OGDB 4.0: NOW IT MATTERS

Jason Gregor
February 19 2014 01:27AM

ready_2_rumble

After three rather uneventful preliminary games, we finally get to the games that matter and Canada ends up with the easiest quarterfinal opponent in Latvia. Give the Latvians credit, they scored three goals on the stingy Swiss yesterday and were deserving of their 3-1 victory, but their Cinderella run ends today.

Had Canada lost to Finland they would be playing Russia, and the angst and excitement would be much higher, but I think we will have to wait until Friday to be excitedly nervous about a game.

While I'm giving Latvia no chance, the Canadian players won't be looking past them. Canada's forwards are horny for goals, and I expect we'll see quite a few of them break out offensively.

I believe people have made a bit too much over the offensive woes of the forwards. It is three games, and while you'd like more goals from the forwards, only the USA and Finland are averaging more goals per game than Canada.

Yes, only three forwards have scored a goal, but the D-men have picked up the slack. You can expect that trend to be reversed in the next few games. Canada's forwards are simply too good not to start scoring.

Here is a quick look at Canada's production:

Player GP G A  PTS SOG TOI/G
Drew Doughty 3 4 1 5 8 18:00
Jeff Carter 3 3 1 4 11 13:50
Shea Weber 3 2 2 4 5 21:00
Patrick Marleau 3 0 4 4 7 15:13
Ryan Getzlaf 3 1 2 3 5 13:36
Patrice Bergeron 3 0 2 2 5 13:13
Sidney Crosby 3 0 2 2 5 15:43
Jamie Benn 3 1 0 0 7 12:14
Duncan Keith 3 0 1 1 7 21:00
Alex Pietrangelo 3 0 1 1 7 18:45
Corey Perry 3 0 1 1 6 14:18
Jonathan Toews 3 0 1 1 4 16:52
Jay Bouwmeester 3 0 0 0 4 17:27
Marc-Edourd Vlasic 3 0 0 0 3 15:13
John Tavares 3 0 0 0 5 12:31
Chris Kunitz 3 0 0 0 4 12:25
Rick Nash 3 0 0 0 7 10:05
Matt Duchene 2 0 0 0 4 13:50
Patrick Sharp 2 0 0 0 0 12:04
Martin St.Louis 2 0 0 0 5 11:52
Dan Hamhuis 2 0 0 0 2 6:55
P.K Subban 1 0 0 0 0 11:41


Many are suggesting that Babcock give his top players more minutes, however, he didn't do that in 2010 and Canada still won gold. Icetime and juggling lines are pretty much the same as what we saw in Vancouver.

“We’ve changed our lines, in my opinion – same at last Olympics – too much,” Babcock said yesterday, however, that didn't stop him from switching them up again for today.

He seems to be having an internal battle with himself over line combinations, but I get the sense he wants to stick with some of the new combinations, especially those that get off to a good start today.

LINEUP

Kunitz-Crosby-Bergeron
Marleau-Toews-Carter
Benn-Getzlaf-Perry
Sharp-Tavares-Nash/St.Louis

Matt Duchene will be a healthy scratch, while Nash and St.Louis will rotate on the 4th line. There isn't enough icetime to get every player involved to the level they are used to, so the fourth line will need to find a way to contribute in 10-11 minutes.

Keith-Weber
Vlasic-Doughty
Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo
Hamhuis

Subban will sit and Hamhuis will likely spend most of the game on the bench. I'd rather have Subban as my 7th D-man, but considering how little icetime the 7th D-man will get, I'm not sure it matters. Babcock wants his D pairs to have a left and right shooting D-man, so the only way Subban could play is if he replaced Weber, Doughty or Pietrangelo. That isn't happening.

Price

Neither goalie has faced much rubber. Canada has allowed the fewest shots in the tournament so far, 58, and I doubt Price will be very busy today.

QUICK HITS

  • I like that Babcock is going back to Kunitz and Crosby. Kunitz knows how to play with him, and just because they didn't score for two games doesn't mean they won't moving forward. Kunitz was better vs. Finland and his style of play is better suited in grinding games like we will see when Canada faces the USA, most likely, in the semi finals. Kunitz hasn't been nearly as bad as people suggest, he is just the easy target.

  • Here is the TOI amongst forwards when Canada won gold in 2010:
    Crosby 16:56, Nash 15:46, Marleau 15:36, Eric Staal 14:50, Toews 14:38, Getzlaf 14:00, Heatley 13:50, Iginla 13:40, Joe Thornton 13:35, Perry 12:52, Mike Richards 12:42, Brendan Morrow 11:04 and Bergeron 6:27.
    Babcock had eight forwards with 13:40 or more of TOI/game, so far this year he only has five, and one of them, Duchene, isn't dressing. I suspect you will see him give more icetime to a few lines the rest of the way.

  • Canada got a lot of production from their blueline in 2010 as well, just not as many goals as we've seen so far. Keith, Weber and Boyle had six points in seven games, while Pronger added five.

  • Iginla had five goals in 2010 while Crosby, Heatley and Perry had four.

  • Toews led the team in scoring with 1-7-8 and Iginla 5-2-7, Crosby 4-3-7, Heatley 4-3-7 and Getzlaf 3-4-7 all averaged a point-per-game. Canada has five players at a PPG clip so far this year.

  • Latvia only has 1 active NHL player, 20 year old Zemgus Girgensons for the Buffalo Sabres. Oskars Bartulis and Kaspars Daugavins were in the NHL recently, while 41-year-old Sandis Ozolinsh last played in 2008.

  • I don't foresee any upsets in the quarterfinals, but if I had to pick one it would be the Czech Republic knocking off the USA. I think we will see CAN/USA and RUS/SWE in the semis on Friday.

  • I'm amazed at how quickly people have overreacted and often over analyzed Canada's play thus far. I'm not sure what people expect from Crosby, but I think he has played fine. Here is one example of some fans taking Crosby's struggles a bit too far...

    "Why can't Babcock give up the Crosby experiment and give his attention to guys that are producing. Let's face it, Crosby isn't a factor internationally. His point production in 2010 and now proves it. His "Golden Goal" was him hacking at a loose puck," John

    I guess nine points in 10 Olympic games thus far is brutal. John, you might want to watch the replay of his goal again. He displayed a bit more skill than just "hacking at a loose puck."

    John isn't the only one going overboard. I've read comments suggesting Babcock will use Crosby's line in a checking role moving forward because they are struggling.

  • Hopefully after today's victory people will be able to exhale and get excited about the semi finals, rather than stress about who isn't scoring. I can't wait until Friday.

THIS MORNING....

Madara-Malmane-swimwear-Andres-Sarda1

***That is Latvian Madara Malmane***

GAME DAY PREDICTION:
Canada's forwards emerge from hibernation and trounce Latvia 6-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Someone will freak out that I'm not giving Latvia enough respect and that anything can happen in a one game elimination. I guess, but consider this. If you wanted to make $100 on Canada to win you would need to bet $5,500. I'd say the odds Latvia wins are essentially zero.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Crosby scores a goal and adds an assist to quiet those worried about his play. For good measure Kunitz scores as well.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 


Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#1 anon
February 19 2014, 09:55AM
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Hey Jason,

I know that you're decent human being and respectful of others so I question the use of the photo at the top of this post.

The kid in the yellow shirt looks like he has Downe's Sundrome. Is this really something you want to poke fun at?

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#2 Wonger
February 19 2014, 10:36AM
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anon wrote:

Hey Jason,

I know that you're decent human being and respectful of others so I question the use of the photo at the top of this post.

The kid in the yellow shirt looks like he has Downe's Sundrome. Is this really something you want to poke fun at?

Have some class Jason! Poking fun at people with Down Syndrome is NOT COOL!

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#3 Gaz
February 19 2014, 01:38PM
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Great goaltending for the Latvians. That said, this was a very troubling win. Not nearly enough from Canada. This could get ugly vs. the Americans.

1. USA 2. Sweden 3. Finland 4. Canada

I hate making that prediction, but I can't see Canada beating the States, and they'll flame out against the Finns for bronze.

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#4 Oiler Al
February 19 2014, 01:25PM
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No passion or heart from the Canadians.!! Look like robots going through the motions. Yes we are all supter stars, we can kinda of coast along etc etc.

Suban would have added some passion to this game instead of the drones that were floating around

Also I think the Yserman-Babcock party should be over.

If Canada plays like this against the USA, they are in for an ass whoppin.

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#5 ubermiguel
February 19 2014, 02:06PM
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Gaz wrote:

Great goaltending for the Latvians. That said, this was a very troubling win. Not nearly enough from Canada. This could get ugly vs. the Americans.

1. USA 2. Sweden 3. Finland 4. Canada

I hate making that prediction, but I can't see Canada beating the States, and they'll flame out against the Finns for bronze.

I don't know why you're getting so many "Trashes". This is a team that barely beat Finland and Latvia. Against the US it could get ugly, unless the scorers remember how to score.

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#6 MessyEH
February 19 2014, 04:30AM
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I need everyone to be like a bunch of fonzies today. And what's Fonzies?

Cool.

be cool honey bunnies, be cool.

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#7 Fresh Mess
February 19 2014, 08:04AM
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HardBoiledOil wrote:

^me too, but i'm starting to miss the NHL, so the Olympics can end anytime now.

Personally I would be happy if the NHL adopted this ice size and these rules. Or if the NHL was just absorbed into a international league. This is much better hockey IMO.

I'm not shocked that Finland knocked out Russia. Too many me-first players on that team. Finland has talent and they play as a team.

Canada should scratch Crosby eh? I hadn't heard that one. My god, that's a doozy even for Oilersnation.

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#8 BringBackSlats
February 19 2014, 02:27PM
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Should have better qualified my statement there... So being that Smid was the main return in the Pronger deal, all we have are now the Broissoit and Horak prospects. Really Kevin... For Chris Pronger? Is that how much you know about winning from a management side. Micron moulded skate wearing, coattail riding, arrogant lemon. I remember when I was a kid and got to go into the dressing room with my minor hockey team. Our goalie was a bruins fan and wore a Beantown hat into the room. I heard Mr. Lowe say "what kind of team is this" and not in a joking kind of way. He was actually mad that a 9 yr old kid had the audacity to wear an opponents colours into his dressing room. Meanwhile the class of the room, Gretz is politely signing away autographs and Mess was balancing a stick on his nose to make the kids laugh. Unreal how cool those guys were. Showed back then the kind of guy Kevin was. From the words of Seinfeld..."can't stand ya" Kevin.

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#9 Wonger
February 19 2014, 11:03AM
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Rob... wrote:

So you both would like to ignore the fact that the dude in the picture is thoroughly enjoying his superhero costume, and likely thinks he could kick arse? Grow a thicker skin and re-read the words on the image. Those words don't say 'What an idiot!', or worse, they say 'It's go time!', which likely captures what that guy is thinking and is relevant to today's game.

If you are embarrassed by Downe's Syndrome, or those who have it, perhaps you're the ones with problems you should work out.

Fair enough! I guess I took it the wrong way and reacted angrily! I apologize to Jason Gregor and everybody! Now if Canada can just finish and score some goals..............!!!

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#10 Wonger
February 19 2014, 02:38PM
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Oil need to do whatever it takes to get Ismael-Diarby from Nashville and draft Ritchie from Peterborough. I would pick RITCHIE first overall before Burke gets a shot at him! 18 6.3 235lbs skates, hits ,scores, FIGHTS.... will be the best POWER FORWARD in the NHL within 5 years! Are you listening MacT????? Diarby good defensively, super tough, punishing hitter, great fighter 6.5 225 19 years old! Are you listening MacT???? Wakie, wakie..... you should hire the Wonger as a scout.....I'll work for free the first year!!!!

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#11 DisappointedFan
February 19 2014, 09:47AM
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Jason,

The reason why so many people are "frustrated" with Crosby is because of all the hype on him. Over and above that Team Canada clearly lowered themselves to Crosby's wishes to get Kunitz on the team. So if he can't produce points with his "friend" then people would have liked to have seen someone more qualified be in that spot.

I personally don't see how anyone can begin to think that more ice-time should be given to Crosby/Kunitz, if they were lighting up then by all means toss them 20 minutes a game. If not then find people who will get it going. Getzlaf and Marleau had some chemistry with Carter, give them the start and see how they do.

You're looking at elite level athletes who are (should be) all starters on their respective teams I don't think you're going wrong putting any of those lines out there.

(Except for Rick Nash and Patrice Bergeron, keep them off the ice)

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#12 Randy
February 19 2014, 11:42AM
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@TonyT

Klowe is a cancer anything he anything associated with him means losing

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#13 HardBoiledOil
February 19 2014, 07:31AM
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^me too, but i'm starting to miss the NHL, so the Olympics can end anytime now.

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#14 shanetrain
February 19 2014, 01:57PM
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Canada's best is yet to come.

You think the American's aren't a little nervous coming into this one?

This is Canada's game.

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#15 DisappointedFan
February 19 2014, 11:54AM
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@Taylor Gang

You contradict yourself there bud, besides your negligent remarks about "anyone who is half sensible" as though you think I am somehow uninformed.

But regardless, you can say Hockey Canada made the decision separate from anything Crosby had to say, but we all know that's not true. Either way, Hockey Canada still dropped the ball and they shouldn't have tried to cater to Crosby's needs.

Now looking back at his stats from the last Olympics he looks great. But he played a very spotty absent tournament in terms of consistency. He had a great first game in their 8-0 win getting 3 assists. Next game he only shows up for his two shootout attempts, completely absent the rest of the game. Game three, on the ice for 4 goals against, completely absent all game, but does net one. Game four, blow out game, definitely not a game changer. Game five, Canada blows out Russia, Crosby makes no impact, no points. Game six, close game to Slovakia, no impact again, completely absent, no points. Game seven, no impact all game, two shots, and he scores a no look slide into the net.

My point is, for the BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD you'd think he would make more of an impact than just hopping on points night against Norway and for 30 seconds in OT.

He plays pretty well in the soft eastern conference. It's no wonder he's not a difference maker elsewhere.

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#16 v4ance
February 19 2014, 02:06AM
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Crosby may be playing fine but I can't shake the feeling that Team Canada short changed themselves by picking a less than optimal player in Kunitz. For all the talk of the "chemistry" that Kunitz supposedly has with Crosby, or the Perry/Getzlaf combo, I have seen little evidence of that so far. None of the forwards are scoring, but we should still see some 5 bell chances generated between Crosby and Kunitz?

I have this dire feeling that in a critical game, maybe not today, that we'll need a gamebreaker who could be skating beside Crosby who makes a key play to score in a tight contest.

Instead in my nightmares, I see a loss for Team Canada, going down to defeat while we are still waiting to see that mystical chemistry between Crosby and Kunitz on the international stage.

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#17 BringBackSlats
February 19 2014, 02:01PM
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Hmm K...So much for Food Stuffers lame prediction of the Russians winning gold. He might have a great memory recall, but it goes to show how little the guy actually understands what it takes to win hockey games. He's all about the offensive awe, and never once questioned how bad their defensive core is next to the ridiculous talent on both Canadian and American bluelines. What a chump! Personally I'm in the corner of Belov as an Oiler, but if he's playing big minutes on your squad there's an issue. Hat's off to Nolan and the Latvians. Displayed the type of courage and grit Oiler fans long for. That goalie was off the hook. Anyone notice every time the camera pans over the braintrust in the rafters they're all watching intently except for one. Yeah ol' 6 rings has better things to do on his BB. Perhaps he's cooking up another deal? Realized with the Smid trade we ended up with 2 minor league prospects. That was some kind of wheeling and dealing there Kevin.

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#18 Sevenseven
February 19 2014, 12:33PM
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anon wrote:

Hey Jason,

I know that you're decent human being and respectful of others so I question the use of the photo at the top of this post.

The kid in the yellow shirt looks like he has Downe's Sundrome. Is this really something you want to poke fun at?

That is a young Rob Ford.

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#19 Randaman
February 19 2014, 04:39PM
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Spydyr wrote:

To the people saying the US will smoke Canada. Canada has allowed three goals the whole tournament.Three.

This is our game.

Tell me what type of offence they have faced up to this point. Thought so. USA 4 Canada 2 Not that I hope for that score but they have given me no reason to believe.

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#21 Rob...
February 19 2014, 10:45AM
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@Wonger

So you both would like to ignore the fact that the dude in the picture is thoroughly enjoying his superhero costume, and likely thinks he could kick arse? Grow a thicker skin and re-read the words on the image. Those words don't say 'What an idiot!', or worse, they say 'It's go time!', which likely captures what that guy is thinking and is relevant to today's game.

If you are embarrassed by Downe's Syndrome, or those who have it, perhaps you're the ones with problems you should work out.

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#22 meh...
February 19 2014, 12:23PM
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Anybody can win one game.I wouldn't like the Oilers chances against Latvia in a seven game series. They might sweep the Oil 4-0.

Never thought I would type those words...

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#23 risto siltanen's slapshot
February 19 2014, 01:15PM
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vetinari wrote:

So.... Team Latvia... better or worse than the 2013-14 Oilers????

their ahl goalie's better than ours. defence might be better too.

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#24 Frank
February 19 2014, 02:22PM
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The goaltending was good but not great. What game were they watching , Canada had opportunities however they continued to shoot into his pads. I really can't recall any great saves.

If Canada continues to shoot like they did against Latvia, USA will win easily.

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#25 RexHolez
February 19 2014, 06:44PM
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Dangilitis wrote:

@anon

I work with children with Down syndrome and do you know what parents of children with trisomy 21 find the most irritating and offensive? When people call it down's syndrome. Down was credited with describing the constellation of symptoms seen in children with Down syndrome he never had the condition himself. It's Down syndrome as Jason pointed out. Not doune either. Saying a child has down's really irks some parents. And Jason while I trust that the intent was not offensive, the icon in the bottom right from "all dumb.com" could certainly be perceived as such by someone looking at that image, no?

Well put.

The man has a point Jason, if you want to justify that you meant no harm, then edit the alldumb.com from the pic. That's why people are getting offended.

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#26 Richard
February 19 2014, 11:21AM
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KLowe fault his is Schleprock.

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#27 Time Travelling Sean
February 19 2014, 02:55PM
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@ubermiguel

We beat Finland, something Russia didn't do, and the States had to get a lucky call to cancel a goal and then beat them in a shootout.

We also didn't barely beat Latvia or Finland, we destroyed them. When making it to center ice is a victory....

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#28 BringBackSlats
February 19 2014, 03:10PM
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@wiseguy

That's fair enough... You make a good point about Lupul too. Too bad he wasn't the player then that he transformed into after his health issues 3 yrs ago. I'll never get over the Pronger trade though, and there can never be any justifiable reason as to why it happened and for the players it involved.

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#29 loweblows
February 20 2014, 01:12PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You keep drawing attention to the site by writing it out. Was that necessary to do with back-to-back posts in four minutes? It was an honest mistake.

Then why did you change the pic? This is another shining example of you flip flopping on your word. If the DS pic wasn't offensive then why did you change it?

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#30 Eulers
February 19 2014, 05:26AM
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So relieved to be playing Latvia instead of Russia or even Switzerland!

I think the defence are scoring so much because many teams have been playing the '5 defenceman' strategy against Canada leaving a lot of room for the defence over the forwards.

Finally, Crosby on his worst day is still going to draw a lot of attention from the opposition which creates space and for his line-mates and the other lines.

I'm guessing most Canadians aren't going to work too hard at 10MT/12ET today...

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#31 DisappointedFan
February 19 2014, 01:02PM
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@Taylor Gang

Have you watched the games, he's been a ghost out there. Once in a while you hear a spurt of action but otherwise it's nothing. You don't make an impact as the best player in the game ghosting around the ice.

Actually two different relations in that sentence but I can see how you may have missed that. I called it "fact" where? It's an informed decision based on the interviews and commentary given by Hockey Canada and Sidney Crosby on the topic. I think you may need to take a step back from the ol' keyboard for a breathe of fresh air bud.

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#32 TonyT
February 19 2014, 01:08PM
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I honestly don't know what to think of this roster they put together. They've controlled the play through the cycle but have yet to really look dangerous to my eye. Yzerman and Babcock assembled a bunch of two-way forwards and have produced some of the most boring hockey I've ever seen. This isn't a knock on the players individually (expect for Kunitz, Sharp and Nash) but I wonder if a team like Latvia gave them this much trouble, how will they respond when Brown and Backes are the ones doing the hitting? Oh yeah, that Kessel guy looks pretty good too.

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#33 Todd
February 19 2014, 02:02PM
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What a bunch of babies.

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#34 Fish
February 19 2014, 02:24PM
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Good thing we didn't hire Ted nolan during our last five coaching experiments. His team sure lacked skill and was destroyed by... wait. That bunch of rag tag mens leaguers nearly stole the Canada game? Imagine what he could do with our rag tag team.

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#35 Dangilitis
February 19 2014, 05:36PM
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@anon

I work with children with Down syndrome and do you know what parents of children with trisomy 21 find the most irritating and offensive? When people call it down's syndrome. Down was credited with describing the constellation of symptoms seen in children with Down syndrome he never had the condition himself. It's Down syndrome as Jason pointed out. Not doune either. Saying a child has down's really irks some parents. And Jason while I trust that the intent was not offensive, the icon in the bottom right from "all dumb.com" could certainly be perceived as such by someone looking at that image, no?

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#36 Josh cOILER aka DSF aka Spydyr.....
February 19 2014, 08:42AM
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Is that guy in the yellow superman shirt you Gregor????

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#37 Jerry
February 19 2014, 02:25PM
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On paper Canada is the better team. However if you were watching this tournament USA is a much better team. What team will show up for Canada the team that has looked pretty average or the team that we have not seen .

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#38 pkam
February 19 2014, 03:26PM
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BringBackSlats wrote:

Should have better qualified my statement there... So being that Smid was the main return in the Pronger deal, all we have are now the Broissoit and Horak prospects. Really Kevin... For Chris Pronger? Is that how much you know about winning from a management side. Micron moulded skate wearing, coattail riding, arrogant lemon. I remember when I was a kid and got to go into the dressing room with my minor hockey team. Our goalie was a bruins fan and wore a Beantown hat into the room. I heard Mr. Lowe say "what kind of team is this" and not in a joking kind of way. He was actually mad that a 9 yr old kid had the audacity to wear an opponents colours into his dressing room. Meanwhile the class of the room, Gretz is politely signing away autographs and Mess was balancing a stick on his nose to make the kids laugh. Unreal how cool those guys were. Showed back then the kind of guy Kevin was. From the words of Seinfeld..."can't stand ya" Kevin.

Isn't it Lowe traded Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch for Pronger?

Didn't Lowe get Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Šmíd, a 1st round pick in 2007, a 2nd round picks in 2008, and a conditional 1st round pick for one of 2008/2009/2010 for Pronger? And didn't we drafted Jordan Eberle with that conditional 1st rounder in 2008?

So at the end, we get Eberle, Broissoit and Horak for Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch. That is a bad trade?

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#39 Taylor Gang
February 19 2014, 05:04PM
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@Jason Gregor

Don't listen to him Jason, him saying that its offensive in turn makes himself offensive.

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#42 bwar
February 19 2014, 05:25AM
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I feel bad for Duchene, plays solid yet gets trumped by "chemistry" which has yet to result in anything this tournament.

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#43 Taylor Gang
February 19 2014, 12:48PM
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DisappointedFan wrote:

You contradict yourself there bud, besides your negligent remarks about "anyone who is half sensible" as though you think I am somehow uninformed.

But regardless, you can say Hockey Canada made the decision separate from anything Crosby had to say, but we all know that's not true. Either way, Hockey Canada still dropped the ball and they shouldn't have tried to cater to Crosby's needs.

Now looking back at his stats from the last Olympics he looks great. But he played a very spotty absent tournament in terms of consistency. He had a great first game in their 8-0 win getting 3 assists. Next game he only shows up for his two shootout attempts, completely absent the rest of the game. Game three, on the ice for 4 goals against, completely absent all game, but does net one. Game four, blow out game, definitely not a game changer. Game five, Canada blows out Russia, Crosby makes no impact, no points. Game six, close game to Slovakia, no impact again, completely absent, no points. Game seven, no impact all game, two shots, and he scores a no look slide into the net.

My point is, for the BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD you'd think he would make more of an impact than just hopping on points night against Norway and for 30 seconds in OT.

He plays pretty well in the soft eastern conference. It's no wonder he's not a difference maker elsewhere.

Just because he isn't producing doesn't mean he isn't having a positive impact on the team. He creates momentum for the other players with his scoring opportunities. Besides, it's not like he's hemmed in the d-zone whenever he's on the ice...

Also, that isn't contradicting to say that "anyone who is half sensible knows that" just because you aren't part of that group. I just don't think you can say that Hockey Canada catered to Crosby's needs, WHICH IS YOUR OPINION, and then call it fact.

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#44 S cottV
February 19 2014, 02:54PM
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Anything can happen in a tournament format, but I wouldn't be all that concerned about how good the USA looks or how somewhat shaky Canada looks.

Canada is facing some minor adversity and that will probably work in our favor. Canada is certainly due and my money is on them peaking at the right time.

Babcock is going to have to pick the go to guys and up their ice times a bit more. That will get guys like Crosby and the others that he picks, in a more familiar rythm.

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#45 ubermiguel
February 19 2014, 03:26PM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

We beat Finland, something Russia didn't do, and the States had to get a lucky call to cancel a goal and then beat them in a shootout.

We also didn't barely beat Latvia or Finland, we destroyed them. When making it to center ice is a victory....

The possession stats for Canada/Latvia were extremely one-sided. But until "making it to centre ice" becomes the method by which games are decided I see close games that could have had different outcomes with a couple of different bounces.

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#46 Jeffff
February 19 2014, 03:29PM
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Mistaeks kan bee maid.

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#47 Dq
February 19 2014, 03:43PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

No passion or heart from the Canadians.!! Look like robots going through the motions. Yes we are all supter stars, we can kinda of coast along etc etc.

Suban would have added some passion to this game instead of the drones that were floating around

Also I think the Yserman-Babcock party should be over.

If Canada plays like this against the USA, they are in for an ass whoppin.

Did people pretend to be working while secretly streaming a different game than I was secretly streaming while pretending to be working?

Canada completely dominated every aspect of the game. In the third period when Canada was pressing Latvia had 3 shots until pulling te goalie. They couldn't take 2 strides or 1 pass without losing the puck. Nothing to be ashamed of from Canada except maybe a lack of finish.

So much negativism against a team that hasn't lost yet ... Including a win against a very good Finish team who just happens to have beaten a very good Russian team.

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#48 Spydyr
February 19 2014, 03:55PM
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To the people saying the US will smoke Canada. Canada has allowed three goals the whole tournament.Three.

This is our game.

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#49 Spydyr
February 19 2014, 03:56PM
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The cost of the Olympics for Russia 50 Billion.

Getting knocked out before the medal round.Priceless.

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#50 BringBackSlats
February 19 2014, 05:04PM
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@Randaman

Oh really? So you sign a player to a big money deal and he wants out. Ok fine. Doesn't mean you have to take the first bad offer that comes your way and eat it. If Pronger was up to extra marital business here and ticked off his wife then too bad pal. We'll trade you when it makes sense to do it, and until then shut up and play hard. It's just yet another case of poor management, trades, and personnel handling. I suppose you would agree with how he handled the Souray situation too? What a joke. And then you wonder why we have a bad Rep among the players in the league? So what you're saying is that was a good deal he made then? Just curious.

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