Vancouver 2010: Team Canada
With the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver rapidly approaching, there is much speculation on who will crack the final roster. Now this in no means reflects what Steve Yzerman and the Hockey Canada brain trusrt are thinking. It is just my humble opinion on who will be wearing the red and white come February. The team is filled with youger players vetrans and favourites everyone has to make the team. Either way you look it whether im right or im wrong(and i explect both) This team will come to play and be plenty entertaining to watch.
GO CANADA GO
First Line: Rick Nash(LW)
Size, power and speed Nash has it all. He is a big body to create traffic in front of the net but dont forget about his hands and goal scoring ability. He didnt win the Rocket Richard Trophy for no reason
First Line: Sidney Crosby(C)
"Sid The Kid" is the face of Hockey Canada for years to come, is argueably the best player in the game today. He has an unmatched vision of the ice and can work magic with the puck on his stick either finding an open team mate or the back of the net. Dont be surprised to see twenty-two year Crosby wear the 'C' either.
First Line: Jerome Iginla(RW)
A virtual lock on the first line, with his speed goal scoring ability and never back down attittude. "Iggy" will provide Nash and Crosby with another outlet to score and when push comes to shove watch out for "Iggys" fists. Won a gold medal in 2002 in Salt Lake City so he knows what it feels like and also knows the bitterness of defeat as a member of the 2006 Torino team. Look for an extra spark as he tries to win again on Canadain soil.
Second Line: Shane Doan(LW)
The new Captain Canada. Doan has been a lock on Team Canada for the past five years, winning four silver and one gold medal in World Championships and also being on the torid Torino Team in 2006. Look for Doan to add vetran presence and a true Canadain grinder game. Look for Doan to contribute with a couple points and timely hits.
Second Line: Mike Richards(C)
With the depth at centre available to Steve Yzerman and the Team Canada brass, Richards prowess at the dot and ability to score elevate his status greatly. As captain and heart of the Flyers Richards brings it every night. Always near the top of the team in scoring look for him to add some speed and goals up the middle.
Second Line:Martin St. Louis(RW)
With his speed and ability to find open space. St Louis will compliment the hard working styles of Richards and Doan nicely. His ability to change speeds in a split second will give him plenty of time to find the back of the net or draw attention to set up team mates. Also provides support in the Centre roll when called upon.
Third Line:Ryan Getzlaf(LW)
Normally a Centre Getzlaf will be asked to play a wing if he wants to wear the red and white. With his size and deft touch around the net Getzlaf will cause opposing goaltenders fits much like Thomas Holstrom will for Sweeden. Along with size and great hands Getzlaf has the speed to burn any defender should the opportunity arise.
Line Three: Joe Thornton(C)
I know it seems odd for Thornton to be on the third line, with him being the highest point producer post lock out. But dont look at this as the third line on Team Canada look at it like 1c. Thornton wont but the puck in the net as much as he will Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
Third line: Corey Perry(RW)
Corey Perry will provide two things on a line with Joe Thornton and Ryan Getzlaf. One familiarity with Getlaz as the two are team mates in Anahiem. and an ability to be in the right place at the right time which will go along nicely with Joe Thornton's ability to pass the puck. These two factors combined with Perry's hockey sense will make the third line a tough test for any team.
Fourth line: Ryan Smyth(LW)
The previous Captain Canada before Shane Doan. Ryan Smyth will be the anchor of what is bound to be Canada's "energy line". His all out playing istyle and ability to do all the dirty work brings back memories of Canada's glory days. Smyth will sacrifice everything for the maple leaf on his chest and will be a key component to bring home gold.
Fourth line: Vincent Lecavalier(C)
Because of sheer depth at the position Vinny has found himself on the fourth line. But dont let that fool you. He is a big fast strong player at 6'4" 215lbs. He will crash and bang with the best of them and when is all said and done he will beat you with a quick release and reliable face off wins.
Fourth Line: Eric Staal(RW)
Another centre playing out of position, but his offensive upside is to great to ignore. Staal has been a perenial power forward in North Carolina winning a stanely cup and putting up decent numbers along the way. A left shot on the right side will pose a tough time for other teams' goalies adds the desire and heart to round out the "energy line"
First Defensive Paring:Chris Pronger
He's big, he's mean, and he is a Team Canada vetran. A lock to play in his fourth Olympics. Chirs Pronger adss vetran leadership a solid presence on the blueline and a shot that seems to find the back of the net on power plays. Pronger will be put up against teams top lines to shut down the offense.
First Defensive Pairing: Dion Phaneuf
A member of the taxi squad in Torino. Dian Phaneuf will make the team for two reasons. The first reasons being that he has a monster of a shot and can contribute offensively. The second being that he is a human eraser, if Phaneuf gets a player in his sites its lights out. And that is exactly what Canada needs on the smaller ice surface
Second Defensive Pairing: Scott Niedermayer
Whether its a Stanley Cup or Olympic gold. Scott Niedermayer knows how to win. He does it with sound defensive play and a great first pass. This "hometown boy" is the next best thing to a guaruntee to make the squad as well. Along with Pronger adding a vetran presence on a defence that will be under constant pressure.
Second Defensive Paring: Jay Bouwmeester
No stranger to the international scene as a member of world junior and world championship teams. Jay Bouwmeester is now in a market in Calgary where the whole country can see what Flordia knew for years. He is a top shut down man in this league and will contribute points from the back end.
Third Defensive Paring: Dan Boyle
As he has proven with Tampa Bay, as a member of Team Canada and most recently in San Jose. Dan Boyle is a reliable presence on the blue line a solid defensive player who doesnt make many mistakes and logs big minutes againt opposing top lines. These facts combined with his willingness to throw his body around puts Dan Boyle on the Team Canada blueline agian
Third Defensive Pairing: Mike Green
You dont lead the NHL in scoring as a defensemen and not make Team Canada. The heart of the Washington power play Mike Green can score in bunches and will do so come February. But when called upon he can also be a tough challenge for any player in his zone.
Goalie: Martin Brodeur
The best goalie in NHL history is assured a spot on the roster. His strong play and ability to play the puck will always put Team Canada in a spot to win every game.
Goalie: Roberto Luongo
The hometown favourtie is just as much a lock as Brodeur. Look for Roberto Luongo to share time net with Martin Brodeur. As a solid 1a choice in net Canada will have a chance to win every game if not be the favourites.