of star players that have almost never worked together and making them gel almost immediately.
The Canadians attempted to mitigate this problem by bringing players from the same NHL team and pairing them together like the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, but even still, finding chemistry as a squad is a tall order.
Canadian coach Mike Babcock has been mixing up his lines throughout the tournament to try and figure out who meshes, but they’ll go into their game against the United States today largely unchanged compared to the makeup they had against Latvia in the quarterfinals. Babcock promoted that fact as a very good sign.
“I’m pumped,” Babcock told the Canadian Press. “We’re starting to look like a team and be like a team and you’re organized like a team and you feel comfortable because you’re not running around trying to do a million things. It’s great.”
The Canadians need to hope that’s the case because they’ve run out of time. They’ve played in four games and the only one where they weren’t the overwhelming favorite — their contest against Finland — wasn’t an elimination game. Today’s game is a do-or-die event in their quest for the gold medal against an American team that has been clicking since the start of the Olympics.