December 27, 2009
Picking Team Canada 2010
On Wednesday Team Canada will unveil their 2010 provisional Olympic roster. Before then every journalist, blogger, heck, everyone in the whole country will be coming up with their own list.
Here's who I would take for Team Canada 2010:
I really bought into the idea of bringing pre-established chemistry to the Olympics, an unforgiving tournament that does not allow time to develop cohesion. Niedermayer-Pronger and Keith Seabrook on defense and Thornton-Marleau-Heatley, Getzlaf-Perry and St. Louis-Richards provide instant familiarity.
A few notes:
Mike Green - How can you leave out the NHL's leading scorer amongst defensemen? I consider him to be quite similar to fellow right handed dman Dan Boyle, who brings not only Stanley Cup experience but familiarity with forwards Thornton, Marleau, Heatley, B. Richards and St. Louis. I also took Shea Weber over Green because he's more physical and a shooter. Let's face it, in such a short tournament, keeping it simple is best. That means the PP strategy should be put the puck back to the point and fire it on net and look for rebounds. Weber's simpler game attracted me.
Mike Richards - He may very well have played himself off this team, but I'm a big believer that he is a big game player and will be fine at the Olympics. I really wanted an Olympic grind line if you will, with Richards and Morrow teaming up with whoever on RW. He's good on both specialty team units, especially the penalty kill.
Stamkos/Lecavalier - He's played well this year, and especially with Martin St. Louis. But he's levelled off a bit, so I'd rather go with a more experienced player. By the way, I really considered slotting Vincent Lecavalier into this roster, which really surprised me. He's coming on in the past few games, and also plays well with St. Louis. He's got the talent to be a top-five player on the whole planet, a real difference maker for Canada. The Olympics could be Lecavalier's springboard back to stardom.
Tell me what you think . . .