JD thats not quite an accurate comparison. even 30 years ago there were tons of compeditive european teams. the soviets won most of the golds when our NHL players were not alowed to participate, and since the expansion of the nhl there are tons of second generation NHL'ers who are american by birth, but their parents were another nationality. you had at least 2 on the ice in the gold medal game, Parise and Stasny.
not like the pumpkin bouncing contest, there are probably 7 or 8 countries with a real shot at gold. in fact one day of the round robin they set up 3 games that were rematches of the last 3 olympics gold medal games. canada then was only in the gold medal game once in the last three tries.