Unfortunately, as is the nature of sports betting, things don’t always go according to plan. Punters in Canada most likely learned this the hard way with wagers placed on any of the matches we look back upon here. From losses to teams that Canada has never lost to before, Olympic meltdowns and everything in between, ice hockey in this country has seen some truly alarming moments in sporting history.
If you are keen on developing a sports betting strategy for ice hockey betting, you will have to be patient and accept that age old adage: you win some, you lose some.
1998 Winter Olympics
The Olympics always attracts some incredible Australian sports betting action, and this was no doubt the case when it came to the Canadian ice hockey team’s participation the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. With a semi-final match at stake and Canada attempting to advance to the first gold medal game involving NHL players, a decision was made to bench star forward Wayne Gretzky, a decision which many think cost Canada the match to the Czech Republic.
However, this wasn’t the only mistake made by the management team during the 1998 Winter Olympics, and many agree that Canada was doomed before they even set a skate on the ice. Unpopular decisions were made regarding the Canadian Olympic team picks, and many of the NHL star players retired ahead of the Olympic season, marking a transitional time for team Canada. No matter what the cause was, Canada ultimately suffered a 3-2 defeat to the Czech Republic and then lost the bronze medal match to Finland, ending their 1998 Olympic dreams for good.
Canada versus France at 2014 World Championships
There were surely some Canadian dollars on the line during the opening match of the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championship between Canada and France in 2014. Sports betting is a risky, albeit often rewarding affair, and many didn’t see the French defeat of the Canadian team coming. Team Canada was locked in a tight match with France right from the get-go, but unfortunately the Canadians never seemed to quite find their feet.
The Canadian team took many penalties and committed numerous turnovers during the match which ultimately ended in a 3-2 loss by shootout to the French team. The 1st and last time Canada had been defeated by France in the same tournament was in the 1995, and Canada was the favourite to win as they were running on an 8-1 all-time hot streak against the French. This was deemed Canada’s most shocking defeat at the IIHF World Championships since coming up short against Norway in Russia, circa 2000.
Heavy Blow for Women’s Ice Hockey
The 2017 IIHF Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship took place Michigan, United States and unfortunately the Canadian women’s team suffered two devastating losses in a row. When team Canada experienced a 2-0 loss to the USA, the match was described as a ‘wake-up call’ for the losing team, but unfortunately they weren’t out of the wood just yet.
Just a day later, Canada experienced a shocking and entirely unexpected loss to Finland, breaking their 20-0 lifetime domination over the Finnish ice hockey team. In what should’ve been a breeze of a match, the loss was perhaps the result of not considering a lesser opponent as a serious threat, and surely had sports betting enthusiasts tearing out their hair in frustration.
An important lesson can be learned from these 3 defeats: when it comes to sports betting, a sure thing isn’t always so sure.
One can hardly talk about Canada without mentioning the NHL, or National Hockey League. Canadians are known for their passionate, sometimes fanatical support of the game, to such a extent that it is often mentioned in good natured popular culture jokes.
The NHL has been running for nearly a hundred years, and has a long, interesting history, stretch back all the way to the early 1900s. Let’s have a brief look at the history of the National Hockey League.
The NHL was first established in November 1917, coming about after the previous major hockey organization, the NHA, folded. The NHA had come under major strain due to ongoing disputes between Eddie Livingstone, the then owner of the Toronto Blueshirts, and the other team owners. The creation of the NHL was seen as a way to get beyond these squabbles, and create a hockey organisation that took the sport forward.
There were numerous changes to the format of the league over the 25 years that followed, with team owners and event organisers ironing out the specific details. During this time, in 1924, the first American team joined the NHL, which is widely seen as a major milestone for the organisation as a whole. The team was the Boston Bruins, and with their comfortable inclusion into the NHL, a number of other American teams soon followed suit. By 1926 a total of six of the official teams in the NHL were American.
As the NHL evolved, the number of teams participating gradually dwindled, leaving only six core teams by 1942. These teams held the NHL together through until 1967, and so are often referred to as the “Original Six.” In 1967 six more teams were added, all American, again taking the organisation into a new era.
It wasn’t until 1979, however, that the NHL had another major evolution and milestone, merging with the WHA, World Hockey League. The WHA had been established a few years prior, seen as an attempt to break the monopoly the NHL had on major professional hockey. With the two organisations combined, the popularity of hockey In Canada was taken to new heights.
Recent NHL History
More expansions during the early 1990s saw the NHL adopt even more teams, bringing the total number to 26. Further expansions in the early 2000s increased that total to 30, and the planned addition of yet another Las Vegas based team in the 2017 season puts the current grand total at 31.
Some speculate that the NHL is expanding beyond its saturation point, and that at some point the number of teams is sure to stat thinning out. Either way, when keeping in mind that the NHL had comprised of only six teams, it is clear to see the enormous levels of popularity hockey has enjoyed over the years.
With growing popularity in the United States, and a die hard fan base in Canada, hockey is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It is still a sport heavily focused in the Northern American regions, but growing interest is being seen in other parts of the world.