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Monday, February 24, 2014

We Are Hockey

Did the Canadian offence make the trip to Sochi, because I sure as hell didn't see them on the ice!

What’s wrong with Sidney Crosby? Why isn't anyone scoring?

PK should be playing, what is this bull!

Will this team be able to match the US? What about Russia?

Can we trust Price?

All of these topics were hotly debated over breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as millions of Canadians were concerned over their teams’ play. And what do you know, we went on to win 3-0 against the Swedes, and Canadians nation-wide can bask in their pride and glory. Canada played like a team. Everyone doubted their ability to make it to the final, but they committed to their game plan, and proved us all wrong. No one was playing for themselves; every single player bought into the defensive game plan and it worked. Would I have liked to see more goals scored? Of course, because I, like every other fan, can’t stand a one goal lead vs. a no-name team whose goalie decided go all Patrick Roy on us (i.e., the Latvians and Gudlevskis) or a red-hot American team. Although the latter didn't bring their A-game, a one-goal lead remains precarious in any situation, especially against a team that has a Kessel or Parise. That being said, I write to you in the fabulous world of hindsight, where everything seems so nice and rosy (and where you can breathe peacefully). The truth is, Canada’s defensive play, stellar goaltending, and, most importantly, their maturity and composure brought them to a superior level. Never did they once freak out in tight game situations, like we saw with Russia. When everyone, including myself, was questioning their ability to bring their play to the next level, they quieted us all in the semis. They brought it when it counted most, and made Canada proud.

As a Habs fan… what can I say. Carey Price embodied the Zen Buddha, and his infectious confidence and calmness formed the foundation for their defensive game. I was listening to Radio-Canada and one of the sports-casters said, half-jokingly, that he should wear the Canadian jersey under his Habs jersey... seriously? In case he can't recall, Price is the reason why the Habs aren't out of the playoff run and was named NHL's 1st star before leaving for the Olympics. Price is a good goalie: always has, and always will be. People mistakenly took his cool demeanour as nonchalance. He had his share of ups and downs, but that's a learning curve every athlete needs to go through. His tremendous potential is becoming a reality, which I never doubted. 

Even if I wanted to see PK Subban don the Canadian jersey, I think that this was a very humbling and positive experience for him. He was a team player throughout the tournament, and his smile and enthusiasm when he celebrated with his teammates is testament to his professionalism and his commitment to the team concept. Every player, whether he was dressed, benched, or injured, contributed to this team effort, and has made Canada a very proud country. We are hockey. The women’s incredibly inspirational come-back final set the bar even higher for the men, and they delivered. All in all, congratulations to all our athletes in Sochi. Thank you for making us all proud Canadians, and see you in 2018 South Korea!

Follow Safia on Twitter @Saff2013.

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