SUN Hockey Pool

Different strokes

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

The reaction in Canada to the hockey team's Olympic failure was one of coast-to-coast anger and disappointment.

In the U.S., word their team left Turin with the same result was met with a collective shrug.

For that, Jordan Leopold was a little happy.

"They move on to other things. It's the Olympics and you focus on greatness and glory," said the Calgary Flames defenceman yesterday. "We had other people winning medals and doing special things and you get overshadowed when you lose."

Leopold, who rejoined his teammates for an off-ice workout yesterday, couldn't help but notice the feeling north of the border, even from his home in Minneapolis where he spent a couple of days recovering after his team's eighth-place finish in Turin.

"It's not my worry but it's been interesting," he said. "Canada was in the same spot and we were all frustrated about not performing as well as you think you can but I think this country takes it a little bit harder."

There was no Miracle on Ice for Leopold and his U.S teammates in Turin but that didn't make the trip a waste of time.

He'd love another crack at the Olympic tournament.

"It was a great experience," he said. "Obviously we would have liked to have done better than we did but the experience was neat. Watching all the fans, everything that goes with the Olympics -- the village, you name it -- was an experience I've never been through, and that was fun."

Well, except for going out in the quarter-finals and failing to medal.

Remember, the Americans claimed silver four years ago in Salt Lake City, so the fall was hard.

"We played well and worked hard," Leopold insisted. "We lost every one of those games by a goal. The difference between winning and losing is that close and we ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

"It wasn't anything you could pinpoint, more we just didn't score enough goals to win."

Should a trip to the Olympics help Leopold elevate his game to the next level, nobody in the Flames family will complain.

He's optimistic about carrying over that high level of play down the stretch and into the playoffs.

"You hope that's the case. I had a lot of fun going over there, and that's a big thing," he said. "If you take anything, I played all right and would love to carry that on the rest of the season.

"It wasn't a positive for our country, our team, but you take things away from it you thought you did well and keep going with.

"I didn't get the nine or 10 days off everybody else did but, at the same time, I got to keep myself fresh and keep everything going.

"When we start up, I should feel pretty good."


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