There is something to be said about simplicity. Team Canada has 5 current or recent NHL coaches on his coaching staff at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Having the likes of Claude Julien, Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff all on the bench serving different purposes is just a little bit of overkill in a short tournament like this, and maybe there’s something to be said that “simpler might be better”.
Canada fields a team composed of 25 of the best players in the NHL, and at this point in time its could be just a matter of throwing them out letting them get some familiarity with each other and see what happens from there. Instead, for three games now there has been 3 completely different line ups to start the game and then who knows how many in-game changes made to lines. People worry too much about who’s going to play with Sidney Crosby; or why is Chris Kunitz on this team; or why isn’t Claude Giroux on this team?
The preliminary round seems like it was made for players to develop chemistry on the fly. The players that were selected are good enough and smart enough that with two or three games of getting to know each other, they should be able to play and win in almost any combination. I’m not going to say they’re going to score 15 or 20 goals next three games, but the team in my mind should be good enough to win against any given team on any given day in any combination. Sure at some point they’re going to run into a team could be better than them on that night but on the whole I would put this team up against any other team in the tournament on any given night and they would win 8 out of 10 times, regardless of the composition of the lineup.
From my perspective Mike Babcock and his staff are almost too detail oriented, instead of just letting the best players in the game go out and play their game. The staff has installed complex systems that over the course of the full season you could learn but in a two week tournament predated by a ball hockey camp in the summer it’s a little tough to get all the nuances of how the coaches want to play the system.
Hopefully all the lineup juggling works out in the end, like it should. A team this deep should win almost every night without the tinkering. As long as everybody knows their role and buys into it, talent will prevail in the end.
Regardless of who plays with Sidney Crosby.