SOCHI – The imperfect team is one win away from Olympic perfection.
The team that seems to do just enough to win did just that in the semifinal of the Olympic tournament, winning 1-0 to advance to Sunday’s gold medal game against Sweden. The most maligned undefeated team in the history of hockey is gaining believers and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars is gaining admirers.
Those who don’t watch the Dallas Stars that much, and judging by their attendance that includes a lot of people in Dallas, are probably getting a good idea how good a player this young man is. He not only scored the only goal Canada needed on a nifty deflection early in the second period, but he played a strong game at both ends of the ice. And when we say strong, we mean strong. Canadian coach Mike Babcock has been raving since the start of the Olympics how strong Benn is on the puck.
The gold medal game should be one for the ages. Canada goes into the game having given up just three goals in the entire tournament, but still looking for that offensive breakthrough from its group of forwards. If it can shut down its own end the way it did against USA in the semifinal, it may not need it.
THN’s Three Stars
1. Jamie Benn
2. Shea Weber
3. Jonathan Quick