Monday, August 26, 2013

Sochi 2014 Preview: Canada's Gold Medal Team

When I was asked by Habs Addict to choose which country I thought would bring home the Gold medal in the upcoming Olympics, Canada jumped to mind without hesitation.

While I am Canadian, this is in no way a prediction based solely on where my heart lies. The reason why Canada is known for hockey, and why not winning gold in any tournament we play in is unacceptable is simply because it is in our blood.

Hockey is Canadian culture. It's no surprise that our country boasts the most talent when it comes to the game we hold so dear. That is not meant to disrespect any other country. This gold medal is in no way a guarantee. With the skill of Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin to name a few in Russia, the men between the pipes for Finland in Tuuka Rask, Pekka Rinne and Niklas Backstrom and the NHL stacked team the Americans will bring to Sochi, this will be no cake walk.

What Canada has that fuels my confidence however, is depth. With that said, here is the roster that wold be headed to Sochi, Russia in 2014 to compete for the gold medal if I were in charge of Team Canada.

Goaltending

Carey Price- Corey Crawford- Cam Ward

Price may not have backstopped his way into the "elite goaltender" category yet, but his outstanding play on a team that's been less than mediocre for the majority of his career makes you wonder what he's capable of on a star studded roster.

Ward has also done well on a basement team, and in 2006 he proved he can go all the way when his Conn Smyth winning performance lead his Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup championship.

Crawford is less experienced than Price and Ward and already has shown his ability to win by backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup.

Defense

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Shea Weber - P.K. Subban
Drew Doughty - Kris Letang
Alex Pietrangelo

Keith and Seabrook have two Stanley Cups together and an Olympic gold medal so they're an ideal pairing. The absence of a player like Chris Pronger will definately be felt. Doughty and Weber can both play physical. Subban will chip in as well. With players like Letang, Keith, Subban and Doughty patrolling the blue line, it's hard to imagine any other team coming close to providing as much scoring from the point as Canada will.

Forwards

Rick Nash- Sidney Crosby- Patrice Bergeron
Claude Giroux- Steven Stamkos- Martin St. Louis
John Tavares- Jonathan Toews- Patrick Sharp
Mike Richards- Ryan Getzlaf- Corey Perry
Jordan Eberle

Having Crosby, the world's best player, on your roster is not a bad way to start. These lines would provide each trio with elite snipers who can put the puck in the net at any given moment. Bergeron and Toews are two of the best two way players in the game. Mike Richards plays a hard nosed style that will make the line of him sniper/pest Corey Perry and big bodied Getzlaf tough to play against.

No other country can match the depth Canada has in every position. The goaltending, while young, is stacked with three net minders who play focused hockey and have come up big in their careers for either their country or their NHL club.

Canada's back end will be mostly made up up of offensive minded rearguards but the amount of talented two way forwards will make up for their lack of shut down defensemen.

Up front is any and every opposing goalitender's nightmare. Having to face a team that will have multiple scoring threats on the ice shift after shift.

Canada has something to prove at Sochi. This country is proud to be heralded as the best in the world at hockey. That reputation is not something we take lightly and not something these players want to risk by coming home with anything other than gold.

11 comments:

@Sean Have to admit, I am not liking some of this squad.

For starters I am a huge Seabrook fan, but he did struggle the last time the Olympics were played and now on a bigger ice service I see perhaps more issues. Also given the large amount ofr right handed D-men, do not be surprised to see a JBo-Pietrangelo pairing for this team.

As for the forward group I have a feeling that we will not see any of the guys you have listed on the 4th line and having Bergeron on your first line I just don;t see happening either.

Great for debate no doubt with so many amazing players to choose from.

Bryan, I could see the defense being off since there is a lack of left handed d. However, my feeling is that Letang could be the odd man out since Subban, Doughty, Peitrangelo and Weber could provide the offense Letang brings.

As for Bergeron, I placed him on the first line for fun based on the success he enjoyed with Crosby in the past at the WJC.

If one of Perry, Getzlaf or Richards doesn't make the cut I wouldn't be a shocked although Perry is the safest bet. As for all three bit making it... I would be quite surprised. The three bring size as well as offensive talent and Richards/Perry each have a mean edge to their game that is lacking in the rest of the roster.

Thanks for your input

Who knows who will going to win in the next Olympic? But, whoever wins, they surely underwent thorough trainings to beat other countries. So, good luck! :)

Mssrs Lloyd and Lavoie, Habfab here from Hockey Inside Out, and much props to your really great site here. In your article, you Mention Carey Price and the fact he plays for a team that's been "Less than Mediocre' since his arrival in Montreal. These are Your words I am quoting. Now, why is it then when I mention this, and Part of the reason the Habs have been "less than mediocre" for years Must be the poor drafting of Trevor Timmins, correct?? He Picks the players and has been here for 12 years now, so wouldnt you agree that He Has to be part of the problem ..Please respond if you care to. Go Habs Go!!

@Anonymous, Not only is Timmins a Part of the Problem in Montreal, but if you look at Team Canada's roster once again, you will see No Canadien's foward on it once again. No fowards in the All Star gaame as well. That's why the Habs get Trounced in the first round of the playoggs once again, and This time to the 7th seed. As long as Montreal allows Trevor Timmins to draft, we are doomed. The Canadien's fans that think this man has done a good job are the Same ones that also Swore Bob Gainey would make us into a contender again.

timmins hasn't done a terrible job look at all the stupid trades and signings that have devastated the habs very bad stretch of gms have hurt way more than what timmins has done

You mean to tell me in 12 years with Timmins here, you Like when he took Kostitsyn over Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Zach Parise, or the year he picked Ben Maxwell over Milan Lucic, who just happens to be a Habs killer..Or the time he chose David Fischer (Yikes) when Claude Giroux was still there..Or Ryan Chipchura, Chris Higgins, Mike Komisarek, and what about Louis Lebust. Timmins stinks.

@Anonymous Sept 12 at 8:11pm.. I have Visited several Habs sites, and I am not Coloring this comment with a Broken window when I say the Majority of fans on Canadiens sites think Trevor Timmins should leave. Do you remeber the year Boob Gainey went on his Free agency Binge signing the likes of Cammarelli, Gionta, Hal Gill, Spacek and then Trading for Scott Gomez?? It was reported that Gainey had told the owners that he didnt like the job Timmins had done in Previous drafts and that Gainey had no choice but to sign so many players to Compensate for Timmins poor draft record. Facts dont lie.

why don't you put all the other names of the scouts and teams that passed up all those guys!!! its like you think you could do better geez that's why were typing on this comments site

Habs fans that think this team is going Anywhere, look at the First two Preseason games..0-2 Price is a sieve.

and..............your an idiot

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