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AP Proves Stupid Sportswriting is not Confined to Men's Hockey

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The Russians didn't care about losing in the "lesser theater" in 1972.  via <a href="http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/featuremedia/feature82/henderson.jpg">www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com</a>
The Russians didn't care about losing in the "lesser theater" in 1972. via www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com

It seems clear that Olympic journalism school teaches that the only good article is one that talks about how long it has been since something happened.  Jaime Aron, writing for AP, tells us:

"Canada['s women's hockey team] hasn't lost an Olympic hockey game since dropping the gold-medal game at the 1998 Nagano Games."

"Considering the dominance of Canada and the drop in quality after the United States, there's been speculation about cutting women's hockey from the Olympics."

You know, when I think of "dominance," I think of Mike Tyson - 19-0 to start his pro career, with 12 knockouts.  What I don't think of is the Canadian record against the US at the World Championships and the Olympics:

 

Year Tourn Winner G Loser G
2010 Olympics Canada 2 USA 0
2009 Worlds USA 4 Canada 1
2008 Worlds USA 4 Canada 3
2007 Worlds Canada 5 USA 1
2005 Worlds USA 1 Canada 0
2004 Worlds Canada 2 USA 0
2002 Olympics Canada 3 USA 2
2001 Worlds Canada 3 USA 2
2000 Worlds Canada 3 USA 2
1999 Worlds Canada 3 USA 1
1998 Olympics USA 3 Canada 1
1997 Worlds Canada 4 USA 3

 

In a sport where teams routinely put double- or even triple-digits on the scoreboard, Canada going 8-4 over 12 games with an average margin of 0.58 goals is not "dominance."  In fact, odds are that Canada and the United States have been evenly-matched this entire time.

But the press seems to think we have no interest in a story unless it involves some kind of drought in the win department.  I want to highlight yesterday's most egregious offender, the Vancouver Sun's Cam Cole:

"because of World Cups and Canada Cups and world juniors and all kinds of hockey games and titles Canada has won that mattered very little in the grand scheme of things to the Russians -- whose grand scheme is, and always has been, the Olympics.  Russia...has happily traded losses in lesser theatres for the opportunity to break Canada's heart on the big stage.  And they've been doing it for 50 years."

Come on, Cam.  You're really stretching it - Canada has no psychological issues because they've beaten the Russians more times than they can count, but "the drought" is still meaningful because the Russians have decided that they don't give a shit about all of the times they've lost and they only care about the Olympics?  You don't really believe that BS, do you?  When Canada boycotted Olympic hockey in 1972 but beat the Russians in the Summit Series in Moscow later that year, do you think the Russians found solace in their 1968 Olympic win over a bunch of Canadian university students?  Did the Russians send Vladislav Tretiak to three Canada Cups because they wanted to demonstrate their insouciance?