Team USA vs Team Canada Simulation From image

Oh Canada! Team USA Underdogs Up North

Team Canada heavy favorites in Sunday showdown
By Ryan Fowler,
February 17th, 2010

Related Features

NHL SimMatchup
SimLeague Hockey - NHL
2009 NHL Playoff Preview


It's 5 o'clock somewhere.

That is everywhere, but Vancouver, British Columbia, at least for the next two weeks.

The International Olympic Committee committed the ultimate party foul, shutting down "Miller Time" until after the closing ceremonies.

Team USA's goalie Ryan Miller was ordered to remove the popular namesake slogan from his patriotic hockey mask before Tuesday's Olympic duel against Switzerland. It turns out the IOC views the branding as "propoganda" and too closely linked to advertising.

However, the Buffalo Sabres' main man between the pipes may need to resort to heavy doses of malted barley and hops come Sunday if the computers are accurate once again.

Using our site's Dream Teams tool, I loaded both the Team USA and Canadian rosters based off players' statistics following the completion of the 2008-09 NHL season. I then used our free NHL SimMatchup feature to simulate the game.

The hockey simulation engine allowed us to go ahead and simulate Team USA's Sunday showdown versus Team Canada 1,001 times.

Team USA vs Team Canada
MatchupWin%Avg Score
Team USA29.12.7Boxscore
@ Team Canada70.93.9Simulate Game

The strength of Team USA hockey has no doubt grown since NHL players joined the party during the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano. However, the boys (most of the 2010 Olympic roster consists of players 25 years-old and younger) still have huge hurdles to clear before they can hang with the Canadian national team.


The presence of talent like Sidney Crosby, Rick Nash and veteran goalkeepers Roberto Luongo and Marc Andre-Fleury has really added some firepower to Team Canada as demonstrated by their 8-0 thrashing of Team Norway.

Selecting optimal starting lines and goalkeepers, the computer predicts the Canadians won't skate away with an 8-goal blow-out over the United States. But they should win the majority of the time. The computers give the edge to Team Canada 70% of the time by an average margin of victory of more than one goal.

In Team USA's first contest, Ryan Miller was solid for three periods deflecting 14 of 15 Swiss shots. But to give you an idea of the break from reality Miller enjoyed playing Switzerland, he normally ecounters twice as many shots on goal during his sixty minutes on the ice.

Ryan Miller

If you check out our example Team USA vs Team Canada boxscore from one of the simulated games, you will see Miller will be in front of a firing squad for three periods on Sunday.

The USA goalie should face a more realistic 47 shots on goal, five of which, in this scenario, will find the back of the net.

It should be noted that besides the Alex Ovechkin-led Russians, Team Canada is the favorite to win gold in Vancouver. So, the computers prediction of a convincing Team Canada win by more than a goal should come as little surprise to most avid hockey fans.

Then again, an upset on Sunday could lead to a different application of "Miller Time" come, say, 5 o'clock.

How would you like to have Gordie Howe on your roster alongside Wayne Gretzky? Sign up today for a free trial of's SimLeague Hockey.

Ryan Fowler is the Digital Content Manager for and can be reached at


SimLeague Hockey

Compete in a full season with your dream team from NHL past and present. Line & pair management, goalie options, prizes, and more.

Try It For Free


Create or re-play any fantasy matchup from sports history. One click yields a free box score and play-by-play.

Try It For Free

SimLeague Baseball

Compete in a full season with your dream team from MLB past and present. Lineups, player settings, trades, prizes, and more.

Try It For Free

What is WhatIfSports? is a sports simulation and online gaming site providing free content and unique games for the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA sports and more.

Join today to get these members only benefits:

  • Create your own Dream Team
  • Save your favorite SimMatchup results
  • Play a FREE SimLeague trial season
  • Start playing a Dynasty game
  • Manage baseball games LIVE
  • Access to SiteMail
  • Post in our Forums
  • Build a Buddy list to easily invite friends
  • Use our online Customer Service
  • Earn game credits by using our Referral & Affiliate program

New Terms of Use Customer Support New Privacy Statement Advertising Choices

© 1999-2018, Inc. All rights reserved. Use of this website (including any and all parts and components) constitutes your acceptance of these Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. WhatIfSports is a trademark of, Inc. SimLeague, SimMatchup and iSimNow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts, Inc. Used under license. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.