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 

  • 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.

  • 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 (-_-)

    • ToppsSmith

      He is one of the better defensive choices. He has wheels and can see the plays develop. He is an extremely smart player. However I didn’t expect to see him.

      • S cottV

        He also has a lot of international experience and plays well on big ice.

        It is a different game and some guys more suited than others, to make the adjustments required.

    • Rob...

      FTFY: “Hey Gregor, I heard Lowe is going to be on your show today. This is your chance to grill his ass and let him know the fanbase despise his actions since the summer of 2006.”

      • outdoorzguy

        I doubt it. He’ll talk about the Olympic team. But it would be interesting for Gregor to ask Lowe what qualifications he has for being on that selection committee. That answer could be real interesting. But Gregor will take the easy road. He won’t bother with any Oiler issues because that is what the fans want to know.

        • Admiral Ackbar

          I believe in Gregor. I’m sure Lowe probably put 6 rings on his resume and team Canada brought him in. Team Canada also gives a lot of favors to people who are completely under qualified. A lot of people know Giroux and Crosby hate each other and it’s more than just the on ice stuff. Guys like Jeff Carter and Patty Marleau are not better than Giroux. He is a beast with an edge and they leave him off the team? The whole system and process wreaks of politics. This is not the best team they could put on the ice.

  • 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

      i neeeeeed ‘dis!

      This is all we have to look forward to this year. It’ll be a welcome distraction.

      Although i’m going to have to stay away from twitter and the interwebs until after i finish watching the games.

      If canada makes it into the final medal rounds, i might just take the next day off work so i can watch the games live. Hearing the score before you’ve watched the game is such a killjoy and with the excitement of the final in 2010.. i dont think there’s any choice. I need to watch it live!

  • 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..

  • Serious Gord

    Looking through the list of forwards – the G and D I have zero problem with – Fleury has the same rep with hockey cda as dubnyk has with oiler fans. 4left 4right makes perfect sense – three things dominate:

    Speed

    Size

    Seniority

    Speed – every player is in the top percentile for speed

    Size – every player is 6ft or over except crosby and Duchene – both at 5’11”

    Seniority – eleven alumni

    Apply all those criteria and the likes of st louis (size) and Giroux (5’11” 172lbs and declined to play for HC in the past) are knocked out.

    This is a team that will not be beaten to a puck nor will it be knocked off the puck.

    The one thing that may be missing – believe it or not – or at least was further down the list is playmaking. And playmaking begets scoring chances and goals. This may be a team that struggles to score against a disciplined defensive team – i’m looking at you sweden.

    The three that I quibble with are:

    Marleau – Got exposed/disappeared in the playoffs in years past. Perhaps in a less physically brutal olympic game he will play at a high level

    Carter – Defensively how good is he? aren’t there better options (see below)

    Nash – Big ? – is he back to past levels or is he damaged like LeCavalier? going to be hard to tell him to go on the DL if he is subpar.

    In their place i would have like to have seen:

    Seguin – excellent two way player and playmaker can SKATE

    Hall – lots of things in his favour – two Mem cup MVPs, natural LW to name two

    Skinner – natural LW – great skater, even better shot- beats the very best goalies, Fearless

    All three are part of the young guard, play on teams that are out of the playoffs, and are not part of the HC establishment.

    Should this team fail, the place to start in the questioning will be with leaving these guys off. TOO conservative and approach will be the refrain.

    • Zarny

      Bang on that Hockey Canada favors seniority and experience. When you see Canada’s World Jr’s freeze under the pressure it’s easy to see why.

      Marleau will be fine on big ice. Super fast, kills penalties and extremely versatile. He doesn’t have to be the man.

      Carter is very good defensively contrary to some comments here. He killed penalties with Richards in Phi. Speed is the question mark with Carter on the big ice.

      Nash is a big ?. Not playing well after the concussion, but again kills penalties and can play on a checking line.

      Seguin and Hall are too young and inexperienced. They still try to force too risky plays instead of being patient.

      Not to mention Bos had to put a bodyguard in front of Seguin’s hotel room during the playoffs so he wouldn’t skip out and party. Talented but nowhere near mature enough to play against the best of the best.

      Skinner simply isn’t good enough. He’s not the same caliber as Hall or Seguin.

      • Serious Gord

        Note that I used the term “quibble”. I really don’t have any big issues with the players picked.

        And I think my point stands: if they fail it will be blamed on a process that was too conservative.

        Seguin seems to grown up lots in the past few months

        And skinner is right behind Tyler and Taylor – and couture is out with an injury.

  • 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 .

  • Zarny

    I understand the lefty-right balance but I would have had Seabrook there before Hamhuis. Seabrook played poorly at the last Olympics but he is a better player now and likely wouldn’t be as flustered this time around. I agree that Giroux should have made the team, he is the biggest surprise omission to me. I would have had him on the team before Nash or Carter.

    Team Canada will always have a gold-medal calibre roster on paper. The key will be getting the goaltending because most other countries have better goaltending on paper. After seeing the final rosters, I think Sweden might have the most complete roster.

      • Zarny

        I think the teams record in the last 8 years is all the merit needed for criticism…. But this isn’t the thread for that! Go Canada

        Little surprised ham humid made it and agree nash is lucky too

  • Zarny

    New Rule: Nobody is allowed to use the semicolon anymore. Use a period instead. 90% of the posters on this board use it incorrectly.

    Jonathan Willis uses them correctly, albeit too liberally.

  • Spydyr

    Congrats to Hemmer for making Team Czech

    and Petr Nedved!!!!! Are you kidding me at 42 years young – wait until braintrust signs him to a 3 year deal for the Oil . . . .

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

    Biggest shock to me is that a dozen or so highly paid experts with decades of NHL experience and acumen have been meeting on this roster for about 18 months…dozens of meetings, hundreds of man hours, etc….and give or take one or two players…between whom the difference is razor thin, they come up with the exact same roster as a few hundred fans on a blog site who put about twenty minutes thought into it…..incredible when you think about it…….I think the process is over hyped.

  • 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 .

  • 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.