In a country where Marc Savard is invited to orientation camp, you better believe there’s some really good talent cooking there. From Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia, and form the Arctic Circle to the Great Lake Waters every Canadian known will tune into into the 2010 Olympics to see their country win gold on ice. Turin was a thign of the past, and now one of the game’s best back then, Steve Yzerman, is in charge to bring in a fresh face to the team. Let’s get it going on!
Rick Nash – Sidney Crosby – Jarome Iginla
Dany Heatley – Joe Thornton – Patrick Marleau
Eric Staal – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Patrick Sharp – Jonathan Toews – Mike Richards
Chris Pronger – Scott Niedermayer
Dion Phaneuf – Jay Bouwmeester
Dan Boyle - Shea Weber
Starter: Martin Brodeur
Backup: Roberto Luongo
3rd String: Marc-Andre Fleury
Yes, there is who I think will make it for Canada. Now for a bit of reasoning. The first line is a lock in my opinion. Nash and Iginla are two big-bodied wingers who have all-world skill, leadership, and can get to the net for those garbage goals. They should be able to play well next to Sid the Wiz/Kid, who is my pick for Olympic MVP. This is the stage where he is going to breakout and convert any cynics of him.
The second line is one that is gaining a lot of steam lately. These trio have played incredibly well in San Jose and have hueg chemistry and insurmountable gusto. You have two pure snipers in Heatley and Marleau playing along the second best playmaker in the league, Jumbo Joe. I really thought in 2006 part of Canada’s demise was line configuration. It seemed like the players were’nt close to each other and never played as a team, but as individuals. Playing this hot line as the second line would be great for Team Canada’s chemistry.
The third line also features Getzlaf and Perry, linemates from Anaheim. The two know how to play with skill and tough. Adding Eric Staal not only adds that third dimension on the PK, but it also makes a very tough third line. This line will likely have to play M.I.R (minutes in recovery) for those in the top 6 who have been outplayed by the time the tournament is in the medal stage.
My favorite line has to be the last one, and for many reasons. Again, chemistry plays a huge factor in success and Sharp and Toews play together in Chicago, a team loaded with young guns. The two have great skill and never bow out from a fight. Now mix in Mike Richards and you have a perfect fourth line! Richards is the best two-way player in the game next to Pavel Datsyuk and is the hard-hitting physical force Canada needs up front. Doan takes up the 13th spot on forward simply because he’s a team leader and guy that leads by example.
Now onto defense. The first pairing is one I am drooling at. These two played in Anaheim before Pronger was traded to Philly and lead the team to great performances in the regular season and playoffs, including the Cup Win in 07. These two will shutdown opponent teams stars, and supply leadership in the locker room as well.
The second pairing again goes back to Calgary, where both Phaneuf and Bouwmeester play together. The two add in hard shots, hard hits, and great coverage in their own zone. Dion is starting to bring it on after an off year with Mike Keenan. With Babcock, a demanding coach on the bennch, these two will be counted on for many things.
The last pairing is pure-offense minded tandem with mdoerate defensive responsibility. These two will be on the PP and will be definetly looked on for goals from the backend. Weber and Boyle have similar games and should make for a great 3rd pairing. Mike Green takes the 7th spot because of his instincts from the point and speed. The reasons he isn’t in the first six has to be because he’s too feeble on defense.
Now, it’s goaltending. Martin Brodeur gets the start because of his experience. The guy has won 3 Cups and Olympic Gold, and he knows how to win. At 37, he’s still kicking and as yougn as he was 5 years ago, and even though some said he would be beat by Luongo for the job, my money’s on the real Brodeur.
Roberto Luongo gets the backup job because he is the best goalie in the NHL. Night after night this guy saves his team and makes saves to win the game. He never quits and always wants the win. He loses out for the starter role because of his lack of winning and experience, but he will be the starter in 2014 (if they go there).
The 3rd string job goes to Fleury, who I see as a guy that Canada wants to develop. Looking for the future, and Marc-Andre is a guy that I see as great talent. He will likely see no action at all, but for now he’s the best guy for the job after winning a Cup in his young years. Now that’s something to say.
Lastly, the reserves were the hardest for me to pick. The taxi squad was important in 06 when some players fell to injury. Steven Stamkos makes it because of his torrid start. He loves to score and his speed is amazing. Mike fisher may be a surprise pick for some but his hot start has been noticed by Yzerman and he is a guy you would love to build your centres around. Duncan Keith was a guy I barely cut so he gets the last spot because he’s so damn good at what he does. He’ fast, agitile, has a heck of a shot, and is good on D.
There they are! Please, trash talk about my picks as I am looking forward to your opinions and comments.