As an unabashed fan of hockey in general, and women’s hockey specifically, I always look forward to the Winter Olympics. Sure, the tournament is a bit predictable, with the United States and Canada the heavy, heavy favorites to meet in the finals (though I remember well Sweden knocking off the US of A in a shootout in 2006). But I bristle at the logic that the predictability of the finals is a knock on the women’s game.
First, it’s simply unfair to criticize these two programs because the rest of the world hasn’t accepted the challenge to improve their teams. I hope they will, much like other nations are catching up to the U.S. women’s national soccer team. In PyeongChang, Finland gave both Canada and the United States headaches in the opening rounds, and Russia (oh, sorry, Olympic Athletes from Russia), Switzerland and Japan all showed promise (though Sweden was a disappointment). So there’s hope.