International hockey and the club v country debate

Great read and I love the comparison with football here in England. Although there are hated rivalries in football at the end of the day most fans will support England. Yes there is a bit of booing of certain players but most fans would rather see England win the World Cup then their club wins the Champions League. I was torn a few weeks ago when Ricky Lambert scored for England against Scotland. Being a Portsmouth fan I hate everything about Southampton players and couldn’t force myself to be happy, even against Scotland.

Then again there is nothing like a game against France to galvanize a countries support around a whole team. England as individual players are pretty good, the fact they don’t play as a team means they are not going to win the World Cup for many years to come.

So going back to hockey, if possible don’t let regional pride get in the way of national accomplishment. Always support anyone who pulls on the national jersey. Even if it’s a Bruins player and you’re a Habs fan!

Hockeyland Canada

club v country article

Over the past week, discussion around the hockey world has been coloured with an immense feeling of national pride, as Canada, the United States and Russia held their Olympic orientation camps.  However, as debates rage on in basements, bars and rinks around the world as to who should make their respective national teams, the way that some fans view their national teams will be shaped by the players who represent them, and their own devotion to their NHL teams.

International hockey is an incredible spectacle, and offers the fan the increasingly rare opportunity to see the sport’s true best on best action.  I enjoy the thrill of watching the competition, the exploits of smaller hockey nations like Belarus in 2002 or Switzerland in 2006, and the fervor of the crowd during the games.  Although I watch nearly every game intently, unlike many Canadians, I am rarely filled with a rousing…

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2 thoughts on “International hockey and the club v country debate

  1. Thanks for the response! Certainly, the vast majority of Canadians don’t feel the way that I do, and thus some have felt my view is unpatriotic. The reason I felt compelled to write this article was because one of my mates who’s an Oiler fan said he would be conflicted if Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle were left off the Canadian team, and Nail Yakupov made the Russian team. I completely understand that. The Olympics are a two week event, while the NHL season seems like a year (life!) long proposition.

    Your mention of England v France was particularly poignant for me. In hockey, usually the only game I really want Canada to win is against the Americans. I remember feeling sick after the 1996 World Cup, and the American players have had a brash, cocky sense of confidence when playing against Canada. Even when Canada has had no Habs, I enjoy those victories against the States, particularly the two gold medal games. Though admittedly, the Canadiens in recent years have taken on a more American flavour, my opinion on USA hockey may change again!

  2. I can defiantly relate to your view. I think the difference here comes down to the fact that Canada are a very successful hockey team. This makes it less special for some people than winning the Stanley Cup. England’s domestic clubs are very successful in comparison to their international side.

    In hockey I am still torn who to support but it will probably be the USA with Lavi as Assistant Coach. (Obviously Britain didn’t qualify…)

    There will always be some exceptions, whether it’s England vs France or Canada vs USA. These rivalries are what make sport interesting. No matter how much we dislike what we perceive as the brash ignorant views of another team or country, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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