World Juniors fallout

The Canada junior hockey team was knocked out of the 2019 World Junior Championship in a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Finland.

Of course, it’s upsetting and the team should have been a gold medal contender. Instead, they will go home with a bruised ego. In some cases, a ton of unacceptable abuse on social media.

Maxime Comtois, a 19-year-old, an Anaheim Ducks prospect and captain of the team failed to score in a penalty shot in the overtime loss. Along with this and his reputation of embellishing, he has garnered a share of hate mail and blame from Canada followers.

Due to the abuse, the young Quebecer disabled comments on his Instagram profile.

Comtois made a mistake, as all people are prone to do, and in a game at that. A game in a tournament that is made primarily held to showcase the young talent in some of the best hockey countries around the globe. Most of the players in the competition are on the verge of playing in the NHL or professionally in other leagues.

The tournament is more about this than the pride of the countries in participation.

After all, they are still kids, barely adults.

I get that mean and harmful things will always be said on the internet, but an adult bullying a teenager online over a hockey game says more about them than said kid missing a penalty shootout that has no real-life consequences.

How does anyone think it’s okay to even say they wish someone gets diagnosed with HIV? It’s incredible that Comtois’ agents had to release a statement to address this.

Comtois is not the sole reason Canada lost the tournament and failed to medal. After all, it is a team game and that game isn’t really just Canada’s game anymore. European countries and the U.S. are getting better and better, especially in the latter’s cities who have won the Stanley Cup.

There is also no shame in losing out to Finland, who has one of the best junior programs in the hockey world right now after a string of mediocrity from 2007 to 2013. The 2013 performance resulted in an inquest and a revamp in their junior system, which has made the country pop out more players like Patrik Laine and Sebastion Aho and less like the stereotypical Finnish grinders such as Jussi Jokinen and Jarkko Ruutu that filled NHL rosters in the 2000s and early 2010s.

Since then, the Fins have won three gold medals in four years, including this year’s tournament.

Canada isn’t in any trouble. They didn’t medal this season but still have the talent pool and infrastructure to compete seriously. Losing a tournament once in a while is bound to happen.

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