THE TEAM….

Canada finally announced their 2014 roster for the Sochi Olympics, and without a doubt the biggest surprise is Claude Giroux not making the team.

There are eleven returning players on the 25-man roster, but in my eyes Rick Nash continues to be the most overrated player in the NHL. Nash has had one 70-point season, and since the 2010 Olympics he has scored 185 points in 228 games, 25th most amongst Canadian-born players. In that same time span Marty St.Louis has scored the most points, 271, while Giroux is third with 255.

Giroux is flat out more competitive game in, game out than Nash. Nash has only two goals in 16 NHL playoff games, but Hockey Canada seems to put more onus on the fact he has played well at the water-downed World Championships.

Nash did play okay at the last Olympics, but how much of that was because he was on Toews line, and Toews was the best player in the tournament.

Nash has 18 points in 27 games this year. No one can say he is playing well, or close to the level of Claude Giroux, but Hockey Canada choose him because he’s played for them before. I guess Giroux should not play crappier in the NHL so his team could miss the playoffs and he can pad his stats at the World Championships.

Here is the roster, returning players have **.

Goalies:

  • Roberto Luongo**
  • Carey Price
  • Mike Smith

Defence:

  • Jay Bouwmeester
  • Drew Doughty**
  • Dan Hamuis
  • Duncan Keith**
  • Alex Pietrangelo
  • PK Subban
  • Marc-Edouard Vlasic
  • Shea Weber**

Forwards:

  • Jamie Benn
  • Patrice Bergeron**
  • Jeff Carter
  • Sidney Crosby**
  • Matt Duchene
  • Ryan Getzlaf**
  • Chris Kunitz
  • Patrick Marleau**
  • Rick Nash**
  • Corey Perry**
  • Patrick Sharp
  • Steven Stamkos
  • John Tavares
  • Jonathan Toews**

I still believe Canada is the favourite, because of the blueline and their top-six forwards; Crosby, Tavares, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Perry and Toews.

It will be an awesome tournament and I can’t wait to watch, but picking Nash over Giroux makes little sense. Essentially they are basing it on seven good games that happened four years ago. Horrible decision.

Which decision surpised you?

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 



    • A-Mc

      being a canadian hockey fanatic….my heart will always cheer for canada (and the oilers) i definitely think on paper we still have the strongest team. It’s just fun to debate decisions that the higher ups make.

      everyteam had question marks really (i.e. no bobby ryan, belov for russia, etc…) i’m just looking forward to 3-4am hockey games in february

  • S cottV

    Big ice lends itself more to guys with big reach who can move. So Nash – 6 ft 4 / 220 who can skate with anyone, makes more sense than meets the eye, offensivly and defensively.

    You have to be careful applying full defensive pressure anywhere on the ice, and particularly out to the boards. Big reach guys who can skate, can apply full pressure when it makes sense, but dont have to fully commit to still be effective at limiting time / space, angling with a big body and reach.

    Also helps big time on the PK side of things.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    They are playing on the big ice surface but realize they have to offensively crash the net with size to score , as most squads will clog up the middle of ice . Joe Thornton is one I would have put on for his adapt handling of puck around net area and setting up others . I would also have added Lucic for crashing the net and opposing defenceman , and physicality purpose . Your not going to get many goals from the periphery or outside in Olympic Tourney .

    • Newj

      based on the selection of the team i would say it is indeed 87, however that’s getting off topic of my original point that they should have taken MSL to be the veteran leader.

          • Zarny

            Its not even close because Jonathan Toews is one of the most respected men in hockey. Dont let his age fool you, his demeanor, his hockey IQ, his “Messier-like” attitude to put the game on his shoulders, and he is a born winner. Not Whinner, which is what a lot of people think of Crosby. Yes, he got us the golden goal 4 years ago, and yes, he is one of the best athletes in the world, but skill isnt the only determining factor in naming a Captain. Respect is. And i believe that Toews has the respect of just about everybody in the league. And he deserves the C come Olympic time.

            Id like to hear an arguement on who is a better candidate? Cause, personally, I dont see a Scott Neidermayer on this team…

          • Zarny

            Toews would be an excellent choice for Captain; but to say it isn’t close is simply wrong.

            Crosby, despite your impression, is an incredible leader and has put Pit on his shoulders numerous times. He also has the respect of everyone in the league…and is the odds on favorite to be named Captain for Canada.

            Oh and it’s spelled whiner not whinner.

          • Spydyr

            You used a semicolon incorrectly. “But to say it isn’t close is simply wrong” is a dependent clause and needs a comma, not a colon.

            Before you hand out grammar/spelling lessons you should tighten up your own.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    I know y’all dislike Nash and consider Giroux a ‘better hockey player’. I believe this is true in a top 6 role. Nash however played on a checking line with Toews & Richards in the 2010 games. That line was magnificent at shutting down Dats-Ovi-Malkin.

    Sadly, Giroux’s passion will be Ieft out. I still remember him laying out Crosby 30sec into Game 5 before the Flyers knocked out The Pens 2012. Perhaps the rapport between Crosby & Giroux played a roll!

    I believe Babcock will put Toews-Sharp-Nash together for a checking line. No one can score on these guys!

    My lines.

    Kunitz-Crosby-Stamkos
    Benn-Getzlaf-Perry
    Sharp-Toews-Nash
    Duchesne-Tavares-Carter
    Bergeron
    (Marleau-extra)

    My alternatives:
    Mike Richards>Marleau
    Seabrook>Hamhuis (chemistry is a premium in this tourney, he & Keith)
    Anyone>Bouwmeester

    • Zarny

      On big ice Marleau > Richards. He also plays the W not C like Richards. Same goes with Carter…he can play RW. Joe Thornton would make the team at C before Mike Richards.

      Duncan Keith will play with Drew Doughty on the top pair; Seabrook and Keith were never going to be paired together this Olympics.

      Hamhuis shoots left; Seabrook shoots right. That’s what the decision is based on. I suppose you can disagree with that strategy, but Babcock has won a Stanley Cup and Olympic gold so his opinion counts more.

      Bouwmeester is one of the best skating D in the NHL and plays regularly with Pietrangelo. He also shoots left which after Pronger and Neidermeyer retired Canada is in short supply of.

  • paul wodehouse

    How in the world Hockey Canada took Nash, Duchene, Carter, and Kunitz over guys like Giroux, Thorton, and Eric Stall. Is simply baffling. Even if you want to make the argument that Kunitz is there to play LW and that’s good because all we have is a bunch of centres. How you take Duchene over Eric Stall is just stunning.

    I like that they took Boumester over Seabrook as Hitchcock explains the international ice as much more of a lateral game than the vertical one played in the NHL.

    Our defence and goal tending should give us a chance for gold as long as the coaches aren’t afraid to pull the goalie at the first sign of trouble during the round robin and give the job to whichever 3 is the hottest.

    I’m really excited to watch Stamkos and Crosby play on a line together, and to watch the classic Canadian style of hockey whatever line they put together with Toews.

    If I was doing line combos it would be:
    Kunitz Crosby Stamkos
    Tavaras Getzlaf Perry
    Benn Toews Nash
    Sharp Bergeron Carter

    Defence I really don’t think it matters.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Team Canada will not win any medal at Sochi, so stop stressing over who made or didn’t make the team. Oilers players can rest and relax, start fresh the second half and knock off teams trying to make playoffs.

      • Oilerz4life

        I m saying Oilers will play spoilers, they are not going to make playoffs this year or next year with Eakins. I don’t smoke, I see Oilers getting smoked each game is enough for everyone.

  • paul wodehouse

    Vern…my concerns are two…goaltending and the big ice surface but I like that there’s a righty and lefty on each D pairing…I like that Kunitz made it…I like that we have no smurfs (yes your MSL is big hearted)…but I worry about those things I mentioned…

    • A-Mc

      i agree…but like every olympics or WC or anything international….Canada has the best skaters in the world bar none from 1-22, of course there are the datsyuks of the world, but overall Canada > REST of the World. BUT it’s always the goalies that are in the spotlight right or wrong, they’re the last line of defence and whenever canada loses, goaltending is almost always the first thing pointed out.

      Big Surface is another problem. Canadians NEVER play on such a huge surface from their minor hockey to CHL they are always trained in NA ice, whereas all europeans USUALLY will have some experience on the surface. Having played minor hockey in edmonton i have never even seen an international rink (outside the TV) so yea that’s definitely a concern.

  • Oilerz4life

    Every player cannot be the same. You need to build a team, they picked team Canada with that in mind. Each player has a role to play with different strength’s. Hall did not make this team because the didn’t need another player with excellent speed. They needed something different.

    • ToppsSmith

      You people turned me. Get Nash out of that uniform. We will make Crosby do the grinding on the 3rd line, Stamkos will goon it up on 4th, and the highly over rated MSL can be our penalty killing specialist. It makes perfect sense.

  • A-Mc

    I hope stamkos can play but doing a little google searching brought me to this excerpt from an article:

    “The fact that he has a broken leg, that it has required surgery, the typical recovery time for surgery for an injury of this nature is in the four- to six-month range,” Wells said.

    The range of estimates, according to media reports, point to at least eight to 10 weeks for the bone to heal. Shadgan says the mean length of time taken to return to training is about five to seven months, though.

    Doesnt look good..

  • paul wodehouse

    …you’re the second person to have changed his or her name on here after I have called them on demeaning & belittling comments…yes I know about having fun at the expense of our beloved team but I’m allowed to NOT like it! it’s why I read some of the silliness…
    Wanye’s the best at silly…but you sir are what you are…irrelevant

    • Oilerz4life

      Still fail to see how comparing current Oilers hockey to Interpretive Ice Dancing at the Olympics is so offensive. Funny that you should mention demeaning and belittling comments. Perhaps you should change your name to Mister Hypocrisy, or the Ontario Blog Boss (-_-)

  • 24% body fat

    I didnt remember Nash playing on Toews line at the last olympics, i was sure he played first line with Crosby and i thought Iginla and from what i can remember he was the most consistant threat offensively out of the three of them. That being said that was 4 years ago and does that give him the right to be on this team, i dont think so, but obviously hockey canada does.

  • A-Mc

    Question: if the NHL doesnt go to Korea in 2018, but instead does the world cup thing, Is the world cup every year? What is the frequency of the tournament?

    I think the 4 year cyclic nature of the Olympics plays a big part in boosting the importance of the hockey tournament. Having a tournament every year might result in a lesser product. Olympic hockey is brutal awesome.. Emotionally it kicks the piss out of us fans. If it were to happen every year, i’m not sure i could say the same thing..

  • Carlos Danger

    Curious in that if Babcock likes forward pairs, then why was Martin St. Louis not considered as the pair player with Stamkos… OR is Stmakos really not coming to play and they hold that slot open for a late surging player .

  • Spoils

    Make no mistake about it guys, the reason Yakupov did not make the Russian team is because of the way his lack of playing minutes was handled earlier in the year and how much of a drama-queen he was about it. Russia could have easily over-looked his lack of scoring so far this year due to the fact that he plays for the Oilers and he has been handled wrong in the line up. As a natural scorer and PP specialist he’s on this team, as an immature, whiny baby he’s not.

  • paul wodehouse

    Marleau? Seriously??

    http://oilersnation.comhttps://oilersnation.com/wp-content/uploads/Image/PattyMarleau12.jpg

    ” I always thought that someone that was extremely talented that had that grit, that had that fire, that showed the emotion and got pissed off, I always thought that that was a much more effective player, and Patrick never gave that to me. That always frustrated me. 

I don’t know how you can go through a career or go through a season and never change your demeanor, never change your facial expression, not get pissed off and break something. I just don’t understand that. ”

    http://oilersnation.com/2012/11/27/roenick-stops-by

  • paul wodehouse

    Anyone who believes kLowe is such and idiot is really not seeing the big picture. Luring All Star millionaires that crave winning, nice weather and cheap real estate to Edmonton isn’t a job I’d wish on my worst enemy. He made a plan to suck and build through the draft and suck we have but what did people really think?? Three first overalls and Bam!???

    Trash him all you want, while your at it blame your dad for your anger displacement issues.

  • Rdubb

    Were there surprises on Team Canada yesterday, YOU BET!!!
    But, why didn’t they take guys who play left-wing instead of so many centre’s?
    I hate to be a homer, but I really think that Hall should have been named to Team Canada for several reasons, they are;
    – he is a natural LW and Team Canada doesn’t have many natural LW’ingers, that alone blows my mind
    – he has speed, speed many players wish they had, and that speed would be a HUGE advantage on the bigger ice surface, it would open up so much room for the so called “skilled” players
    – he’ll go into the “dirty areas” when he needs to, although we haven’t seen that so much this past season plus
    – he can force d-men back, thus opening up the offensive zone
    – he’ll be a very important part of future international games for Canada, and this would have been a very good experience
    – last yr he was the 2nd best lw (behind Ovie), and this season his stats (offensive) are just as good. He is tied for 2nd in A’s from LW, T10 in G & T13 in SOG for the season.
    – imagine how good he’d be playing with an EXPERIENCED C like Crosby, Stamkos, or playing with Getzlaf & Perry???
    – He is much better suited to play for TC than Marleau, Carter or Nash…Lowe even said Nash was put on the team because of his past experience wearing the Canadian Jersey…he (Nash) is perhaps the MOST OVERRATED player/forward in the NHL, he doesn’t deserve the HUGE contract that he has, he has never led a team to anything, and I think always crumbled when the pressure was on his, look @ his CBJ days…

    just my thoughts
    Peck

    • Serious Gord

      He has a very good record of playing great in national-level games. He is widely credited with shutting down ovechkin in the last olympics.

      He had an injury early this year, but then so has stamkos and no one is saying he should be kept off the team.

      Hall being appointed has merit, but Crawford in an interview yesterday said that one of the main criteria they used was Hockey IQ and i think its pretty evident that Hall hasn’t demonstrated he has a high one.

  • Serious Gord

    Canada picked their best centers in the NHL

    Canada picked their best 6 D in the NHL

    Canada picked their best 2 goalies in the NHL

    As for wingers most people have a problem with 2 or 3 players picked.

    Wingers are not as important as Centers or D.

    They picked players for speed and size and mostly 2-way players. It would have been a different team if it was on NHL ice.

    The only player on this team pick on reputation rather than recent results is Nash. Hard to argue his results in international hockey.

  • Serious Gord

    Duchene must have been ahead of Giroux and MSL.

    ? must have been ahead of Logan Couture.

    Logan is a 2 way player a Selke type player . So is Bergeron Toews and Crosby. Perhaps they wanted more speed and scoring touch.