If I can be faulted for anything aside from barely hiding my Canadian bias in my Olympic hockey team previews, it was probably beating the horse that was the expression “single-elimination tournament” a few too many times after it had clearly kicked the bucket. We get it. Upsets can happen.
But, upsets do happen, so I tried to emphasize that point to get out ahead of the garbage conversations I’m going to have to have if Canada drops their quarterfinal hockey game to Trinidad & Tobago (or whoever) and everyone in Canada thinks we need to overhaul our minor hockey system and strap Steve Yzerman to a catapult aimed at Nunavut and cut the strings.
Canada probably beats a team like their group-mate Norway 19 times out of 20, but that still leaves a five percent chance that the Canadians become the recipients of a different type of metal after hockey at the Olympics. Like maybe hammers-and-shovels type metals when the angry mob catches up to them.
Sometimes things just go wrong. You hit six posts, you get jobbed on a call and your star player contracts boneitis in warmups. The momentum starts to go the other way, guys get down on the bench, and holy applesauce-on-pancakes, we just lost to Belarus.
So, how can it go wrong for your team when you’re that much better than your opponent?
Basically…sometimes hockey just happens.