Wednesday, December 21, 2005

 

Team Canada Announces Olympic Squad

So, Kevin Lowe (filling in for a grieving Wayne Gretzky) took to the podium and, in typical pomp-and-circumstance, announced Team Canada's 2006 Olympic team.

Roster:

GOALIES:
Martin Brodeur
Roberto Luongo
Marty Turco

DEFENCE:
Rob Blake
Adam Foote
Ed Jovanovski
Scott Niedermayer
Chris Pronger
Wade Redden
Robyn Regehr

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

Reserves:
Bryan McCabe
Jason Spezza
Eric Staal

---

Somehow they found a regular roster spot for Todd Bertuzzi, but ONLY a reserve spot for superior players such as Eric Staal and Jason Spezza? No Sidney Crosby? No Brendan? What a crock...

(edit 7:10pm)
Let's face it, Canada is a nation with loads of hockey talent. We could have two teams that could compete for gold. There will always be players that are deserving and won't make it. I won't bitch about the whole roster, but there are a few things that I'll comment on.

1. It appears that Team Canada's 'braintrust' decided on this roster months ago, and that the play of the player this year had very little to do with the selections other than the Taxi Squad. Gretzky was whining that the December deadline didn't give him enough time to scout other players, but it's obvious they weren't going to let current play influence their minds that were already made up.

2. Tom Benjamin opines that Todd Bertuzzi is a unique player that brings something to the team that guys like Jason Spezza and Eric Staal do not.

To which I reply: What does Todd bring that Staal, Spezza, and Crosby don't? The ability to float like a butterfly and the ability to take bad penalties at inopportune moments (just ask Roman Cechmanek)? Canada doesn't need those abilities, ktxu. Eric Staal plays a big forward's game and Spezza has enough size to keep away pesky defenders. Sure, Bertuzzi can keep the puck like few can, but he isn't even the best and most deserving Canadian forward on the Canucks.

3. Brendan Morrow - He's been a Team Canada pet in the past and he's having a great season for Dallas (10g, 27pts, +9). I am quite surprised at his omission.

David Johnson of HockeyAnaylsis.com points out "Kris Draper is having a poor year in Detroit this year. He has just 1 goal and 7 points and has by far the worst +/- on the Red Wings at -6 (next worst is -2). Shane Doan is not having a spectacular season in Phoenix either with just 6 goals, 22 points and the second lowest +/- on the Phoenix at -7. These guys were selected to be defensive players but there are clearly better choices to play this role."

Brendan Shanahan - He's having a great offensive year, but he's also had the fortune of playing numerous against incredibly weak opponents in the Central (aside from Nashville). I'm not too surprised that he was left off of the team.

Adam Foote - Foote has aged about 10 years in the last 2, because he's playing like Mark Messier version 3.0 this season. Foote may have been a great soldier in the past, but he may very well be a turnstile during these Olympics.

Bryan McCabe - He's defensively shaky, but the perfect Taxi Squad member. He's incredible offensively and would make a fine 7th defenseman and Power Play specialist.

Croneyism? There will be cries of that, just like there was in 2002 and 2004. I believe Ryan Smyth is a deserving member of this team, and Shane Doan is a talented player. I'd be worried if the players chosen were liabilities, but Smyth and Doan have played for Team Canada in the past and played well.

One last comment: Although there are questionable choices, we must remember that NHL statistics aren't the be all and end all of making up a team for an International tournament. The Czechs and other European counties have thrived in the past by taking players that are questionable or average NHLers. The Czechs had guys like Jaroslav Spacek, Martin Prochazka, David Moravec, Frantisek Kucera, and Jiri Dopita on their team in Nagano and they played like All-Stars.

The international game is a different animal and the ability to adapt quickly to various factors and is key. The team Canada has on hand has that experience and, for the most part, the kind of skillset that allows them to succeed in the international arena.

Comments:
Doan and Draper should not be on this team. Arnott and Morrow would be better choices for that defensive role and Shanahan is having an awesome season and should be there too.
 
Bert will prove why he was chosen.

In Wayne I Trust

But Shanny should be going in stead of Draper.
 
I think we'll rue this team selection at the next World Cup. In two years time, there is no Blake, no Foote, no Regehr and you'd be suspect around Jovonoski and Pronger. Yet Dion Phaneuf who will be at the next World Cup can't get on the team. In my selection, I drop Foote and Regehr, promote McCabe from the taxi squad, bring Dan Boyle into the team and put Phaneuf on the taxi squad.

On the forwards side, Draper, Smyth, Doan, Bertuzzi and I hate to say it, Nash can't all be on this team. You give Nash a free pass because he's got alot of future and upside. Shanahan on form should be a lock for this side. Crosby has to have a spot somewhere because he'll be the man at the next Olympics if not the World Cup in two years! For my picks, I drop Doan, Bertuzzi and Draper straight away. I bring Crosby into the side and Shanahan. I would move Smyth to the taxi squad to make room for both Spezza and Staal. Personally I think Staal can play the same style of game as Bertuzzi without the dumb penalties. I think you would have to be mad not to put Spezza and Heatley on a line together. I'd pair those two up with Crosby or Martin St. Louis. Would there be a faster line in the tournament with as much flair?

I guess this is just Canada's embarrassment of riches.
 
they won't need crosby until they have olympic diving in the 2008 summer olympics.
 
Brendon Shanahan plays for a team that is 23-9-3. He has 20 G and 17 A. He is a +3. 10 PPG, 9 PPA,. Subtract the 19 PP points from 37 = 18. being a +3, means he was on the ice for 15 even strength goals against. That is nearly 28% of Detroits even GA. Looks like a big defensive liability to me. He would not have made my team either.!
 
What percentage of even strength ice time was he on the ice for? Looking at the ice time for Detroit players he played 413:14 minutes of even strength ice time. Some off the cuff calculations indicate that equates to about 28.5% of all Detroit even strength ice time. So Shanahan was on the ice for 28.5% of Detroits time at even strength and was on the ice for 28% of the even strength goals. Sounds like even strength neutral to me.

Draper has 7 even strength points and is a -7 so he was on the ice for 14 even strength goals while playing more or less the same amount of time even strength. That's not dramatically different than Shanahan.
 
Drapers selection, and his role will be faaceoffs and penalty kill, You might have to go back to Shanahans Harford days to find some stats on that.
 
anyone who doesnt want shanny ontheirteam,hasn't had the pleasure of watching him enough in the flesh
 
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