Team Canada better prepared for big European ice surface this Olympics

Canada's Sidney Crosby during Team Canada team practice at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 27,...

Canada's Sidney Crosby during Team Canada team practice at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 27, 2010. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY)

Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

When it comes to handicapping the Olympic men’s hockey tournament — which, for our purposes, comes down to evaluating Canada’s chances at defending the gold it won four years ago in Vancouver — the characteristics of the venue are pretty much summed up this way: The field is leveled by widening it.

It is one of the interesting realities of the Olympic tournament that Canada — and the U.S., for that matter — have struggled mightily on the large international ice surface, losing their games, their hopes, their scoring touch and, ultimately, any chance at a medal somewhere in the extra 3,000 square feet of the bigger rink.


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