Friday, January 23, 2009

A poor year for Canadian hockey in the NHL

Ice hockey is the pride of the nation of Canada. Hockey is the only of the major sport sports leagues to have more than one representative team from north of the border, boasting six different teams, all of which have better support than some of their singular counterparts in other sports.

However, these Canadian NHL teams just aren’t living up to the hype this year. None of the Canadian teams are in the top five in points in the league right now, and only one division leader is a Canadian team.

It’s not just that the best of the best are in the US this year (which they are), but even on the average the US teams are performing better. Up to this point, the 24 American teams are averaging a negligible 0.26% more goals scored per game, but a very notable 4.89% less goals against per game. This has led to an average of nearly two points more for the American teams than their Canadian counterparts (52.38 vs. 50.50) through the halfway point in the season.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be all that surprising, taking a look back at the last decade or so of hockey. A Canadian team hasn’t brought home the cup since 1992, and four out of the last five years there’s been a Stanley Cup Finals the runner-up was a Canadian franchise. This must be just so disheartening for a people so proud that the teams just haven’t put in the full effort this year.

Or it could be a random occurrence, considering Canadian-born players play on every team in the league, and foreign-born player play on all the Canadian clubs. But let’s not ruin the story, and continue to just blame Canada.

It’s never failed us before.

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