At the risk of having my citizenship revoked, I have to admit to not understanding Canadians’ excitement over winning Olympic hockey gold. I’m not a fan, so I say this without a trace of arrogance, but what else did anyone expect?
The Olympics are hardly necessary to prove that Canadian hockey players are the best in the world – the statistics show that beyond a shadow of a doubt. As the chart above indicates, Canadians have dominated the National Hockey League since its inception. While the overall percentage of them has declined since the league began opening up to other nations in the 1970s, Canadians still make up more than half of all players.
Moreover, as the numbers on tracking site QuantHockey show, Canadians absolutely dwarf everyone else when it comes to game statistics themselves. Canadian players have racked up more than five times the total number of points as the next closest country, the United States.
Even more to the point, nine of the 10 highest scoring players (by points) of all time are Canadian, with only the Czech Republic’s Jaromir Jagr sneaking in there.
Canada winning a gold medal in any sort of international hockey competition should therefore be a foregone conclusion. It’s about as surprising as Swedes winning a flat-packing furniture competition, or Jamaicans coming first in a jerk-chicken cookoff.