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Fans divided on Team Canada's ultimate result

Tuesday, 02.16.2010 / 2:38 PM / All-Access Vancouver

By Brian Duff - NHL Network

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Fans divided on Team Canada's ultimate result
Ask a Canadian who their hockey team will do at the 2010 Winter Olympics and you will receive some diverse answers.
Yes, no, and maybe.

Three answers to the question "Are you confident that Canada will win the Olympic hockey tournament?"

It was a very passionate group of callers to AM640 on Leafs Lunch on this day, but passion was not getting in the way of common sense, or concern over what may transpire between now and Feb. 28.

In typical Canadian fashion, early response came from a number of individuals who've seemingly convinced themselves already that not even a medal - forget gold - will be had by this group! But all had decent reasons.

Many cited Martin Brodeur as the potential weak link, that he'll be exposed by the high quality chances opponents may get, specifically the Russians.

More simply felt, while acknowledging Brodeur's place in history, that this should be Marc-Andre Fleury's tournament based upon recent playoff performances and success.
 
The common thread was one often spun by the media and hockey players, coaches, and managers alike. Canada is the deepest team in the tournament at all positions.

But deep doesn't guarantee success.

"How will Canadian players adjust to new roles, playing out of position, taking less ice time," asked one.

The absence of Jordan Staal, Mike Green, and Steven Stamkos remains a talking point.

"How short a leash is Patrice Bergeron going to have, playing on the top line?"
 
Evenutally, and perhaps more representative of the majority -- it's hard to know -- calls came in to pump up the nation.

"We are the ones to beat!"

"We have four lines of scorers!"

"We are a lock for a medal!"
 
But even among the most confident, there almost always seemed to be a hint of warning, or discretion in their tone, and words.

"It won't be a cakewalk," cautioned one.
 
I'd say Andy from Minden, Ontario may have summarized it best, saying that for him, 1998 in Nagano was a huge reality check. No longer could he believe that Canadians had more heart. Heart is held by all Olympians, and the tournament is wide open.

"Canada is in tough."