In the time span of several weeks, we as Canadians will have a chance to wave our flag in pride to support our junior hockey team players and then our Olympic athletes as both squads go for gold.
As far as the hockey goes our junior team undergoes more scrutiny than most with the exception being our Olympic hockey unit.
We take pride in having the best on the ice for male and female hockey teams and during these years where the World Junior and Olympic tournaments are within weeks of each other the intensity is ramped up for sure.
The pressure felt by these men and women wearing the maple leaf is hard to compare to anything else.
Think doing dental work on a lion and the sedative is wearing off.
While the pros are more adept to handling these situations our young hockey players might not be but are still put under the microscope before, during and after the tournament.
Many people feel it’s not fair to toss these players to the lions but we as a hockey nation always look for gold and when we don’t bring it home, then we look for answers as to what went wrong.
Some feel it is their divine right to criticize coaches and players but it helps to remember the age of these players and how they must feel each time the puck drops.
There are those who think this test is the perfect way to measure the grit these kids have moving on to professional careers and getting them ready.
We as fans take great pride in how this team performs and we all feel the anxious moments as we sit on the couch following another meal of turkey and mashed potatoes.
It’s a Christmas tradition in this country which thousands take part in and most are chomping at the bit for the tournament to get started.
So here’s to our junior hockey players. We know they will give it their best effort as they always do, working under the most stressful of conditions.
An entire country watching their every move.