12.30.2009

Gunning for Gold



The one that we've all been waiting for.  This morning, I woke up at 9 in the morning to see the live unveiling of the men's hockey team that will carry Canada to gold!  Steve Yzerman and the rest of the crew chose a very good batch of men.  And I am certain a couple will be slight shocks.

Click the break to see the roster (and a few of my thoughts).



Team Canada
G     Martin Brodeur         New Jersey Devils
- (No real shock here.  Everyone expected him (and the following two) to be on the team.  Plus, Marty has all those records, a Stanley Cup, and an Olympic gold.  But is he the starter?)

G     Marc-Andre Fleury   Pittsburgh Penguins
- (The young goaltender has made it to the finals of the Stanley Cup twice these past couple of years.  And it doesn't hurt that he has been having a very good start to the season.  Currently third on the most wins list, Fleury was pretty much locked in on becoming the third goalie.)

G     Roberto Luongo       Vancouver Canucks
- (This was the next seal.  Having been the second goalie in 2006, Luongo was a gurantee.  Especially since he'll be playing on his actual home-ice.)

Other goalies Steve Mason and Cam Ward didn't make it because of obvious reasons.  Ward had that injury at the beginning of the year and still he's not the top goalie we really expected from him.  Mason has been having a horrible start to the season and he's developed a trend of letting one bad goal in first.

D     Dan Boyle                 San Jose Sharks
- (4th amongst defencemen scoring with 31 points, Boyle wasn't much of a shock, but it wouldn't be a shock either if he had been left out.)

D     Drew Doughty           LA Kings
- (I had a lot to say when Stevie Y said his name.  First off, he's only 20 (since 8 Dec).  Second, it's only his second season in the NHL.  But despite all that, he has been good.  A great defenceman, really.  He has this great intelligence on the ice, great skating, good offence production, and he's even better as a defenceman.  He is 6th amongst defencemen scoring and 4th amongst them with a 12.5 shot percentage.)

D      Duncan Keith            Chicago Blackhawks
- (Duncan Keith is second amongst defencemen scoring with 35 points with a plus-10. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Duncan spent his later youth in Penticton, BC.  So you can bet that there will some family support in town.)

D     Scott Niedermayer     Anaheim Ducks (Captain)
- (Captain Canada.  Scott brings everything to the table.  Cranbrook, BC native, Scott has won Olympic gold with Canada in 2002 and gold in 2004 at the World Cup and World Championship.  I didn't have much doubt when it came to this guy.  May not be crazy about him, but I have to admit, he's good and he'll be a great captain (once more).)

D      Chris Pronger            Philadelphia Flyers (Alternate Captain)
- (Now who doubted this?  A highly touted defenceman, Pronger has 24 points and a plus-9 rating in the NHL.  Prongs has also won gold in 2002 at the Olympics at Salt Lake City.  He was also part of the 2006 team that didn't win in Torino.)

D     Brent Seabrook         Chicago Blackhawks
- (Seabs, with plus-13, is 6th among defencemen in +/- rating.  BC and Greater Vancouver native, this Richmond boy is just 24.  Many are expecting him to play alongside Blackhawk team-mate Duncan Keith as a pairint, but things can change.  He must've had one hell of a camp since he's having a pretty decent start to the season.)


D     Shea Weber               Nashville Predators
- (Another BC native (Sicamous), Webs is a shut-down defenceman.  Come 2010, Webs is expected to do what he did in the World Championship last year and shut down the offence of the other team alongside Chris Pronger.  But like I said before, things can change.)


F     Patrice Bergeron         Boston Bruins
- (Bergeron was the only one to not be at the training camp in Calgary this past summer.  Last season, he came off of a concussion late into the season and finished on a pretty good note.  So far this season, Patrice has done more than well.  6th in the league with face-off percentage (58.6%), analysts are expecting him to win a good deal of face-offs for the Canadian team.  And this is Bergeron's first ever Olympic appearance.)


F     Sidney Crosby            Pittsburgh Penguins (Alternate Captain)
- (The Kid is also making his first Olympic appearance and as an alternate captain!  Not going to Torino was disappointing to him, but he took it in stride and fought to be a better player.  Now, Sid has won a Stanley Cup (amongst other awards) and the youngest captain to ever do so.  5th in the league in scoring with 48 points, 9th in the league (5th amongst forwards) in +/- rating with a plus-14, and 8th in face-off wins with a 58.1%, maybe we should stop calling him the Kid?  After all, the firsts are running out and there are only next ones.)


F     Ryan Getzlaf                  Anaheim Ducks
- (Getzlaf, a 2007 Stanley Cup winner, is getting his first Olympic appearance.  I'm seeing Gretzy as a middle of the pack scorer and he'll probably centre the second line.  Especially with the amount of power he's got, him and Corey Perry will do pretty well.)

F     Dany Heatley                San Jose Sharks
- (Despite all that trade commotion that went on during the off-season, that didn't effect him what so ever.  With San Jose, he's been great at the top line with Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton.  44 points landed him 7th place in the league in scoring.  Team-mates and line-mates Marleau and Thornton join him in his second attempt at the gold medal.)

F     Jarome Iginla                 Calgary Flames (Alternate Captain)
- (One of the fore-runners to captain this great team, Iggy was instead given the 'A'.  The Calgary captain is making his third Olympic appearance.  Jarome isn't having the best of season starts.  Let's just hope that things get better from here.)

F     Patrick Marleau              San Jose Sharks
- (Patrick Marleau is expected to bring to the team what he brings to San Jose.  The scoring, the chances he produces, and everything else should be easy to capture with the help of line-mates Heatley and Thornton.)

F     Brendan Morrow            Dallas Stars

F     Rick Nash                      Columbus Blue Jackets
- (Blue Jackets Captain isn't having a terrific start to the season either.  After making the franchise's first post-season appearance, they haven't been doing terribly well.  But things should turn better.  After all, the thing keeping Columbus afloat does have something to do with Nash.)

F      Corey Perry                    Anaheim Ducks
- (Alongside Getzlaf, Perry is expected to ring in some goals.  Or maybe they could recreate what happened in the 2005 World Juniors and become the top-line with Crosby and Bergeron.)

F      Mike Richards                 Philadelphia Flyers

F     Eric Staal                          Carolina Hurricanes
- (In spite of getting injured early this season, the eldest Staal is back on the right track and has picked up the scoring again.  Case and point: that 5-point game.  After being left off the 2006 roster, I think we've seen the error and will try to fix that.)

F     Joe Thornton                    San Jose Sharks
- (I cannot stress this more on how smart it was for Stevie Y to put the Sharks top line together.  The line that's been making the most headlines will surely do the same for Canada.)

F      Jonathan Toews               Chicago Blackhawks
- (This was a shocker to me.  I was not expecting this 21-year-old getting on the team.  Taser is 4th in the league in face-off percentage (59.8%) and is in the same place in +/- with plus-17.  Doesn't hurt that he's put up 31 points in 33 games played.)

Quite a few notable names left off the list.  Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Jordan Staal, Dion Phaneuf, and Milan Lucic.  Most of those don't come as shockers for not making the team, but I was sort of expecting one of the Bolts making it.  Maybe even Stammer.

Really, this team looks quite interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing what Mike Babcock and the rest of the coaching staff do with these guys.  A lot of leadership in the locker-room and a good mix of experience and fresh eyes. 

The rest of you look out for Canada!! 

3 comments:

  1. So stoked to see what they have in store for us. :)
    And I agree, I like the mix up, but I just hope the chemistry will be there.

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  2. I'm excited too :)
    great article !

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  3. It will be great to watch Columbus Blue Jackets, i have bought tickets from
    http://ticketfront.com/event/Columbus_Blue_Jackets-tickets looking forward to it.

    ReplyDelete