Marie-Philip Poulin on upcoming worlds, pro women's hockey league, role with Habs
Canadian hockey star returns as captain 6 months after latest Olympic golden goal
Canadian women's hockey team captain Marie-Philip Poulin is the only hockey player in the world, male or female, to score goals in four straight Olympic hockey finals.
The 31-year-old from Beauceville, Que., reinforced her golden-goaler reputation by scoring twice, including the eventual winner, in February's final in Beijing where Canada edged the United States 3-2.
Poulin leads defending champion Canada into the women's world championship starting Thursday in Herning and Frederikshavn, Denmark. Canada opens against Finland in Herning.
Poulin has produced seven goals in her four Olympic finals, including the late equalizer and OT winner in Canada's victory in 2014, and both goals in 2010 in a 2-0 win over the Americans.
She also scored in regulation time in Canada's shootout loss to the U.S. in 2018.
WATCH | Poulin leads Canada to gold medal in Beijing:
Her heroics aren't limited to Olympic Games. Her overtime winner against the U.S. in last year's world championship final in Calgary gave Canada its first title in almost a decade.
Poulin tops all active Canadian players in scoring with 88 goals and 96 assists in 153 career games.
She ranks fifth all-time behind Hayley Wickenheiser, Jayna Hefford, Caroline Ouellette and Danielle Goyette.
When Pope Francis spoke about teamwork to an audience in Iqaluit, Nunavut during last month's papal visit to Canada, he referred to Poulin and her teammate Sarah Nurse by name.
"I heard that," Poulin said. "I got a nice little message from my grandma. I think she's pretty happy about it."
1-on-1 with Poulin
The Canadian Press had a few questions for Poulin ahead of the world championship in Denmark. The interview has been edited and condensed for space.
CP: It's only been six months since the Olympics. This is the third major championship in the space of a year. You've had some knee injuries in your career and some international hockey miles on you. What made you want to play in this world championship and not take a break?
CP: What would it mean to you to captain Canada to a third major title in the span of a year?
MPP: "I haven't thought that far, but the group we have is really special. There's a lot of talent coming up as well and obviously it would be an honour. Having the chance to win these two big tournaments in the last year was a big confidence-booster. For us, now it's in the past and now we're looking at what's ahead of us."
CP: What does your job with the Montreal Canadiens entail and how do you blend that with your playing career?
CP: It's been widely reported that a league involving Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association (PWHPA) is in the works backed by Billie Jean King Enterprises and the Mark Walter Group. How close do you feel you are to getting the professional women's league you want?
CP: How long do you want to keep playing for the national team?
Poulin: "As long as I can keep up with the youngsters. They're pretty talented. I still love it. When I come to the rink not smiling and not enjoying it, I know it's going to be over, but I'm still enjoying it."