January 6, 2012

Did we pressure the juniors too much?

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

Are we putting too much pressure on the Canadian juniors team?

For the third year in a row, Team Canada has failed to take home the gold at the world juniors tournament. It was also the third year in a row that it was essentially hosted by Canada, because we all know that last year’s tournament in Buffalo was overrun by Canadian fans.

So what’s wrong with Team Canada? First off, they’re playing under the tremendous pressure of being expected to win it all, regardless of competition or their own skill.

Think about this: Canada is the only country in the world that cares THIS much about the world juniors. So much so that it gets to host the tournament basically every other year.

Many Canadians will use their winter holidays to take a pilgrimage of sorts to watch the kids compete and it’s a lot easier to afford to fly to Calgary than the Czech Republic or Finland.

Next year, when the tournament will be held in the nearly-unheard-of town of Ufa, Russia, it’s a lot easier to see Canada reclaiming its world juniors throne. Without a circus following the team and expectations lowered after their recent failings, it seems like the perfect storm to take the young Canadians back to the pinnacle.

Of course, I don’t want to be putting pressure on the kids already.

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