Team Canada Finnished At World Juniors
As the semi-finals of the World Juniors are set to begin Friday evening, Team Canada will miss this round for the first time in tournament history as the host. It pains me to pen this, but it can't always be roses and rainbows here at BBM.
Experts point at the inexperience of this squad, with only one returning player from the 2018 gold medal team. Others will talk about the added pressure the Canadians had to play with, seeking back-to-back gold medals from last year, and doing it all on home soil. Finland didn't have much to lose going into the game Wednesday night, they just had to show up and have fun. No one expected them to win after narrowly squeezing through the preliminaries. But all that is bogus. All these kids have pressure and Canada had ten first-rounders featuring the number one prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft.
The primary reason they lost: Mr. Worldwide.
Pitbull's 2012 single "Don't Stop The Party" was Canada's goal song for the 2019 World Juniors. As the conservative hockey community has always made attempts to be more hip, they really hit this one out the park.
Not sure who makes these calls, but I could imagine the Hockey Canada Board of Directors all sitting in a conference room trying to top last year's choice "Hey Baby!" scratching their heads.
Then suddenly, someone steps up and says, "As hosts, we need this to be a non-stop party, soooo...."
And these are the Board of Directors so I can't blame them too much.
As for those who don't believe something as irrelevant as a goal song can play a factor in the largest hockey tournament in the world outside of the Olympics. Well let's dig deeper.
Canada's first game was a blowout win against the Danish.
Hearing Pitbull's Don't Stop The Party fourteen times in the span of two hours will put the brakes on any party. The Canadian teens had enough of Pitbull and knew next game they better change things up if they're going to keep their sanity for the rest of the tournament.
Next game was against the Swiss, an opponent they know they can control the outcome of the game no matter what and a perfect match to execute the new game plan. They opened the scoring in the first minute of the game to get the Pitbull punishment immediately out the way. They rode it out to the second period, Swiss scored immediately, and Canada tucked two in for safe measure. After their final two goals, they coasted for the rest of the game for as little Pitbull as possible and a one goal game against a much lesser team.
However, Canada was heavily criticized for their mediocre effort and was required to step it up next game against the Czech if they're going to be taken seriously. That resulted in another dominant win that had Mr. Worldwide on repeat for the night.
Now, Canada has a potential four games ahead of them, that's a lot of Pitbull. They decided to go back to the game two game plan and win by one goal against Russia, a team you can never dictate your score against.
Playing with fire all tournament long earned them an elimination game against the Fins. Canada continued to play with the same brash strategy, attempting to win this game 1-0. Unfortunately for the Canucks, the hockey gods decided it was time to smite Canada and humble the greatest hockey nation in the world. Team C was up 1-0 and everything was going to plan -- no Pitbull and a spot in the semi-finals just 46 seconds away. Finland went on to tuck in the most bizarre bounce ever witnessed in international play, following it up with a far more unlucky sequence in OT.
That broken stick led to +36m broken hearts....
After our 14-0 win against Denmark, Don Cherry said our arrogance and celebrating when up ten goals is going to come back and bite us in the ass. Well, Dons always right. Even with the best talent in the world, the Hockey Gods always have the last say.
This humiliating loss on home soil that never happened before had to happen sometime. I think most us could say we're thankful it happened during the tournament of Mr.Worldwide.
And for those who still are trying to de-bunk this goal song theory, look below.
Now this song came out in the summer of 2012, which means they had three years of being serenaded by Pitbull every time they light the lamp: 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015. Lets have a look at those three seasons.
The first year they bump Pitbull, they miss playoffs for three consecutive years. The season they drop Mr.Worldwide, they're back in playoffs after a three year drought. There's certainly a strong correlation between good goal songs and good teams and I hope we figure it out next time.
Canada's captain Max Comtois, who was ridiculed for diving several times throughout the tournament, received a verbal onslaught from "fans" on social media after failing to score the penalty shot in OT. However, he was arguably our best player and the best player in the tournament.
Thankfully for Comtois, he was likely chosen as captain for his mental strength and leadership, with the ability to block out this kind of irrelevance. Guys like him don't let lowlifes bother him. Also, he was groomed through the Quebec hockey system and it's likely the obscenities he heard there while under performing may have developed some thick skin for the French-Canadian.
But it doesn't stop there. After the Fins beat us, they decided they're going to throw more salt on the wound. A Finnish hockey company mailed Nolan Dobson, the player who's stick exploded on the open net in OT, a brand new hockey stick.
Wow, the nerve of these Fins. Most oblivious Canadians think "Awww what sweet Scandanavians!" but this can only mean one thing; this means war, Finland.