Canada Olympic Hockey Team 2014: Full 25-Man Roster, Projected Lines, Pairings
On Tuesday, Team Canada named the group of 25 players who will comprise that nation's hockey team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The defending gold medalists will face a stiff challenge; no Canadian entry has won the tournament outside of North America since 1952.
The following slideshow breaks down not only the names of the players on the team but also projects the positions and place on the depth chart for all 14 forwards, eight defencemen and three goaltenders named to the team. Read on for the full list and the expected depth chart.
Complete 25-Man Roster
Forwards: Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and Jonathan Toews.
Defencemen: Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Shea Weber.
Goaltenders: Roberto Luongo, Carey Price and Mike Smith.
Coaches: Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock, Claude Julien and Lindy Ruff.
Management: Steve Yzerman, Doug Armstrong, Peter Chiarelli, Ken Holland, Kevin Lowe, Bob Nicholson and Brad Pascall.
1st Forward Line
Chris Kunitz, Left Wing: A good two-way player in his own right, Kunitz has excellent chemistry with Crosby but is a controversial selection given concerns about whether he would make the team if he didn't play on Crosby's wing.
Sidney Crosby, Center: The best pure offensive player in the NHL is also committed to the fine details of the game, and shutting him down will be the primary focus of every team Canada plays.
Steven Stamkos, Right Wing: The best goal scorer in the world.
What's Expected: Canada has a wealth of offensive weaponry, but this line is going to carry the mail in that regard.
2nd Forward Line
Patrick Sharp, Left Wing: A two-way winger producing ridiculous offensive totals this season.
Jonathan Toews, Center: An elite two-way forward who has won more than his share of head-to-head matchups against top opposition.
Jeff Carter, Right Wing: Fast, huge and a gifted goal scorer.
What's Expected: One of two lines likely to be leaned on to at least some degree in a defensive capacity, there is no reason why Toews and company can't outscore in any matchup.
3rd Forward Line
Jamie Benn, Left Wing: A bullish winger who plays a physical game and brings versatility to the lineup.
Ryan Getzlaf, Center: A punishing physical presence and one of the game's best offensive talents.
Corey Perry, Right Wing: Perry is an agitating, physical winger with soft hands and a defensive conscience, and he has the added benefit here of playing with his regular centre.
What's Expected: Aside from outscoring and outchancing the opposition (and make no mistake, this line would be the top unit on almost every other team in the tournament), this combination of physical players is going to provide Canada with a consistent physical presence.
4th Forward Line
Patrick Marleau, Left Wing: A veteran scoring forward with a strong two-way game.
John Tavares, Center: A strong power-vs.-power option with a range of tools and improving foot speed.
Rick Nash, Right Wing: Struggling this year, Nash has long been a premiere goal scorer in the NHL and has been an extremely competent winger for Canada in many international tourneys.
What's Expected: This trio needs to chip in offensively in depth minutes as the top-nine does most of the heavy lifting defensively.
Patrice Bergeron, Center/Right Wing: One of the NHL's best defensive forwards and a capable attacker, Bergeron can sub in on both right wing and at the pivot position.
Matt Duchene, Left Wing: An incredibly fast winger who is also scoring at a point-per-game pace.
What's Expected: This duo provides Canada with an all-purpose patch kit for whatever ails the roster. If a line needs more defensive accountability, the team has one of the best players in the game in that department in reserve. If another line needs an injection of creativity and offence, Duchene is one of the fastest players around.
1st Defensive Pairing
Duncan Keith, Left Defence: A complete defender who does absolutely everything well and who has been pressure-tested in the most difficult environments.
Drew Doughty, Right Defence: Doughty is a puck-possession defender with abilities in all three zones and a knack for pushing the play in the right direction. He's also typically tasked with handling the top players of other teams.
What's Expected: Canada's top defensive unit will play in all situations and against all comers.
2nd Defensive Pairing
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Left Defence: An underrated shutdown defenceman who, at the age of 26, already has more than 500 NHL games under his belt and is adept at neutralizing strong opposition.
Shea Weber, Right Defence: Weber's good at everything; he's physical without being undisciplined and a scorer without compromising his defensive duties.
What's Expected: The shutdown unit on the blue line, this tandem will be given a steady diet of defensive-zone starts and asked to limit the opposition's chances.
3rd Defensive Pairing
Jay Bouwmeester, Left Defence: An incredible skater (one of the best in the game), Bouwmeester has size and puck skills, too.
Alex Pietrangelo, Right Defence: Fast, disciplined and an offensive threat, Pietrangelo is arguably the most important piece of the St. Louis Blues roster.
What's Expected: Much like Canada's fourth line, this pairing just needs to be able to contribute positively in a more sheltered role while the top-four do the heavy lifting.
Dan Hamhuis, Left Defence: An excellent shutdown defenceman with underrated mobility and offensive skill; he might also be a nice fit on the shutdown pair alongside old teammate Shea Weber.
P.K. Subban, Right Defence: Subban is a bit of a chaotic defender, but he has incredible offensive upside, provides a physical presence and drives the play.
What's Expected: This duo is a practical tandem given the way their skills complement each other, but both players are capable of moving up in the event of injury. Subban in particular will be expected to add scoring punch when it's needed.
Roberto Luongo, Starter: An elite goaltender with a track record unparalleled among his Canadian peers, Luongo backstopped Canada to gold in 2010 after Martin Brodeur was exposed as the starter. He should get first crack at the job again.
Carey Price, Backup: If there is a goalie who can unseat Luongo, it is Price. Price's NHL track record since breaking into the league in 2007-08 strongly resembles that of Luongo (though the older goalie never had the kind of dip that Price did last season), and Price's .927 save percentage is the best number among Canadian goalies.
Mike Smith, Third String: Canada could have gone a lot of different directions here but opted to take a veteran starter who can be expected to play well if called on suddenly.