CANADA FALLS TO USA

Jason Gregor
February 21 2010 08:40PM

"I can handle losing to any country, but losing to the USA is the equivalent of getting a swift kick to the balls, right after being punched square in the balls." - Minister Towelboy to Wanye via bbm, 0.01 seconds after the end of game.

The road to Gold just got significantly harder now, with Canada needing to win four games in six days to capture our second gold medal in men’s hockey in the last three Olympics. On the flip side, if Canada still strikes Gold, this will be looked at as little more than a bump in the road that guaranteed another game night of beer sales for bars selling suds to thirsty Canadian hockey fans around the world.

One big Question emerges however:

Who starts in goal against Germany on Tuesday?

Let the debate begin

Luongo or Brodeur?

Brodeur didn’t cost Canada the game, but he was outplayed by Ryan Miller and looked shaky playing the puck on several occasions.

Roberto Luongo hasn’t played since last Tuesday, but I can’t see rust being a factor if he gets the call against the Germans. These are the kinds of games that bring out big efforts by big players and if Luongo gets the nod over Brodeur he will not only thrill the hometown fans but silence a great many Armchair GMs from coast to coast who will be standing in front of the water coolers tomorrow morning screaming for the head of Brodeur.

In 2006 Team Canada was too loyal to veteran guys and a slow and aging corps didn't even make the medal round in Turino. Steve Yzerman has assembled a much younger squad and is favouring present day skill and effort over history and pecking order amongst veterans. And the veterans looked shaky tonight - particularly Pronger and Niedermeyer early on whereas we are witnessing the passing of the Olympic Torch to the new generation of Olympians with every passing game.  

Does that continue next game with Olympic Hero Martin Brodeur being replaced by a younger Roberto Luongo? Or is this Brodeur's final Olympic shot at gold - and do you give him the start in the next game?

Drew Doughty is 20 freaking years old and he was a beast tonight playing 23 minutes. Doughty along with Duncan Keith (24 minutes tonight) and Shea Weber have been the best D-men for the Canadian team. If the coaching staff is playing the best guys, regardless of age or resume, then I bet they go with Luongo.

I haven’t spoken with anyone, and this is just my feeling based on how this team was selected and how they’ve given opportunity to the young skaters, so maybe the goaltending torch gets passed on Tuesday night.

Of course goaltending isn’t the only reason Canada lost. Their powerplay needs to improve and they have to be better around the net. Rick Nash has to bury that open net he had in the last five minutes. You can say Miller made a great save, but Nash needs to raise the puck and score at that point.

Any coach will tell you that a scorer has the responsibility to finish off those types of plays. I’m betting we will see Luongo on Tuesday and the changing of the guard will be complete from Crosby to Doughty to Luongo.

ANYONE SEE THIS?

Wow.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 OilFan
February 22 2010, 08:20AM
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Sad to say but in my eyes Marty, Pronger and Scotty N cost us the game. Do I think they should not be on the team? No they all should be on the team. BUT COST US THAT GAME NOT THE GOLD.

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#52 Snoop Blogg
February 22 2010, 08:23AM
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Hey dont worry about it team, Iginla really comes to play against weaker teams ( see "the oilers" and "team Norway"). Hes going to destroy Germany, then maybe that can reignite the fire from within that has been smoldering for the past 3 years, but who knows. I have been banking on that to happen for a long time now.

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#53 Tracie
February 22 2010, 08:30AM
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I seem to remember that Cujo was our starting goalie in Salt Lake City and Brodeur outplayed him for the starting job and carried us to the Gold Medal! Maybe the same needs to happen this year. We had a reality check when we lost to Sweden and I think we changed our goaltenders and Brodeaur carried us to the final against the States...The only really bad thing about this is that the two predicted super powers - Russia and Canada, one of them is guaranteed to finish out of medal contention now...I'm hoping it's the Russians this year!

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#54 MattL
February 22 2010, 08:35AM
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@Serious Gord

1. Ward and Fleury were great last year, but Brodeur was playing some of the best hockey of his career this year before sliding a bit. I think the mentality is that in a one-and-done tournament, you go with a long track record over hot and cold spurts. That said, guys like Gerber, Hiller, and now Miller are making me re-consider that idea.

2. I'd be surprised if Pronger and Nieds got top-two ice time in the next game. I think seniority gets you there, but doesn't keep you there.

3. I agree, some of the best international lines we've had have been mish-mash lines. Getz-Nash-Heatley for example.

4. I don't doubt that there has been an anti-french bias, but I don't think so this year. Robidas ahead of Bouwmeester on the depth chart. Three french goalies over Ward/Mason/Mason. The biggest question mark is Bergeron, but he made the team. I think the exclusion of Vinny/St.Louis (and Stamkos) has more to do with the division they play in. The team Canada brass represent the NE and the West too much, and are collectively a lot more experienced with those players. I would have surely taken any/all of those three over Thornton and Marleau.

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#55 MattA
February 22 2010, 08:41AM
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I thought I was watching an Oiler Game.

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#56 Petr's Jofa
February 22 2010, 09:43AM
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Ambassador humantorch wrote:

Is there a player in the entire world who has proven himself to be more useless in a Big Game situation than Joe Thornton? Why, exactly, is he on the team again?

I would rank Luongo up there.

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#57 Petr's Jofa
February 22 2010, 09:44AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

am i the only one that would go with the guy who led his team to the cup finals the last 2 years? the guy who, you know, actually won a big game or two in the last couple of years?

nothing against bobby luo, but IMO i would rather have the guy who hasnt sh*t all over himself (in recent history)when everything is on the line.

Nope, I would go with Flery too.

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#58 Ender
February 22 2010, 10:00AM
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MattA wrote:

I thought I was watching an Oiler Game.

From the 80's, maybe.

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#59 Dyckster
February 22 2010, 10:08AM
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Frickin IOC removed the Ovechkin hit on Jagr from You Tube due to their @#$%!&^%$@*&^$!@@# copyright BS! Anywhere else I can see it?

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#60 Zed
February 22 2010, 10:25AM
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Here's an animated gif of the Ovechkin hit on Jagr, since youtube has pulled it:

http://i49.tinypic.com/2iievew.gif

cheers!

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#61 KenL
February 22 2010, 10:26AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Cheryl Bernard is not at all hot... horse face.

Canada had to beat the Russians at some point, so why not right after the German's? There's no easy route to Gold, boys. What's 1 extra game? Nothing, to me. Adversity builds winners. It won't be easy, but Canada is not out. Not by a long shot.

As far as the Americans, they were underestimated by most. Miller played outstanding. I'm sticking with my prediction of American Bronze. Unfortunately, one of Canada and Russia won't be around for the Gold medal game.

BELIEVE...

Bite your tongue! Cheryl Bernard is a hot MILF! That said, there some incredible hotties on all the women's team. The US's and Austria's thirds in particular!

For whatever reason, I don't see yesterday's loss as a total disaster. I don't a sense of urgency from Team Canada and hopefully this will be the wake up call.

The Americans had the hot goalie, just like the Swiss did the other night. I only hope our goalies start blazing too. And not that it was entirely Brodeur's fault, but it really is a question of what have you done lately. And correct me if I'm wrong, but of the big 6 hockey powers, is Brodeur the oldest goalie?

The logical thing is to go with Bobby Lu. He had a shut out against Norway, and you would hope his familiarity with GM Place's boards and bounces should give him a slight edge.

I've also heard and read compelling arguments for Fleury. He's young and he's the reigning Stanley Cup winner.

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#62 Dyckster
February 22 2010, 10:32AM
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Zed wrote:

Here's an animated gif of the Ovechkin hit on Jagr, since youtube has pulled it:

http://i49.tinypic.com/2iievew.gif

cheers!

Thank you good sir (or madam?).

Ouch.....

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#63 VMR
February 22 2010, 10:35AM
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Nobody wants to put the blame on one player but in this case I think it's deserved. There's no question you have to dump Brodeur. He was at fault on at least two goals and flopping like a fish so many other times. It looked like he was fighting the puck rather than controlling it and that just wont work. Besides that I thought the team looked pretty good, they dominated for long spells of play, gave up an empty net goal and a couple deflections. If Brodeur wasnt flopping and trying to hard to overplay the puck we win that game 3-2.

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#64 Dan the Man
February 22 2010, 10:49AM
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Brodeur has an .866 save percentage through 2 games, those are JDD like numbers. Luongo needs to start against Germany.

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#65 Aaron
February 22 2010, 11:03AM
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Wasn't really Broduer's fault. I would pin more of the blame on the defense ... in particular Pronger. It was a REAL fast game and he didn't really elevate his play - can he elevate his play?

Doughty was a revelation to me ... guy has got skills!

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#66 Dan the Man
February 22 2010, 11:11AM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

Am I the only one who looks at the forward roster and sees that every single player is a power forward? Maybe thats the state of Canadian Hockey but this team could really use a pure sniper such as the European teams have. Also I heatily agree with fact that a guy like Smyth would be quite effective on this team. It's not like he's having a bad year either. Lastly, I think that Nash should be taken off the Crosby line as I haven't seen him do all that much with him and I find he is prone to acting the one man show too often. This is something the coaches said they wanted to avoid. Crosby needs someone on his line to either set him up for a shot or be open for a pass, not someone to trail behind and watch.

So the Canadians could really use a sniper? Like maybe someone who is tied for the lead in goals right now? (Crosby) Or how about a guy who is number 3 in goals? (Marleau) Or maybe a couple of guys who are in the top 5 total goal scorers in the NHL over the last 3 years ? (Heatley and Iginla)

Goal scoring isn't the problem.

Nash has been fine, the Crosby-Nash-Iginla combo has been Canada's best unit.

I agree though that Ryan Smyth might have been a good addition.

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#67 RossCreekNation
February 22 2010, 11:12AM
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@Serious Gord

1. ward and fleury were the two best goalies in the playoffs last year. The ONLY reason they weren't our one-two for this is because of seniority nothing else.

Cam Ward was hurt this year, so to say that the ONLY reason he isn't there is because of seniority is WRONG. Yes, chances are only one of Ward & Fleury would've been there anyway, but we don't know that because Ward wasn't healthy enough to earn a position.

Remember, Marty was the BEST Canadian goalie in the league for the first 3 months this year.

Personally though, I would've considered Fleury to start all along based on him winning the most in the past 2 years. I like Roberto, but aside from playing the World Cup gold medal game, he hasn't won jack.

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#68 David S
February 22 2010, 11:13AM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Brodeur has an .866 save percentage through 2 games, those are JDD like numbers. Luongo needs to start against Germany.

Shhhhhh! Ix nay on the JJD bashing-ay.

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#69 VK63
February 22 2010, 11:14AM
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I want to be MAF, practice a bit then get busy in the village, what a gig.

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#70 Dan the Man
February 22 2010, 11:17AM
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Aaron wrote:

Wasn't really Broduer's fault. I would pin more of the blame on the defense ... in particular Pronger. It was a REAL fast game and he didn't really elevate his play - can he elevate his play?

Doughty was a revelation to me ... guy has got skills!

You're right Pronger and Neidermayer weren't good enough but I don't see how you can't partially blame Brodeur?

Batting that puck out to Rafalski was just plain dumb and he was flopping around all night. He didn't look sharp against the Swiss either, he should have had the first goal in that game.

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#71 Dan the Man
February 22 2010, 11:26AM
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David S wrote:

Shhhhhh! Ix nay on the JJD bashing-ay.

Maybe I was talking about a different JDD? Another goalie.....with the same iniitials....Ummm...Jesse....Darwin...DeJarlais...

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#72 Gord tulk
February 22 2010, 11:27AM
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Rosscreek:

Agreed that ward was injured. My point is that he and fleury should have been the top two by default as it were. Brodeur and luongo were a fait accompli well over a year ago. That is a big part of the reason why we never seem to pick the right team for the job

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#73 Wanye
February 22 2010, 11:29AM
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Dyckster wrote:

Frickin IOC removed the Ovechkin hit on Jagr from You Tube due to their @#$%!&^%$@*&^$!@@# copyright BS! Anywhere else I can see it?

See this really pisses me off. If you want to remove unauthorized youtube clips because you have your own official clip you want to use, fine.

This is how music videos do it and it is perfectly acceptable.

But removing it when there is no other footage - could you BE more shortsighted?*

*No.

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#74 Dan the Man
February 22 2010, 11:33AM
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Wanye wrote:

See this really pisses me off. If you want to remove unauthorized youtube clips because you have your own official clip you want to use, fine.

This is how music videos do it and it is perfectly acceptable.

But removing it when there is no other footage - could you BE more shortsighted?*

*No.

You can find it in the game hi-lites on the CTV Olympic site but they don;t make it easy to find.

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#75 rubbertrout
February 22 2010, 11:35AM
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@Wanye

Wanye. I re-sent the email. Did it get through this time? You've got some kind of holla security.

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#76 Harlie
February 22 2010, 11:53AM
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on a side note...those USA jersey's look exactly like the NY Ranger's jerseys.

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#77 Dyckster
February 22 2010, 12:11PM
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Wanye wrote:

See this really pisses me off. If you want to remove unauthorized youtube clips because you have your own official clip you want to use, fine.

This is how music videos do it and it is perfectly acceptable.

But removing it when there is no other footage - could you BE more shortsighted?*

*No.

*Runs and hides cuz he's NEVER seen Wanye pissed off....ever*

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#78 papaburgundy
February 22 2010, 04:52PM
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Yeah, I think Brodeur had his chance to shine and he BLEW IT! Two of those goals for sure don't go in on Luongo. I would start Lu for the next game and ride him all the way to the gold. Niedemeyer and Pronger need to watch from the bench because they did nothing in that game. The young guys should play and Doughty, WOW, LA got themselves one hell of a defencemen, a future Norris trophy winner I think. Anyway, I think the boys will bring it against Germany and then take it to another level when they play the Russians, and yes, the Russians are beatable, so GO CANADA GO!

P.S. Denmark has some hot chicks on their ladies curling team!

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