New team, same old results for Canada.
All we can do as Canadians is scratch our heads, and wonder why when it comes down to the Olympic best on best tournament format, our guys don't seem to shine.
Last night's performance simply came down to egos that decided Canada's fate, along with a few critical errors from a couple veteran players.
It was clear in the game that the Canadian coaching staff could not admit they made a mistake in going with Martin Brodeur instead of Roberto Luongo, who may just be the best goaltender in the World right now.
Brodeur is good, don't get me wrong, but New Jersey didn't miss a beat when he succumbed to injury last season.
Then there was the play of Scott Niedermayer, who has for the most part, looked out of place at times in this tournament. Which brings me to my main point in this article...Jay Bouwmeester should have been there instead.
Niedermayer probably self-admittedly isn't having his best season, while Jay Bouwmeester had been playing as steady as always, patrolling the blue line for the Calgary Flames this season.
There is a reason he sees close to 30 minutes of ice a night, and Mikka Kiprusoff is having his best statistical season in four years.
Instead, the Canadian brain trust chose to go with some veteran players, that almost look right out of the mix alongside the youth movement.
It seems aside from the Sharks line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and Dany Heatley, that Canada is having a tough time of finding any scoring chemistry up front.
We weren't terrible, don't get me wrong.
Canada played a pretty good game, and threw everything but the kitchen sink at USA's goaltender Ryan Miller.
But, Luongo, Stamkos and Bouwmeester would most likely have made an impact in a fast paced game like the one we witnessed last night between two great hockey nations.
Instead, because the coaching staff was too afraid of pulling Brodeur when he was quite clearly having an off night, and the powers that be didn't want to leave Scott Niedermayer off the roster, we simply lost to the better team.
It is hard to criticize Hockey Canada for their decision making, especially when you are trying to argue that players like Niedermayer and Brodeur should have taken a backseat.
But after watching the last two Canadian games, it is painstakingly obvious what this team's weaknesses are.
Weaknesses that could have been avoided.
Bouwmeester and Stamkos should have been added to this roster, the same way that Crosby should have been on the team that represented Canada in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
Now, for Canada to take home the gold, they will have to take a back door route that leads to facing a Russian squad that is coming together quicker than a Beatles song.
Which is something that can be done, but it shouldn't have got to that point.
If the Team Canada brass stuck to their guns, and sent the players who were performing this season, rather then the ones that were selected for past accomplishments, then Steven Stamkos who is fourth overall in goals scored in the NHL, and Jay Bouwmeester, who is second overall in ice time, should have been there.
No matter what the outcome of this tournament, Canada still produces the best players in the World. Which is why teams like Switzerland get up to play them, and it's difficult to select just a 23-man roster.
That being said, nine of the top 20 point scorers in the NHL are Canadian, and four of them didn't make the team.
I guess only time will tell if Steve Yzerman and company did truly select the best all-around club.
After three games I am pretty pessimistic, as are most Canadians.
I don't often like to be proven wrong, but in this case, I wouldn't mind.
'Go, Canada, Go!'
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