Part of it is his incredible dedication that he displayed while singing all these national anthems from Finland, the Czech Republic, Russia and Canada. He tilts his shaven head forward slightly and stares ahead as he sings — which sounds so fluent even though I can’t understand a word he’s saying. I wish he was allowed to sing “O, Canada” tonight, but they gave it to someone else.
By far the best performance of “O, Canada” that I’ve heard is Mark Donnelly before Game 7 of the Vancouver Canucks playoffs last year. It was electrifying, especially when he stops and lets the crowd sing along (and they’re in tune!). I have a recording of it that I still listen to from time to time.