Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Cold... Time For A Hockey Post

With mere months now remaining before the start of the Vancouver Olympics, it is time to start the idle speculation as to who will be chosen to represent Canada on our Men's Hockey Team. Here are my choices for a twenty-three man roster (which is what I think the Olympics is).

: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Carey Price

On the cusp
: Steve Mason

Fairly easy pickings. Brodeur and Luongo are no-brainers. The third goalie won't see much ice-time.

: Jay Bouwmeester, Shea Weber, Chris Pronger, Dion Phaneuf, Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith, Scott Niedermayer

On the Cusp
: Mike Green, Dan Boyle, Brent Seabrook, Sheldon Souray, Patrice Brisebois, Dennis Wiedeman

Lots to choose from. This group may be a little offenisve minded. However, most of these guys are effective both ways.

Forwards: I'll actually set lines here. Canada is going to need to play some centres on the wing if they are going to bring the top talent to this tournament. A lot of these guys have played on the wing for Canada before or do so on the power play.

Sidney Crosby --- Jeff Carter --- Ryan Getzlaf "Top Line"
Ryan Smyth --- Mike Richards --- Vincent Lecavalier "Second Line"
Rick Nash --- Joe Thornton --- Jerome Iginla "Checking Line"
Patrick Marleau --- Marc Savard --- Shane Doan "Energy Line"
Jonathan Toews

On the Cusp: Eric Staal, Corey Perry, Martin St. Louis, Patrick Sharp, Mike Cammalleri, Brad Richards, Simon Gagne, Jordan Staal, Kris Versteeg, Patrice Bergeron, Devin Setoguchi, John Tavares.

I think between the second and third lines you can avoid putting pure checking players on this team. All four lines can put the puck in the net. Most of these guys can punish the opposition on the small ice. Crosby will excel with pure goal scorers like Jeff Carter and Ryan Getzlaf with him. I know Nash-Thornton-Iginla looks like a scoring line not a checking line, but what do you want a checking line to do? Hit? They can do that. Keep the puck away from the opposition? They can do that as well. Why Jonathan Toews as a thirteenth forward? Two words: Nagano, Leksand. Do your research if you don't know what I mean.

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