On New Year’s Eve in 2005, the U.S. and Canada were playing in a heated game in which it was already decided that both would be through to the medal round.
Things had been a bit chippy all night, with Canada in particular and unsurprisingly committing the bulk of the infractions because, with a roster featuring Steve Downie, Dave Bolland and Kris Russell, they were even lower-rent than you’d likely expect in a normal year.
This game was interesting not only because America was involved, but also because, through a series of back-alley deals and other subterfuge, Canada was technically ahead of the U.S. in the standings, meaning that Our Boys had to outright win to earn a bye straight through to the semifinals. Not a problem, right?
Except Canada continued its rampant cheating and entered the third period clinging to a 2-all tie. Here, America clearly opted to wait until the last possible second to score, probably in an effort to drive ratings and raise more money for USA Hockey and other worthy charitable causes. However, upon pulling the goalie to make it fair to the Canadians, Kyle Chipchura scored into the empty net (recalling what True American Legend Al Iafrate once said about this type of tactic). So the U.S. lost for the first time in any international competition in any sport. More or less by design, and through poor sportsmanship.
But the worst was yet to come as noted gutless puke (see also: Canadian) Steve Downie also took the time to two-hand Jack Johnson in the back of the leg well behind the play. So like America did in 1945, Johnson had no recourse but to teach Downie a lesson he would never forget.
The elbow to Downie’s face was, if the replays are to be believed (and the Canadian propagandists ignored) no more than a shot across the bow, a warning, if you will. A largely harmless show of force. Any American infant would have regarded Johnson’s quote-unquote devastating elbow with bemusement and likely would have slept through it, continuing to dream the untroubled dreams of the innocent, which U.S. residents of all ages enjoy.
That Downie hit the ice as though he was shot at close range a high-powered rifle is unsurprising. That he was perfectly fine afterward underscores what a terrible subhuman he is.
But Johnson’s supposed elbow taught us all a valuable lesson: incurring the wrath of any American is a fool’s errand.