Some call it destiny, others call it dumb luck. No matter which side of the ice you find yourself on, there is no denying that Team Canada walked into the Bolshoy Ice Dome this morning ready to play and were able to get the job done as they shut out Team Sweden 3-0 and claimed the Gold Medal in the Men’s Ice Hockey Competition at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
This marks two years in a row that the Canadian squad has come out on top. I will admit, I was one of those that had my doubts on whether or not Team Canada would be able to pull out a win today against one of the most dominate teams in the competition.
Before today’s performance, at least in the last two games, the Canadian squad has struggled to find their offensive presence. They were held to only 2 goals against Latvia after Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis blocked an amazing 55 of 57 shots from the Canadian squad. Then, when they faced Team USA in the Semifinals, they were once contained to just one lone goal.
However, that all changed today against Sweden.
I took a while for the puck to get moving in the right direction, but once it did it was pretty consistent. It all started just over halfway through the first period, 12:55 to be exact. Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was able to find the back of the net with the assistance of Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter and Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber.
It wasn’t until the final five minutes of the second period, or 15:43 to be more exact, until the Canadians would strike again. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby found himself on a breakaway and was able to quickly find the back of the net with an unassisted goal.
The final nail in the proverbial coffin of Team Sweden came at 9:04 in the third period when Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz sent the puck into the net, making the final score 3-0 Team Canada.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price earned himself his second Olympic shutout of the tournament today, stopping all 24 Shots on Goal that came his way.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who seemed to be having a bit of an off day. He stopped 33 of the 36 Shots on Goal brought against him, which gave him a Save Percentage of .916.
This is the second year in a row that the Canadian team has claimed the top spot at the Olympic Games.
I think the biggest point of interest is that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis now has another piece of hardware to add to his collection of pieces he has acquired during his amazing NHL career. If there is anyone who is deserving of such an honor, it is indeed our captain. Last season, he was the recipient of the Art Ross Trophy, which is awarded to the player who leads the league in scoring points at the end of the regular season.
There is no denying that all of the teams who competed in this year’s tournament have played their hearts out in hopes of achieving Olympic glory. Congratulations to Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis and all of Team Canada on their Medal.
Now that the Olympics have officially come to a close, it’s time to get back to some Tampa Bay Lightning hockey! Who’s ready to Be The Thunder once again?