How Good Was The Olympics Tournament On The Whole? Not Very


From a Canadian perspective, it was great.  From the Swedish point of view, it was successful but unsatisfying.  Finland had  From an American or a Russian perspecitve it was an unmitigated disaster.  But, on the whole, how good was the entire Olympics Hockey tournament.


Realistically, you would have to look at the games from a point of view where you don’t have a vested interest. From that perspective, there were really only two games (Canada vs USA and USA vs Russia) that were fantastic games that truly showcased the whole package of top end skill, intensity,  and were fought to the bitter end.

Two out of 30 games.  The rest of the games, including the Gold Medal game, were not too competitive, or featured lower skilled teams that were obviously over-matched and trying to do what it took to stay in the game.  Usually that meant playing in a defensive shell and playing not to lose instead of playing to win.  Even Finland, who scored a lot against the weaker teams, implemented that strategy when it came to playing the upper echelon teams and it got them a bronze medal.

So on the whole, while as a Canadian hockey fan I was as happy as anyone else that Team Canada was on top of the podium, the hockey on the whole was not as elite as you might expect from a best on best tournament.  There were too many weaker teams like Austria, Slovenia, Latvia and Norway that had to simply withstand a barrage to be competitive.  Teams like the Czech Republic and Slovakia are in danger of sliding out of the elite group, making the pool of truly good teams shrink even smaller.