After a long absence (bloggers get caught up in the Olympic hoopla too you know), Canuckz.com is back with a look at the Olympic hockey tournament. Most notably, what’s wrong with Team Canada, and what is head coach Mike Babock going to do about to fix things?
Brodeur vs Luongo
The pundits have spoken, and they are in almost total agreement: Luongo should start the next game. And I have to say, I agree with them. Brodeur looked shaky against the US and couldn’t stone wall the Swiss. He hasn’t been terrible, but he’s been the 2nd best goalie on the ice in the last two games and that’s not good enough. Put Luongo in net against the Germans and ride him the rest of the way.
The Forward Lines
In my mind, there are too many players playing too many minutes right now. They’ve spread the ice time so evenly amongst the forwards that nobody is finding a groove. Sidney Crosby is their star and he should be playing 20+ minutes. They’ve also got to find him a winger (please not Bergeron, thanks). The San Jose Shark line in my mind is also getting too much respect at the moment. Heatley is scoring, but what has Joe Thornton done? To answer my own question, Thornton has produced one assist. That’s it.
Babcock has to find a way to get Jarome Iginla and Jonathan Toews more involved. They’ve played great and have received minimal ice time.
By “defense” I mean both team defense and their defensemen. Babcock needs to play his top guys as much as possible and go with 6 defensemen. You can’t play with 7 d-men without throwing everyone’s rhythm off. In the realm of team defense, they need to be blocking a lot more shots. Shot blocking, along with goaltending, was the difference in the game against the US. The US got their shots through at will, while Canada’s point men had a terrible time trying to put pucks on net.
Canada should beat Germany, and if they do, Russia will be waiting for them. It’s the worst case scenario for this team, but it is not an obstacle they are not capable of overcoming.