It's a fact that on any given day, one hockey team can beat any other, no matter the edge in talent that one team may possess over the other. But Canada losing to Finland at the world junior hockey championships in the quarterfinals? That's not quite as bad as losing to Germany or France, but it is in the same area code.
If Canada took Finland too lightly, that's a mistake any team can make and if it is so, they paid for it by being drubbed 5-1 by the Finnish team (geez, I can't get over how pathetic that sounds). I suppose we could take some consolation in the knowledge that Finland went on to win the junior title, bearing in mind that in sports, consolation prizes come after you get beat.
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Couple of thoughts about the selections for Team Canada's men's hockey team, as they prepare for next month's Winter Olympics in Russia:
1.) Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban had to get the nod. You don't leave the reigning Norris Trophy winner (emblematic of the NHL's best defenceman) off the roster. Whether he deserved the Norris last season or not (I rather think he didn't), if nothing else he will be a weapon on the power play with his big slap shot from the point.
2.) No Martin St. Louis? The speedy little Tampa Bay Lightning forward would have been a good for the large ice surface in Sochi. Team Canada brass did select Rick Nash, who has a disappointing career and has done almost nothing this season for the New York Rangers. I don't get that decision.
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If you were a doctor, and you performed four surgeries and three of the patients died, you'd be a lousy doctor, right? If you built bridges for a living, and three of every four collapsed, they'd want you to stop building them, correct? Makes sense.
Luckily, when it comes to picking football outcomes, you can be 25 per cent correct and no one kicks the bucket, no bridges fall. To the NFL playoffs....
Indianapolis at New England
The Colts erased a four-touchdown deficit in the second half last week to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, but that's where the miracles cease for Indianapolis. The Patriots aren't about to let the Colts roll into Foxboro and come away with a victory.
New Orleans at Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks are too good at home, where they have the loudest fans in the league and a defence just as intimidating. The Saints aren't the same team when they're not playing at home, in the comfort of the Louisiana Superdome (yeah, I said that last week before they beat the Eagles at Philadelphia, but you can trust me this time).
San Diego at Denver
The Charges have had a knack for beating Peyton Manning in the playoffs, having done it a couple of times when he was a Colt. Not only that, San Diego beat the Broncos last month in the Mile High City, the only time the Broncos lost at home all season (the Chargers also beat Cincinnati last week in southern Ohio, the first time the Bengals lost at home all year, too. Just as an aside: Andy Dalton is horrible â the Bengals have everything but a quarterback).
Not this time for San Diego, though.
San Francisco at Carolina
Not sure what the oddsmakers in Vegas think about this game â I don't pay attention to that sort of thing â but surely they have to favour the 49ers, who have a fast, tough defence and have more recent playoff experience than the Panthers.
Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.