Thursday, May 01, 2008

Team Canada World Hockey Championships 2008 - Differing Philosophies

Reading Dan Barnes' article today, it seems Team Canada is set on their philosophy of rolling 4 lines, no line matching and letting the chips fall where they may.

Some highlights:

Team Canada head coach Ken Hitchcock said he's going to throw his physical firepower out on the Halifax Metro Centre ice and not worry too much about who occupies the other sweaters.(Calgary Herald)

I'm not saying this philosophy WON'T work, Canada has so much talent, it's hard not to buy into this idea. But automatically assuming that whoever Canada puts out will be better than whomever the opposition will put out is both lazy and disrespectful. It's certainly not prudent.

"We're not going to spend a lot of time worrying on the opposition. You can almost get overwhelmed by the way they play. They play so much different than we do. I've seen it where we talk so much about them that we play tentative," said Hitchcock. "We're going to go out, put our Canadian game right out front and, if you can play and beat us, great. We're not going to go and back up and worry about defending in certain areas. We'll play the game we've got on the ice and, if a team beats us at our game, then so be it. (Calgary Herald)

Forgive me for asking this, but when have Canadians ever said, "well if our best doesn't beat their best by default, so be it?" NEVER. IMO part of Canada's success in hockey is because we refuse to accept losing under any condition. There are some points that Hitchcock brings up that fills me with some hope:

"We've got two high-pressure lines and two lines that are really strong in the two-way game. We wanted to really identify everybody and give everybody a role."(Calgary Herald)

Thank god...

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