A year ago the chatter amongst Canadian hockey fans began clamoring for 2010 Olympic team top line featuring Sidney Crosby centering Jarome Iginla with any number of possibilities on the left wing.
It remains a distinct possibility - the young superstar, most comfortable setting up physical wingers, playing along side the Olympic legend known for guidance, sandpaper and his sniper's mentality. The duo were on the same line - with Rick Nash - on day one of orientation camp.
But here's why the two Canadian leaders should not play together.
One of the keys to establishing chemistry in such a short tournament like the Olympics is to establish roles.
Far too often in these tournaments we see these all star teams get together and play with too much respect for their new teammates. They always look to pass, no one wanting to show up the superstar. Younger players in particular too often make unnecessary passes to veteran players instead of bearing down and going after the goal. The result is usually disastrous. No one takes the lead, no roles are established.
It's OK to be greedy
In the Olympics players should not be afraid to be greedy. Jarome Iginla gets this. He will not be afraid to shoot and shoot some more, going for the badly needed goals. He is not afraid to grab the hero role. This is one major reason why he is so highly regarded as a leader for Team Canada.
Sidney Crosby gets this too. He proved that in the 2009 playoffs when he changed his game from playmaker to sniper. When the games were the most important, Crosby was not afraid to lead his team and be the hero.
Canada should not be so concerned that Crosby would change from his game plan in big games just because he is playing along side Iginla. Assuming they produce, Canada would have two established top lines with a pecking order established and roles assigned. If Canada can do that early and on the top two lines, roles and chemistry should be established early and therefore increasing Canada's chances of success.
Besides, it's not like Canada is lacking in fire power. Regardless of which line Sid and Iggy play on, they will have offensive linemates of the finest quality. If it does not work out they can always be paired together later on.
A lot of people suggest Iginla and Crosby should be together so that Iggy can guide Crosby with his experience, grit and leadership. That can still be established without the two being on the same line. They can be roomed together, or have their lockers side by side, for example.
Canada needs heroes. Who is going to step up in 2010? The best bets are Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla.
How ironic that the final goal of the tournement was S. Crosby from J. Iginla.
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