My Team Canada Includes…

Team Canada 2014 Sochi Olympic Hockey JeresysThe official Team Canada Olympic Men’s Hockey roster will be announced this Tuesday, and Canadian hockey fans and pundits are already buzzing with what-ifs and who-shoulds.

Note: The additional buzz added because of Team USA’s shenanigans is just icing on the cake for anyone who wants to make something out of, what is at this point, nothing for Team Canada.

Steve Yzerman General Manager Team CanadaHowever, there are some controversial picks to be made or not made when General Manager Steve Yzerman makes the Team Canada roster announcement on January 7th.

We know that this is a team decision that has fallen on Doug Armstrong, Ken Holland, Kevin Lowe, Bob Nicholson, and Brad Pascall as well. It’s not an easy job… there are going to be people that question this team selection. That’s what Canadian hockey fans do.

Sidney Crosby Team CanadaNow we’re not talking about picks like forwards Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews or John Tavares. Or even defencemen like Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Shea Weber.

We’re talking about the bubble players. The guys who people can’t agree on for one reason or another. The players who have all-world skill and are stars in the NHL… but may or may not get a chance to wear the maple leaf on their chest in Sochi this February.

Patrick Sharp Team CanadaFor some reason there isn’t 100% consensus about Patrick Sharp. I don’t understand this at all. Sharp was invited to the ball hockey practice in Calgary last summer. He’s an All-Star forward who has familiarity with Toews, Keith and Seabrook. And he’s one of the hottest hockey players on the planet right now with 13 points in his last 10 games, 24 points in his last 20, and he’s a +22 through 44 games with Chicago this season.

This dude needs to play for Team Canada in Sochi. End of story.

PK Subban Team CanadaAnother player who can’t seem to get the country’s hockey lovers to agree on his place on Canada’s Olympic Men’s Hockey Team is Pernell Karl Subban.

P.K. is coming off a Norris Trophy winning shortened season. He’s a plus player on D. He regularly plays against the top forwards in the NHL. And so far this season he sits 3rd in the league in scoring by defencemen. The only Canadian d-man he trails… Duncan Keith. How do the 2 match-up? Keith has 13 more assists, but 4 fewer goals. Keith is +18, Subban is +13. Keith plays 24:21 a night, Subban plays 25:10. I’d say that P.K.’s numbers fair pretty well against a dude everyone agrees needs to be on this team.

Am I more passionate about Subban because I’m a Canadiens fan? Probably. But if he’s not one of the top 7 defencemen in Canada, I’m a fool.

Roberto Luongo Team CanadaThe last roster spots that even the experts can’t seem to agree on belong to Team Canada’s goalies. We know that 3 men will get the call to join the Olympic contingent in Sochi, Russia from February 7 to 23.

Many of us expect that there will be a change from the trio of Roberto Luongo, Martin Brodeur and Marc-Andre Fleury that wore the maple leaf in Vancouver 4 years ago. In fact, 2 of those 3 goaltenders could be left off of the 2014 roster.

Carey Price Team CanadaWho will go and who will start? Those are the 2 most important questions that need to be answered. Yzerman will answer the first one on Tuesday. The 2nd one won’t be answered until the tournament starts and the coaches, led by Mike Babcock, make their decision. But for my money the starter in goal for Team Canada this winter has to be Carey Price.

Again, maybe I’m a little prejudice because of the Habs fan thing. But I don’t really think I’m alone in thinking that it’s Price’s turn to take the ball and run with it. Luongo has been streaky in the last 4 years and Price has only improved since the Halak trade that officially gave him the crease in Montreal. Price also has experience winning gold for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. Carey gets my vote.

So, if Carey Price is the starter and Roberto Luongo returns to Team Canada as the 2nd goalie, who gets the 3rd spot on the roster?

I’ve got it as a 3 man race for that 3rd and final spot. We know that Chicago’s Corey Crawford and Phoenix’s Mike Smith were both invited to the orientation camp in Calgary and both have endeared themselves to various hockey people across the country. And while I don’t think that either of them have made a rock solid case to be a lock for Team Canada, I do think that they both deserve to be discussed.

My 3rd guy is coming from off the board. Jonathan Bernier has had a very sturdy start to the season in Toronto with the Maple Leafs. And Team Canada management made it clear that they were going to look at who was playing the best hockey when it was time to go to Sochi. With that in mind I think that Bernier also deserves to be part of this conversation. Heck, he has a better GAA and Save Percentage than both Smith and Crawford.

Corey Crawford, Mike Smith, Jonathan Bernier Team Canada Goalies

I think it’s fair to say that whoever goes as the 3rd goalie is going to sit in the press box most nights, but I don’t think any of them would turn the opportunity down.

No matter which names get called on Tuesday morning you can be sure that there will be outrage and second guessing and upset fans scattered throughout the country.

The best that we can do is trust that Steve Yzerman and his team know what they are doing and get ready to cheer with our hearts on our patriotic sleeves.

There are only 34 days left until we start the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Get ready!

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My Team Canada Includes…

Team Canada 2014 Sochi Olympic Hockey JeresysThe official Team Canada Olympic Men’s Hockey roster will be announced this Tuesday, and Canadian hockey fans and pundits are already buzzing with what-ifs and who-shoulds.

Note: The additional buzz added because of Team USA’s shenanigans is just icing on the cake for anyone who wants to make something out of, what is at this point, nothing for Team Canada.

Steve Yzerman General Manager Team CanadaHowever, there are some controversial picks to be made or not made when General Manager Steve Yzerman makes the Team Canada roster announcement on January 7th.

We know that this is a team decision that has fallen on Doug Armstrong, Ken Holland, Kevin Lowe, Bob Nicholson, and Brad Pascall as well. It’s not an easy job… there are going to be people that question this team selection. That’s what Canadian hockey fans do.

Sidney Crosby Team CanadaNow we’re not talking about picks like forwards Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews or John Tavares. Or even defencemen like Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Shea Weber.

We’re talking about the bubble players. The guys who people can’t agree on for one reason or another. The players who have all-world skill and are stars in the NHL… but may or may not get a chance to wear the maple leaf on their chest in Sochi this February.

Patrick Sharp Team CanadaFor some reason there isn’t 100% consensus about Patrick Sharp. I don’t understand this at all. Sharp was invited to the ball hockey practice in Calgary last summer. He’s an All-Star forward who has familiarity with Toews, Keith and Seabrook. And he’s one of the hottest hockey players on the planet right now with 13 points in his last 10 games, 24 points in his last 20, and he’s a +22 through 44 games with Chicago this season.

This dude needs to play for Team Canada in Sochi. End of story.

PK Subban Team CanadaAnother player who can’t seem to get the country’s hockey lovers to agree on his place on Canada’s Olympic Men’s Hockey Team is Pernell Karl Subban.

P.K. is coming off a Norris Trophy winning shortened season. He’s a plus player on D. He regularly plays against the top forwards in the NHL. And so far this season he sits 3rd in the league in scoring by defencemen. The only Canadian d-man he trails… Duncan Keith. How do the 2 match-up? Keith has 13 more assists, but 4 fewer goals. Keith is +18, Subban is +13. Keith plays 24:21 a night, Subban plays 25:10. I’d say that P.K.’s numbers fair pretty well against a dude everyone agrees needs to be on this team.

Am I more passionate about Subban because I’m a Canadiens fan? Probably. But if he’s not one of the top 7 defencemen in Canada, I’m a fool.

Roberto Luongo Team CanadaThe last roster spots that even the experts can’t seem to agree on belong to Team Canada’s goalies. We know that 3 men will get the call to join the Olympic contingent in Sochi, Russia from February 7 to 23.

Many of us expect that there will be a change from the trio of Roberto Luongo, Martin Brodeur and Marc-Andre Fleury that wore the maple leaf in Vancouver 4 years ago. In fact, 2 of those 3 goaltenders could be left off of the 2014 roster.

Carey Price Team CanadaWho will go and who will start? Those are the 2 most important questions that need to be answered. Yzerman will answer the first one on Tuesday. The 2nd one won’t be answered until the tournament starts and the coaches, led by Mike Babcock, make their decision. But for my money the starter in goal for Team Canada this winter has to be Carey Price.

Again, maybe I’m a little prejudice because of the Habs fan thing. But I don’t really think I’m alone in thinking that it’s Price’s turn to take the ball and run with it. Luongo has been streaky in the last 4 years and Price has only improved since the Halak trade that officially gave him the crease in Montreal. Price also has experience winning gold for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. Carey gets my vote.

So, if Carey Price is the starter and Roberto Luongo returns to Team Canada as the 2nd goalie, who gets the 3rd spot on the roster?

I’ve got it as a 3 man race for that 3rd and final spot. We know that Chicago’s Corey Crawford and Phoenix’s Mike Smith were both invited to the orientation camp in Calgary and both have endeared themselves to various hockey people across the country. And while I don’t think that either of them have made a rock solid case to be a lock for Team Canada, I do think that they both deserve to be discussed.

My 3rd guy is coming from off the board. Jonathan Bernier has had a very sturdy start to the season in Toronto with the Maple Leafs. And Team Canada management made it clear that they were going to look at who was playing the best hockey when it was time to go to Sochi. With that in mind I think that Bernier also deserves to be part of this conversation. Heck, he has a better GAA and Save Percentage than both Smith and Crawford.

Corey Crawford, Mike Smith, Jonathan Bernier Team Canada Goalies

I think it’s fair to say that whoever goes as the 3rd goalie is going to sit in the press box most nights, but I don’t think any of them would turn the opportunity down.

No matter which names get called on Tuesday morning you can be sure that there will be outrage and second guessing and upset fans scattered throughout the country.

The best that we can do is trust that Steve Yzerman and his team know what they are doing and get ready to cheer with our hearts on our patriotic sleeves.

There are only 34 days left until we start the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Get ready!

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