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The 2002 Olympic Hockey Quotes of the Year

What they said at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

By

"The mood is like we killed somebody or stole something."
- Slovakia coach Jan Filc, after the team failed to advance from the preliminary round.

"It now turns out that the French woman judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne should have been a hockey official because both Canada's artistic presentation and their technical merit marks here at hockey would be very low."
- Jim Lampley of CNBC, after Canada opened the men's tournament with a loss to Sweden and a slim victory over Germany.

"We don't worry about Canada at all. We don't take them as the team to beat. I don't think they're one of the best teams, and the scores show it."
- Martin Rucinsky of the Czech Republic, before Canada and the Czechs played to a 3-3 tie.

"I don't think we dislike those countries as much as they hate us. That's a fact. They don't like us. They want to see us fail. They love beating us. They don't like us and we've got to get the same feeling towards them."
- Canadian management guru Wayne Gretzky after the Czech game.

"They Shamed Their Country."
- The front page headline in a Swedish newspaper, the day after Belarus upset the Swedes in the men's quarterfinals. The article included photos of every Swedish player, identified by name and NHL salary.

"It was luck. It was like the [Australian] short-track skater. Everybody fell down and he got first. Basically the same thing happened here."
Ruslan Salei, the only NHL player on the Belarus team, on their victory over Sweden.

"It was designed before to have a Canada-US final and you've got that final. They're professional people, those NHL referees. But they live here (in North America). They are Americans and Canadians. They know the players. In crucial situations, they are going to have human reactions. They're not going to call a penalty."
- Russian coach Slava Fetisov after Russia's loss to the United States in the men's semifinals.

"If they'd come out and played the first two periods the way they played the third, maybe they'd be in this game... But they didn't play the first 40 minutes. They have nothing to cry about."
- Team Canada assistant general manager Kevin Lowe on the Russia-USA game.

"The way Team U.S.A. womanhandled the Canadians in their eight-game Road to the Olympics series -- eight wins, no losses, 31-13 in goals -- you wonder why Canada is even showing up."
- Cam Cole, a columnist with Canada's National Post, before Canada's defeated the United States 3-2 to win the women's gold medal.

"She might as well put on their jersey."
- Canada's Geraldine Heaney, after American referee Stacey Livingston called 12 penalties against Canada in the gold medal game.

"The Swedish team, in my opinion, the best team here, started to lose concentration (in the Belarus game). They started making defensive mistakes, slamming gates, barking at each other. They lost their focus. Then I watched our (women's) team. I thought, 'I've never seem homerism like this in all my life.' But they never lost their poise. It was amazing. You lose your poise, you give in to the circumstances, that's what loses it. You lose your focus, and we spoke about that in our meeting."
Team Canada men's coach Pat Quinn, recalling the team meeting prior to the men's gold medal game against Team USA.

"I can see them both there, and the pass goes practically to Mario's stick. He doesn't just not play it. He actually puts his stick there to play it, then moves his stick. It was a beautiful play, and a play you have to honor as a goalie. Obviously I honoured it a bit too much."
- USA goaltender Mike Richter on Paul Kariya's goal, which tied the game 1-1.

"When Joey Sakic had that breakaway and iced it, it was just such a great feeling. We tackled him on the ice and he said to me, 'Why didn't you join me? I was going to pass it to you.' I said, 'That's why I didn't join you.' From that point on, our bench was a great place to be. We could hear "O Canada" being sung throughout the arena."
- Canada's Brendan Shanahan, on Joe Sakic's third period goal to end the scoring at 5-2.

"We did not lose to a bunch of scrubs. We lost to the best players in the world, bar none. And you could tell they needed it. It seemed like 50 years of emotion was pent up because they were flying out there."
- USA forward Jeremy Roenick.

"You ever try carrying an anvil on your back for ten days?"
- Canada's Al MacInnis, when asked about the pressure to win gold.

"Steve Yzerman should stay in Utah after what he pulled. Yzerman's knee flared up during the Olympics and now he's going to sit at home on his butt and miss games for the team and the fans who pay him his $8 million per year. What an outrage! Mario Lemieux is being lynched in Pittsburgh and it should be the same in Detroit for Yzerman."
- An irate Red Wings fan, after Yzerman and Lemieux revealed serious injuries as a result of the Olympic tournament.

"When you start a tournament, you stick with it."
- Yzerman replies.

More Hockey Quotes of 2002

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