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Canada, U.S. to seek Ryder Cup of hockey

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08:31 AM ET 01.04 | Canada prevailed Monday in another installment of Team Canada vs. Team USA, and it remains each country's chief rivalry. And it is why Hockey Canada's Bob Nicholson is continuing his quest to somehow, someway, someday, create a hockey version of the Ryder Cup with Canada and the U.S. involving the respective mens' national teams, the womens' national teams, the under-20 teams like the two on display here Monday night. Even the under-18 national teams might be considered.

Toronto Sun

Mark Visentin, Charlie Coyle, Getty Images Mark Visentin, Charlie Coyle, Getty Images
January 4, 2011  08:59 AM ET

Team Canada won? Surprise.

January 4, 2011  09:10 AM ET

Interesting concept, but tough to pull together. You have to be careful to not overexpose the fans to the rivalry or it will lose its lustre. If I can watch a Canada/US game every week, its no big deal if I miss one or 2. As it is, I'm taking my own hockey game off tomorrow night to watch the Gold Medal game against the Russians. Would I do that if I knew I could watch the same 2 teams play a couple days later? No. Think about the NHL when they were making division "rivals" play 8 times a year. Even LEAF fans weren't making a big deal out of Montreal or Ottawa coming to town because the frequency of the match-ups made the game seem less important.

And I'm not 100% convinced that the US is our clear-cut rival either. Sure, we've been at each other for a while now, but do we truly think that they have completely supplanted the Russians? I mean, for a while there, the Leafs/Sens rivalry was awesome, but does anyone really think the Sens are a bigger rival to the Leafs than Montreal? Pittsburgh/Washington is a big, heavily marketed rivalry, but is there a fan out there who thinks that Washington is a bigger Pens rival than Philly? Short term rivalries can be intense, but "100 years" of being at each other's throats doesn't just go away.

January 4, 2011  09:21 AM ET

I can see your point Canada, but besides playing each other the two teams have to be competitive. Your example of the Leafs/Sens rivalry makes sense because the Leafs are a doormat team and it doesn't matter who is beating them. The Flyers/Pens rivalry was always there, but it got real intense in recent years because the two teams were good and were evenly matched. Also both fan bases could howl over the dirty play of the other team. (Although Philthadelphia is clearly the dirtier team ;) I just don't think there would be that much interest in watching the Junior teams play on a regular basis. I doubt you could get a major American network to pick it up. Which would leave Versus or the NHL Network. Not real good outlets.

By the way, I didn't see the Canada/USA game and I was surprised to see that the US lost. After Canada got beat by Switzerland, I thought they were done.

January 4, 2011  09:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I can see your point Canada, but besides playing each other the two teams have to be competitive. Your example of the Leafs/Sens rivalry makes sense because the Leafs are a doormat team and it doesn't matter who is beating them. The Flyers/Pens rivalry was always there, but it got real intense in recent years because the two teams were good and were evenly matched. Also both fan bases could howl over the dirty play of the other team. (Although Philthadelphia is clearly the dirtier team ;) I just don't think there would be that much interest in watching the Junior teams play on a regular basis. I doubt you could get a major American network to pick it up. Which would leave Versus or the NHL Network. Not real good outlets.By the way, I didn't see the Canada/USA game and I was surprised to see that the US lost. After Canada got beat by Switzerland, I thought they were done.

Agree with a lot of your points, except for being surprised Canada winning.

It's freakin Canada! ;)

January 4, 2011  09:34 AM ET

main rival, sorry, but no, not at the junior level. Maybe when the 'mericans start winning a little more consistently they can be deemed rivals, but until then they remain the kid brothers. Every year it's the same story, the hype machine gets going and touts them as the next big thing, they have a whole whopping 3 medals in the last decade. Perhaps its because their two gold came at Canada's expense and perhaps because in the men's game there is an actual rivalry that there is so much hype...but I'm tired of it.

'The amercians have X number of first rounders' we were told. Yep, agreed, but Canada has just as many, only that ours play with the big boys, and weren't allowed to come out to play.

I have alot of respect for the leaps and bounds that USA hockey has taken in producing junior talent....however, it's always fun to set the record straight. Canada is hockey, and how sweet it was to watch the Canadian kids dominate. The only sad part is that they won't get a swedish re-match.

*other note: Campbell was sensational, looked like a young Miller, good thing they had him, because that game could have EASILY been 9-1.

January 4, 2011  09:37 AM ET

Canada lost to the Swedes, not the Swiss, but I was nervous going in too. But the US let their nerves get to them in the 1st period and Canada never looked back. It was an awesome display of a team firing on all cylinders, and would have been a much uglier score had Campbell not played his tail off.

That Russia/Sweden game was awesome though. Swedes were a great team, but the Russian goaltender - Shikin - wasn't afraid and made some crazy saves to steal it for his team. That and a very questionable icing no-call.

Burgh - my point was that old rivalries almost always trump recent ones. Like you said, the Pens/Flyers rivalry "was always there" and it always will be. The Canada/Russia rivalry was always there, and always will be. Just 'cause the Caps are big rivals today doesn't mean they are bigger rivals than the Flyers. Just 'cause the US is a major rival today doesn't mean they are bigger rivals than Russia has been. Not saying one way or the other, just saying that assuming the US is Canada's biggest rival doesn't mean its true. Where would things stand had it been RUSSIA Crosby scored against for the Olympic gold? Its not a given.

January 4, 2011  09:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I can see your point Canada, but besides playing each other the two teams have to be competitive. Your example of the Leafs/Sens rivalry makes sense because the Leafs are a doormat team and it doesn't matter who is beating them. The Flyers/Pens rivalry was always there, but it got real intense in recent years because the two teams were good and were evenly matched. Also both fan bases could howl over the dirty play of the other team. (Although Philthadelphia is clearly the dirtier team ;) I just don't think there would be that much interest in watching the Junior teams play on a regular basis. I doubt you could get a major American network to pick it up. Which would leave Versus or the NHL Network. Not real good outlets.By the way, I didn't see the Canada/USA game and I was surprised to see that the US lost. After Canada got beat by Switzerland, I thought they were done.

Not to put too fine a point on it but Canada has never lost to Switzerland. Ever!

Perhaps you're thinking about their shoot-out loss to Sweden?

January 4, 2011  09:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

*other note: Campbell was sensational, looked like a young Miller, good thing they had him, because that game could have EASILY been 9-1.

He WAS awesome...but I saw more Mike Richter than Ryan Miller. Nothing against Miller, but I'd say Richter is the bigger compliment in this case too. He didn't just get the team to the big games, he actually won some of them.

January 4, 2011  09:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

After Canada got beat by Switzerland, I thought they were done.

Sweden....and they lost because their goalie was epicly horrible. As a former junior goalie, I am amazed how alot of Canada's goalies are usually so dominant in Junior Major and then litterally horrible when playing in the tournament (Tokarsky is another recent goalie that comes to mind). I guess its just tough because our national team usually dominates possession, usually the scoring chances come off of weird bounces (see sweden's first goal, the guy batted it in the air off the break-in, from the high slot, was impressive, but weird). It's not at all what they are used to. IMO they're better with a reaction type goalie (Visentin) than a traditional butterfly goalie (Roy) because the butterfly goalie relies entirely on his positioning and the predictability of the trajectories in order to cut down maximum space.

January 4, 2011  09:42 AM ET

Oh and one more thing, foil - we had more first rounders in that game than the U.S., they had more players returning from last year's tourney. We actually iced double the 1st rounders our opponents had last night.

January 4, 2011  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Sweden....and they lost because their goalie was epicly horrible. As a former junior goalie, I am amazed how alot of Canada's goalies are usually so dominant in Junior Major and then litterally horrible when playing in the tournament (Tokarsky is another recent goalie that comes to mind). I guess its just tough because our national team usually dominates possession, usually the scoring chances come off of weird bounces (see sweden's first goal, the guy batted it in the air off the break-in, from the high slot, was impressive, but weird). It's not at all what they are used to. IMO they're better with a reaction type goalie (Visentin) than a traditional butterfly goalie (Roy) because the butterfly goalie relies entirely on his positioning and the predictability of the trajectories in order to cut down maximum space.

Great point. Not sure if you saw the special before this tourney or not, but they were talking about that 2005 Dream Team, and the coach (let him go unnamed, lest his credibility be questioned) stated that they picked Jeff Glass as tender not because he was the best, but because he was best suited to tend goal on that team because he was mentally prepared to only face 10 shots a game or so, which is something not every goalie can handle.

January 4, 2011  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

He WAS awesome...but I saw more Mike Richter than Ryan Miller. Nothing against Miller, but I'd say Richter is the bigger compliment in this case too. He didn't just get the team to the big games, he actually won some of them.

Very good point, I'm talking more about style and general appearance! Plus let's not forget that Campbell DID lose....although, again, he cannot be faulted.

January 4, 2011  09:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Great point. Not sure if you saw the special before this tourney or not, but they were talking about that 2005 Dream Team, and the coach (let him go unnamed, lest his credibility be questioned) stated that they picked Jeff Glass as tender not because he was the best, but because he was best suited to tend goal on that team because he was mentally prepared to only face 10 shots a game or so, which is something not every goalie can handle.

I hadn't sen that, but makes perfect sense. It's really tough being in those types of games, especially when the shooters are 'different' from what you're used to.

I remember once playing against Red Army in a tournament, they lit me up from everywhere, because everything they did, break-ins, zone movement, trajectories, wind ups, etc....were completely different from what I was used to. I later played by a russian defector for a few seasons, so I got used to everything he did....then when I later got a chance to play against a russian club I got a shut out. Most people don't understand it, but it's just so different.

Look at Kovalchuck & Ovechkin's ability to break in off the wing, cut in and effortlessly pick a corner without any wind up. The puck is behind you and you're getting a sun tan from the light before you even saw his stick move. That's russian hockey, and if you've never faced a shot like that before you're DONE FOR until you can figure it out.

January 4, 2011  09:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Not to put too fine a point on it but Canada has never lost to Switzerland. Ever!Perhaps you're thinking about their shoot-out loss to Sweden?

not in the juniors....but remember Torino....ughhhh. gerber plays the game of his lfe and the ex-pat paul dipietro netted two goals.

January 4, 2011  09:56 AM ET

"And it is why [Hockey Canada's] Bob Nicholson is continuing his quest to somehow, someway, someday, create a hockey version of the Ryder Cup involving Canada and the U.S."

I'm all misty eyed!

January 4, 2011  10:02 AM ET

If they really want to do a hockey version of the Ryder Cup, why not have a team made up of Canadien and US players vs a team of European/Russian players. Why exclude Europe/Russia from the equation?

January 4, 2011  10:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

If they really want to do a hockey version of the Ryder Cup, why not have a team made up of Canadien and US players vs a team of European/Russian players. Why exclude Europe/Russia from the equation?

I like this idea, tho getting Team Europe on the same page may be difficult

January 4, 2011  10:12 AM ET

I like the whole North America vs The World format.

January 4, 2011  10:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

I like the whole North America vs The World format.

Didn't they do this kind of garbage for the All-Star game for a while? And everyone hated it?

 
January 4, 2011  10:26 AM ET

No one outside of Canada cares about these, so why just have it USA vs Canada only thing. I couldn't even watch the game on TV last night.

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