Before I get to any criticisms, I think it’s important to recognize one of the best moments of this season. It had nothing to do with NHL hockey, but was still very important to the Stars and hockey. Canada won the gold medal, and my faaaavorite player, Brenden Morrow played a major role in winning that medal.
Now there have been a lot of people throughout the season who have complained about Brenden’s level of play while he was with the Stars. They first blamed it on his knee, saying it must not have been completely healed from the reconstruction or that Brenden wasn’t mentally ready to play again. Then he went to Vancouver and played wonderfully for Canada, and ended up being a major part of the team. After this, most Stars “fans” went crazy on Brenden, saying he was lazy, didn’t care about the Stars, should have his captaincy taken away, etc. I say “fans” because most of these comments came from Heika’s Blog, and we all know that a lot of people who comment there are mentally fragile.
First off, Brenden is FROM Canada and obviously wanted to play in the Olympics IN Canada. He said that winning the gold medal was his biggest dream when he was growing up. Maybe I’d like his biggest dream to be winning a Stanley Cup as captain of the Stars, but if winning a gold medal is it, then that’s what I want him to accomplish.
So maybe he didn’t play his hardest once he got named to the Olympic team. He didn’t fight with Avery when the Stars went to New York. SO WHAT? We have other enforcers on the team and I don’t blame Brenden one bit for not wanting to fight with that little piece of… you know. I don’t blame him one bit for not being as physical. He didn’t want to get hurt and miss the Olympics, and you can’t fault him for that. Especially the possibility of getting hurt by someone like Avery.
Also, his role for Team Canada was drastically different than it is for the Stars. He played on the 4th line and rarely saw power play or penalty kill time. He wasn’t asked to play in every situation, be physical, and score goals at the front of the net while skating 20 minutes a game. He only played a few minutes a game for Canada (although that went up as the Olympics went on), and he put everything he could into those few minutes.
After Canada won, several people went so far as to tell Sarah and me that we were “terrorists” because we wanted Canada to win instead of the US. Seriously? I guess these are the same super intelligent people who think Brenden should have the captaincy taken away. Although most of the people telling us this weren’t even hockey fans and were just cheering for the US because it was the Olympics. That tiny bit of hockey doesn’t give you the right to tell me who I can and can’t root for. I wanted Brenden to win the gold, and I’m damn glad that he did.
I can see how it’s kind of unfair that the US only lost one game and was handed the silver medal. I think the Olympic tournament needs to be restructured. Why is it necessary to play a full week of games before actually playing for real? Why not seed the teams based on the way they finished in the previous Olympics? Maybe that’s not the best way to do it, but playing two full weeks of games that mattered would offset seeding them based off the previous Olympics.
I didn’t even think the US team would make it to the medal rounds, and they surprised everyone. They deserve so many accolades for how well they played. Watch for them in 2014 (if the NHL goes to the Olympics in Sochi), because a lot of those players will be back, more experienced, and probably still pissed they got the silver in 2010.
Even though the US played well, Canada deserved to win the gold medal on their home soil. I know there were a lot of people in the US cheering on the American team, but 80% of Canada’s citizens watched at least part of that hockey game. That would be equivalent to 240 MILLION Americans watching the game. I don’t even think that many people watch the Super Bowl.
People in the US were invested, but it doesn’t even compare to Canada. There weren’t parties in the streets in any American cities, but people came out to the streets in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa to cheer on the team and celebrate the gold medal.
Would you have seen this anywhere in the US? I don’t think so. Although, if you do, let me know because I’d love to be there!
Canada deserved it, and the ending to the Olympics was perfect because of it. Congratulations to them!
And now that he’s won a gold medal, Brenden’s new number one goal can be to lead the Stars to a Cup. Although he’s gonna need a ton of help with that.
I am so proud of Brenden and so happy that Canada won.