The speculation about who will make Team Canada ended on Wednesday (Canuckz.com correctly predicted 16 of the 23 players named back in August… is that good?), as GM Steve Yzerman revealed the 2010 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team. As expected, lots of deserving players were left off, but lets start by looking at who made the team:
No real surprises in net. I’m sure Brodeur will be the starter and he’ll be backed-up by Luongo. Fleury won the cup last year, but his stats have never been outstanding.
Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks)
Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils)
Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Are Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger too old? Is Drew Doughty too young? Should the top offensive defenceman in the league (Mike Green) be on this team? What about smooth skating Jay Bouwmeester? The questions on defence are a plenty, but that speaks more to the unbelievable depth they have at the position. My biggest concern lies in the fact that they picked Brent Seabrook ahead of Jay Bouwmeester, who is a better all-around defenceman in my estimation. Seabrook made the team due to his chemistry with Duncan Keith, which I believe is overrated in this regard.
Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks)
Drew Doughty (LA Kings)
Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks)
Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Ducks) – Captain
Chris Pronger (Philadelphia Flyers) – Alternate captain
Brent Seabrook (Chicago Blackhawks)
Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
I generally agree with Yzerman’s picks, except for Patrice Bergeron. To me, he isn’t good enough offensively to be on the team. Nice to see Jonathan Toews on the team, especially if a game goes to a shootout. Amazingly, Eric Staal made the team, despite his poor start to the season. The most disappointed players all have a Tampa Bay connection: Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards, Martin St Louis and Steven Stamkos. Shane Doan should also feel very disappointed with not being named to the team considering his strong play and international experience. Thank goodness they had the sense to keep Mike Fisher and Jordan Staal off the team.
Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) Alternate captain
Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks)
Dany Heatley (San Jose Sharks)
Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames) Alternate captain
Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks)
Brenden Morrow (Dallas Stars)
Rick Nash (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Mike Richards (Philadelphia Flyers)
Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks)
Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)
Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks)
Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
As always, Team Canada will ice an outstanding team and they could probably ice a second team that would contend for a medal. This edition of Team Canada will and should be considered the gold medal favourites. That is not to say that competition won’t be fierce, because it will. Ultimately, it will probably come down to goaltending (as it often does in hockey) and if Martin Brodeur plays up to par, they should win gold.