After spending most of the afternoon and night talking to friends and colleagues about what’s been said by Bryan Murray and Cory Clouston, I’m at the point in which I’d like to see both men removed from their positions. From Clouston’s repeated sentiments that it’s not his system – that they have been undone by some combination of bad goaltending, other teams capitalizing on turnovers or an inability to score – to Bryan Murray’s scrum this morning that reiterated all of the things that his brain trust has done well, these guys are all too willing to deflect the blame. There’s no ownership here and at this point, the situation looks fractured with every man for himself. If Murray can’t give Clouston a vote of confidence, how can the players be expected to buy into what he’s preaching?
Now I’d personally like to thank the City of Buffalo for having the stench of their shitty sports history – Scott Norwood/Brett Hull/Music City Miracle – rub off on Team Canada. We appreciate it fucksticks.
Now that that’s out of the way. I have to admit, after tonight’s gold medal loss to the Russians, I’m not as bent out of shape as some people seem to be. I think part of it has to do with the fact that as a Senators fan, I’ve grown accustomed to third period collapses of late. As one Twitter follower put it (@Circusbirkas), how did clouston coach the third period????
Or maybe I had a smaller emotional investment because I was too busy trying to figure out which event was more stunning: Team Canada’s third period collapse or Tarasenko’s recovery from injury once the cameras were off. Again, our Twitter followers were on the ball tonight, @Wham_City asked, What’s the Russian word for “the Truth”? #paulpierceesque.
Given the selections that made the team, the result was hardly that surprising. One of our regular podcast guests, Neate Sager from Yahoo! Sports‘ fantastic Buzzing the Net junior hockey blog, put it best:
A few know-it-alls noted at hockey in 2011 requires being able to win an offensive game. Canada’s now 0-for-2 since the Pat Quinn-coached ’09 team, which played it wipe-open. It could not win here when it gave up more than three goals.
Russia, with an open, free-flowing game (“plenty of passes, based on chemistry”) had the right stuff for a comeback. Their rally recalled the way the Patrick Kane-Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks often caught fire during their Stanley Cup playoff run.
Canada, meantime, had a player pool that was missing teenage scorers such as Jeff Skinner and Tyler Seguin — never mind No. 1 pick Taylor Hall. Hence putting all the eggs in the play-both-ways, let’s-grind-out-wins basket.
It seemed like a rearguard action at the beginning, very self-limiting. Cameron and head scout Kevin Prendergast were evidently so married to it the leading goal scorers in the Ontario and Western leagues at the time weren’t even asked to try out.
It worked for about 35-42 minutes of the final. To put in perspective, that’s longer than some people anticipated.
After listening to some sports talk radio on the way home from watching the game, I feel compelled to say that people should stop blaming Dave Cameron for the timeliness (or lack thereof) when he finally called a timeout. Sometimes it’s all about the content and judging by the speech that he delivered after the Russians scored their third goal, it was enough to jack up the guy in the first row behind the bench. I took the video below from the TSN broadcast using my phone.
One Small Thought On Cowen and Third Period Collapses
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Senators prospect Jared Cowen had a relatively good tournament and was recognized as one of Team Canada’s three best players. (I admit that I was surprised that Ryan Johansen didn’t get more love. I guess Pierre McGuire’s verbal fellatio will have to suffice.) Even though Cowen’s blown coverage lead to the game-tying Russian goal in the third, the cynical side of me looks at it and thinks, yeah, he looks like he’d fit right in with Ottawa right now.
Speaking of the third period collapse, I guess tonight’s loss will put an end to those rumours that Canadian coach Dave Cameron is going to take off his gold medal, go to his office with the Mississauga St. Mike’s Majors, pack up his stuff and take over for Cory Clouston.