The 2014 Winter Olympics came to a disappointing end for the U.S. men’s hockey team, which failed to medal after coming within one goal of gold four years ago in Vancouver.
Concerns over roster composition that had been widely discussed before the Olympics resurfaced late in the tournament, particularly when Team USA failed to score in either of its final two games.
When speaking with reporters back in Nashville, though, U.S. general manager David Poile said that while he appreciates that the country now cares enough about Olympic hockey to complain about it, he does not think the team would have fared better with a different group of players.
“I think we could have taken other players, and I think the result would be the same,” Poile said Monday, via The Tennessean. “The good news is that we finally had those decisions to make, and we were finally getting people’s attention by who we didn’t take. We were getting written about or criticized or whatever, and I think that’s fabulous that the United States is now talking about players we didn’t take.”
The U.S. dropped its last two games after winning its first four, falling to Canada in the Olympic semifinals and Finland in the bronze medal game. In the eyes of Team USA, Canada, which cruised to a second straight gold medal, will continue to be the team to beat for the foreseeable future.
“We’re going to keep getting better and better until we win,” Poile said. “I’m pretty sure the road to the Olympic (gold) will go through Canada. That’s what we have to emulate and improve upon.”
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