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Wilson surprised by Canada's treatment of Brodeur

Canada's Martin Brodeur hangs his head after allowing the fourth U.S. goal at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver , Sunday.

Scott Gardner/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Despite leading an underdog U.S. team to within a hair of an Olympic gold medal on Sunday, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said he's far from satisfied with how his experience at the Games went.

Wilson was back with his NHL team for the first time as they prepared to play the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

"In our business, it's about winning the whole thing and not putting it in perspective," Wilson said. "You don't think in terms of anything but winning the whole thing. In five years, no one's going to give a damn - it's who won. We know that."

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Wilson added that he was happy with his team's effort in Vancouver despite losing 3-2 in overtime to a Canadian team loaded with NHL all-stars.

The game was the most-watched television event in Canadian history with an average audience of 16.6 million people. Nearly 28 million more watched in the United States.

"I thought we had a chance (to win) the whole night," he said. "We weren't dominated by Canada by any stretch of the imagination and most of the guys even here I talked to thought we were controlling the pace of the play and were getting the better of them, but you know, you go into overtime and anything can happen.

"Puck hits the referee's skate - no one's mentioned that - and that ended up causing kind of a kerfuffle that happened in the corner and they took advantage of it."

Wilson also had some sharp words for those who were critical of the Canadian team - and netminder Martin Brodeur, in particular - throughout the tournament.

"We thought Canada was the best team," he said. "We didn't write them off. But I tell you, reading all the papers, everybody else had them written off.

"The biggest surprise to me is how everybody threw Marty Brodeur, the greatest goalie in the history of the game, under the bus and backed over him, and forward, backward, forward, backward. It's the greatest goalie that's ever played and it almost tarnished his career on one night. He didn't have a good night, but part of that had to do with how well we pressured them."

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The Leafs coach said he was ready to get back to business with his team, which sits 29th in the NHL ahead of only the Edmonton Oilers.

"It's not disappointing to come back to the Leafs," Wilson said. "We're probably all still disappointed we didn't reach the goal we set, which was a gold medal. You come so close. That's going to sting for a while. But we all have jobs to do, so you go back and do your job."

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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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