A Sochi Olympic Team Canada of Omissions

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
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VANCOUVER, B.C – Canada is a powerhouse when it comes to ice hockey, and every four years everyone who loves Canada debates and chimes in with their two cents when Canada’s Olympic Ice Hockey team is named. Some outstanding NHL players were left off Tuesday’s announcement and won’t be heading to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but what if that wasn’t the case. Just imagine if Canada could name an additional team to send to the Sochi Olympics. Here is my roster for a second Team Canada.

Forwards:

Left Wing                      Centre                      Right Wing

Logan Couture –  SJ         Joe Thornton –  SJ        Claude Giroux – PHI

Jeff Skinner – CAR              Eric Staal – CAR           Martin St. Louis – TB

Milan Lucic – BOS             Tyler Seguin – DAL        James Neal – PIT

Taylor Hall – EDM              Jason Spezza – OTT       Jordan Eberle – EDM

Extras: Andrew Ladd – WPG, Mike Richards – LA

Analysis: Scoring goals would not be a problem for these talented forwards. Back-checking and keeping the puck out of their own net would be a tall task. The power-play would be unbelievable!! Chemistry would be important so each line has some familiarity with current or ex-teammates together. The Hurricanes and Sharks forwards would be tasked with killing penalties along with Martin St.Louis. The top three Right Wingers can all be interchanged on different lines. If extra grit was required Andrew Ladd, and Mike Richards could draw in for both Oilers forwards.

Defense:

Mark Giordano – CGY          Dan Boyle – SJ

Kris Letang – PIT            Brent Seabrook – CHI

Dion Phaneuf – TOR           Kevin Bieksa – VAN

Extras: Marc Staal – NYR, Brian Campbell – FLA

Analysis: The top-four are solid and would log the most minutes on the back-end. Kris Letang is a brilliant skater, and on the larger ice surface he would be able to skate for days. As a result… that’s why he’s on the left side paired with the slower more at home Brent Seabrook. Dion Phaneuf, and Kevin Bieksa would both skate through a wall to win a hockey game. Despite being turnover machines they would be the most exciting pair. The energy and all out compete level they have would be among the best on this team. Marc Staal and Brian Campbell haven’t had consistent NHL seasons and that’s why they’re extras if needed.

Goaltenders: Corey Crawford – CHI, Marc-Andre Fleury – PIT, and Cam Ward – CAR.

Analysis: You can’t go wrong with three NHL goaltenders who are all Stanley Cup winners. Crawford is playing at a fantastic level right now, and he would be the no.1 starter. Fleury has had a bounce back season with the Penguins after a disastrous 2013 playoff. Cam Ward has had a poor campaign thus far, and has been riddled with injuries. If he is not healthy by February Josh Harding would be the third goalie. All in all, goaltending is the strongest attribute for this team. Canada will definitely need spectacular goaltending because the players up front would play free-wheeling fire-wagon hockey with a lack of defensive focus.

Overall Analysis: If this team was permitted to play in Sochi it would have a great shot at owning the podium and earning a medal. The likes of Norway, Austria, Slovenia, Latvia, and quite possibly Petr Nedved’s Czech Republic would struggle and get smoked by this team. Russia, Sweden, and the United States would present the stiffest challenge. A game against Canada’s official team would be a mouth-watering encounter for Canadians from coast to coast.

Goaltending, and scoring would be the greatest assets for this team while defending and adjusting to the larger ice surface could prove to be their downfall. Bigger and slower players like Milan Lucic, Joe Thornton, James Neal, and Brent Seabrook could quickly find themselves with limited minutes if their foot-speed proved to be a big hindrance. Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, and Jordan Eberle could have breakout performances if they can dangle and limit turnovers.

Notes: The Canada Men’s Ice Hockey Team will play Norway, Austria, and Finland in the preliminary round starting with the Norwegians on Thursday, February 13. All games will start at 12:00PM ET / 9:00AM PT. The top two teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals. The Gold-Medal game will be played on Sunday, February 23.

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Comments
  1. Nill says:

    No way Bieska should be on this list.

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