Another great Crosby moment, another chance for Canadian hockey fans to freak out

Canada’s Sidney Crosby scores the shootout winner on Switzerland goaltender Jonas Hiller during Olympic hockey action Thursdayin Vancouver. Canada won 3-2. (Jonathan Hayward / CP)

By Nathan White

We all held our breath, and we all looked to Sid to score yet another signature shootout goal.

All of us Canadian hockey fans, anyway. But did we really need to?

Sidney Crosby has done plenty in his short career. He’s the youngest to (insert jaw-dropping hockey achievement here), including captain a Stanley Cup winner last year with the Pittsburgh Penguins. And he had Art Ross, Hart and Lester B. Pearson trophies on his shelf when he could have still been playing junior hockey.

Sid can add the second-chance shootout winner that squeaked out a 3-2 win over Switzerland at the Olympics to his growing legacy of pressure penalty-shot prowess. It ranks alongside popping Jose Theodore’s water bottle in Montreal in his rookie year, the winner in the snowy 2008 Winter Classic, and last year’s late-season message against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

But let’s try to put last night in perspective – difficult for Canadian fans foaming at the mouth with Olympic Rabies. Essentially, it was a meaningless tune-up game. The commentators made much about Canada losing a point by being taken to a shootout, but all 12 teams advance, so it’s hardly a backbreaker. Don’t forget, the 2002 team that won gold started out by losing to Sweden, tying the Czechs and barely beating Germany. And since when do Canadian teams need to rely on an easy playoff road to break just the right way for us to make it to the final? (Although Belarus did us a favour by beating Sweden in 2002.)

Yet one game has people questioning the team. Canadians’ reaction to last night just reinforces how everything is magnified in this Olympic tournament. No disrespect intended to Alexandre Bilodeau or Christine Nesbitt, but Canadian fans are making this the must-win of must-wins, a deal-breaker that will determine how we remember these Olympics on home soil.

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~ by Nathan White on February 19, 2010.

2 Responses to “Another great Crosby moment, another chance for Canadian hockey fans to freak out”

  1. Great game…definitely a nail-biter. Team Canada is a great team, but the other teams are no joke either. I think the worst mistake our team could make would be taking the other teams for granted. It’s easy to do when you start off with an 8-0 win. That’s most likely also what happened in the 2006 olympics when we were shocked by the Swiss team. We just need to play good hockey and not always look for the all-star game fancy plays. Sometimes the quick and dirty gets it done!

  2. I agree Phil, Canada doesn’t have to beat teams 8-0, just beat them when it counts. I also think it’s good for hockey when Switzerland is now a game we have to take seriously. The more countries that can make legitimate noise at an international tournament, the better in my opinion. Only makes it sweeter if Canada comes out on top!

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