NEWS

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Wilson: Best team doesn't always win gold

Sunday, 02.28.2010 / 9:34 PM ET / News
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Wilson: Best team doesn\'t always win gold
VANCOUVER -- Team USA coach Ron Wilson departed the Olympics on Sunday with the same brash take-no-prisoners attitude that defined his team's march to the silver medal.
 
Less than 30 minutes after his team lost a heartbreaking, 3-2, overtime decision in one of the best gold-medal games played in Olympic history, Wilson remained on the offensive.
 
"It's tough to lose a game that way," Wilson said to open his press conference. "I couldn't have asked anything more of our players. They did us proud. They played hard for 60-some minutes, right to the end in regulation and made a great play and found a way to finish us off. But, we are very proud of every one of our players -- their character, how hard they tried, their comportment here has been excellent.
 
"It's just a shame that both teams couldn't have received a gold medal today. Sometimes, the best team in the tournament doesn't win a gold medal. I thought our team played as well as any team I have ever coached."
 
That's right, Wilson went there. He said Canada wasn't the best team in the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament, despite the fact that his players were wearing silver around their necks. And, he said it with Mike Babcock, the Canadian coach, sitting right next to him at the podium.
 
Wilson, though, was just getting warmed up in the closing act of what has been an incredible two weeks of hockey; a tournament, it should be noted, that was headlined as much about the quality of a young American team that played well beyond expectations as much as by a Canadian team that scuffled mightily before finishing golden.
 
In fact, he used the first question of the press conference to press his point even further. This despite the fact the question was about NHL players being allowed to play in Sochi, Russia, the site of the next Winter Olympics in 2014.
 
He said he hopes players are allowed to go and, if they are, that they be allowed extra travel time and, also, that the games are played on the smaller, North American ice surface and not the traditional European sheet, which is 20 feet wider.
 
"I would hope that they play the games on this ice surface, because the games are so much better," Wilson said. "The game tonight had so much intensity. Canada and the United States play the game like it should be -- not sitting back and playing on your heels and waiting for something bad to happen and counter-punching, but actually going on the attack.
 
"I know Mike (Babcock)'s teams play that way and I try to play that way, not very successfully right now with my team in Toronto."

That crack at the Maple Leafs, Wilson's current NHL home, drew ripples of laughter from the packed press conference. But, Wilson wasn't laughing.
 
"It's nothing to laugh at," he snapped. "I'm teaching them to play the right way; not the Slovakian, Czech or Russian way where you sit back and wait and wait and wait. We are on the attack."
 
Furthermore, Wilson loved the results of that hell-bent-for-glory style when it came to Team USA.
 
Not even the disappointing silver it delivered could tarnish Wilson's enthusiasm for what his team's willingness to attack -- and Canada's willingness to reciprocate -- had created Sunday afternoon at Canada Hockey Place.
 
For the better part of three hours, a Team Canada ordained to wear gold threw haymakers at the Americans. Each time, Team USA answered. The result was a brutal ballet that demanded the best of the 42 skaters blessed to take part, as well as the two goalies -- American Ryan Miller and Canadian Roberto Luongo.

It didn't end until 7:40 into overtime when Canada's Sidney Crosby -- only the best player in the world -- delivered a stunning coup de grace that finally put the Americans down for the count.  

"This was a classic hockey game, just as our game was a week ago with the Canadians and to me it is exactly the way the game should be played, Wilson said. "To me, the game was invented in Canada and I think we in the United States have morphed into the same style of play, and it is fun to play that way and I hope Mike agrees."

Author: Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Managing Editor

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
Advertisement
Advertisement