Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mulling over the obvious

Unless you've been under a rock, you know that later today, the Team Canada will be announced. We'll finally learn who is headed to Turin, and the incessant debating will come to an end.

That's wishful thinking. Instead of "who will make it?", for the next two months, we'll be treated to "who should have made it?" discussion on message boards, talk radio, and TV panel discussions. By the time the Olympics do come around we'll be so sick of talking about hockey I doubt we'll have an

But that's Canada for you.

I'm nothing if not unoriginal, so here is who I would pick, and who I think will be picked:

GOALIES:

My Team: Martin Brodeur, Marty Turco, Curtis Joseph

The Team: Martin Brodeur, Marty Turco, Roberto Luongo

Brodeur is a given, Turco has played his way onto the team, and they're still high on Luongo as the goalie of the future for Team Canada, and so they're reluctant to snub him all together.

DEFENCE:

My Team: Scott Niedermayer, Wade Redden, Dion Phaneuf, Rob Blake, Robyn Regehr, Dan Boyle, Ed Jovanovski

The Team: Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Adam Foote, Wade Redden, Rob Blake, Robyn Regehr, Ed Jovanovski

I feel like both Foote and Pronger have played their way off the team with their inconsistent play this season, while Boyle and Phaneuf have absolutely played their way onto it. That said, Team Canada won't want to ruffle those kind of feathers, so they'll go with the safe choices. Not that they're terrible either. Bryan McCabe would be my next choice, and if it started tomorrow, would be on my taxi squad.

FORWARDS:

My Team: Jarome Iginla, Simon Gagne, Joe Sakic, Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Dany Heatley, Todd Bertuzzi, Eric Staal, Ryan Smyth, Kris Draper, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Brendan Shanahan

The Team: Jarome Iginla, Simon Gagne, Joe Sakic, Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Todd Bertuzzi, Rick Nash, Ryan Smyth, Kris Draper, Joe Thornton, Shane Doan, Dany Heatley

Doan has been too inconsistent for me this season, St. Louis shouldn't be going based on what he did last season, and Rick Nash, though terrific, has been injured all year. He's the perfect candidate for the taxi squad. If he regains his form, then he'll be on there. But to risk that that will happen and give him a solid spot over the others would be foolish. So, you can conclude that I think they're bound to be foolish.

We'll see in a few hours.

EDIT: Puck Stops Here pointed out that I had left off Dany Heatley from the "The Team" list. Obviously, an error. He's one of the sure things I'd think.

Also, look back at who I picked for the team way back in August, after they had wrapped up the orientation camp in Vancouver.

For those of you saying to yourselves that I'm behind the hockey blogsphere curve by posting my team today, mere hours before it's announcement, realize, I was actually ahead of all the others by four months.

How's that for spin?

4 Comments:

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous pete said...

Our teams are very similar.

I'd quibble with Draper. He's having an absolutely atrocious season, and there's more than enough mature players on this team that would be willing to fulfill the checking role.

Instead, I'd put Spezza in. Based on his play and chemistry with Heatley, I don't see a credible way you can keep him off this team, but I think you're right and he won't make it. Both he and Staal deserve to be there, but at least one is getting screwed I suspect.

I'd probably leave St. Louis off as well.

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger The Puck Stops Here said...

You don't have Dany Heatley making "the team"?
Why not?

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Actually, that was a mistake on my part. It's been corrected. Thanks for pointing that out.

I'd say Heatley is one of the six or seven forwards who are sure things, so of course he will.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Pete,

The problem with Spezza is, where do you put him?

If you're going to replace Draper with Spezza, you're putting him in a role that he's not well suited for: killing penalties, playing limited minutes, and playing a defensive game.

Does that sound like a role Spezza would be ideal for?

While the Hockey Canada brass always talks about taking the best players, I firmly believe in building a team.

As of now, I'd put Spezza on the taxi squad with Rick Nash and Bryan McCabe. I think he'd be great in that role.

He's proven in the past (2003 playoffs) that he's excellent when coming on in relief ala Mariano Rivera. When he's got something to prove? Forget about it.

But I don't know who you take off to put him on the main team.

I'd say maybe Vincent Lecavalier but that's not going to happen.

 

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