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 

  • Didn’t like Mike Smith over MA Fleury.
    Didn’t like Dan Hamhuis over Brent Seabrook
    Didn’t like Jeff Carter and Rick Nash over Martin St. Louis and Claude Giroux.

    Can live with the rest.

    • Zarny

      MA Fleury has consistently played like garbage in the playoffs the last few years. He had zero chance of making the team.

      Hamhuis shoots left; Seabrook shoots right.

      I agree with St. Louis and Giroux over Nash for sure. Carter less so. I’m not convinced he’ll be as effective on big ice but he scores G and has come up big in the playoffs.

      Playing good when it counts and with all of the pressure counts and it counts a lot.

  • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

    Imagine Canada’s “B-Team”. They could probably still contend for a medal:

    Hall – Thornton – Couture

    Neal – Giroux – Eberle

    St. Louis – E. Staal – J. Staal

    Lucic – Seguin – Ladd

    Reserves: Marchand – M. Richards – Doan – J. Williams

    Boyle – Seabrook

    Giordano – Phaneuf

    Letang – M. Staal

    Reserves: Girardi – Beauchemin

    Bernier

    Harding

    Ward

    • Zarny

      Canada’s B team is no doubt impressive, but you have 3 players who shoot left (Couture, Staal and Ladd) playing RW. That won’t work.

      Luckily St. Louis is actually a RW so you can move him to the 1st line.

      Otherwise, you probably have to move Seguin to RW, Staal to C, and cut Ladd for Doan, Williams, Little or most likely Iginla.

      Giordano and Phaneuf are both left D that shoot left.. So is M. Staal although Letang is a righty. Giordano or M. Staal likely move to the reserves for Girardi who shoots right.

      G is where Canada’s B team would be weakest.

    • ToppsSmith

      Ward shouldnt even be considered on a “C” Team. Terrible right now. That would be like saying Dubnyk should start in net.

      There is no way Marchand makes any of my teams on a big ice surface. Too many other better and well-rounded players. You dont need an agitator in the Olympics.

      Only difference on the B squad as opposed to the A squad is that the B squad would let in a pile more goals. There arent a lot of players on that list that are defensively sound.

      If Harding was healthy, he should have been the third string goaltender instead of Smith. What a steller year he is having!

  • **

    Something of note—for Team Canada’s roster—of the 25 players, 22 come from teams in the top half of the standings. The only outliers are Tavares, Weber, and Nash. Hate to say it, but if you play for a team in the bottom half of the league, your chances of making Team Canada plummet. There are a few exceptions, but by and large if you aren’t playing for a good team, and playing well for them, you lack a lot of opportunity to make the Olympic roster.

    What this says to me about Hallsy’s chances for 2018, barring a truly miraculous turnaround by the Oilers, is not good. I hope for his sake he could be one of the exceptions, but it’s definitely not a sure thing. And for a guy with his talent level and passion, you’d hate to see him get skipped again because he plays for a joke of an organization.

  • geoilersgist

    I am shocked that Nash made the team also. I don’t think Stamkos will be ready in time either. The guy had his leg broken and just began skating on his own yesterday. Little surprised they left Seabrook off the team too.

    • ToppsSmith

      Nash I think they will toss on the third line. Get him grinding, he is great at that when he isn’t expected to score, Seabrook defiantly should be there too. I was shocked at a few names, but Nash wadn’t one of them

    • oilerjed

      I wouldnt be surprised if he is ready. I had this same injury last spring. Went undiagnosed for a month since I could walk okay on it I thought it was just bruised. After finally getting xrayed the Doc mentioned that using it actually helps heal it faster. Was back at Taekwondo after 4-5 weeks, kicking as hard as I wanted. Long story short Stamkos should be able to light it uo in Sochi

      Edit: should have mentioned that it is a none weight bearing bone which is why I could walk on it ok.

  • Yzerman didn’t read your post about Hall v Duchene I guess…. I feel Hall wasn’t even really given that much consideration in the grand scheme of things. I mean TSN didn’t even have him listed as a “notable”…

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

    Also interesting to note…only three players that play from Canadian teams. No Oilers, Flames, Leafs, or Senators.

    Edit: OOPS! Left out the Jets! No Jets either.

  • Zarny

    I find the arguments against Kunitz hilarious…have you seen his totals?
    “Well his numbers are inflated playing with Crosby”
    Who the f–k do you think he’ll be playing with?

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

    Clearly this matches up with Babcock’s preference for forward pairs:

    Crosby – Kunitz
    Getzlaf – Perry
    Toews – Sharp

    In a tournament where quick chemistry is critical, these selections are outstanding. This means only one guy has to adapt and Babcock can make changes on the fly.

    Based on this logic, the biggest surprise to me is Hamhuis instead of Seabrook.

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

      I heard on one f the radio shows that the pairs thing didn’t work out in the last Olympics….the pairs were dismantled / separated early in the tournament.

    • 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.

  • Carlos Danger

    Duchene is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL . When he played last year with Hall for Canada he was clearly the better player. Hall’s lack of a 200ft game and no playoff experience hurt him.

      • **

        Why is it that no one mention’s Hall on TSN poll biggest omissions?

        He really hurt himself playing for Canada last year. He continued to do his drag move and lose the puck and put his center and winger in bad position . Duchene was clearly the better player. Hall does not play a 200ft game.

        I think Hall’s competition for a place on the team was Duchene Giroux and Martin St louis. He comes in 3rd

  • pkam

    Gregor,

    I agree Nash was a questionable pick. But I would have put St. Louis on the team. His speed, experience, and chemistry with Stamkos make him a perfect fit for this team.

    My guess is there will be two injuries up front in the next month and Giroux and St. Louis will be on the team.

  • Oilerz4life

    Your article failed to mention that the Edmonton Oilers are being considered to represent the best that Canada has to offer in Interpretive Ice Dancing at the Sochi Games.

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

      And Gagner’s in the Luge! The guy LOVES to slide on ice!

      And bonus….his feet don’t hang over the back of that little wee sled!

        • paul wodehouse

          …no not the police but if you don’t have anything else but donkey things to say (ice dancing) then drop the Oilez4life moniker and go with mister irrelevant instead…

          • Oilerz4life

            Its an Oilers site. In case you haven’t noticed, alot of lifelong fans make fun of the current plight of the Oilers around here. Interpretive Ice Dancing is an Olympic sport that I think the Oilers would represent well this year. Why don’t you write up a set of site rules for us all to follow. Or since it aggravates you so much to see an Oilers comment you don’t like on Oilersnation.com and being that you’re in Ontario, you could stick to policing Leafs blog sites.

  • ToppsSmith

    Lets face the truth Hall looked horrible on the big ice last year for Canada. He looked like a Junior hockey player using his speed to go through 5 players. It did not work and Ruff benched him. Sorry but that is the truth.

    • Zarny

      Let’s face the truth, Hall turned 22 less than 2 months ago.

      In Vancouver, Canada had one 22 y/o on the team…Sidney Crosby. Everyone else was 24+. And Hall is 3 months younger than Crosby was in 2010.

      Hall has barely played 200 NHL games. He was the youngest player at the orientation camp by almost a year. Duchene was the only other ’91 invited and he’s 10 months older than Hall with almost 100 more NHL games experience.

      It’s not surprising when a 21 y/o struggles a bit. It really isn’t. Not even in the slightest.

      That is the truth.

  • pkam

    No matter who make these decisions, it’s always going to be political and there will always be unhappy people.

    What I don’t understand is WHY Rick Nash or how Rick Nash made this team? Did I miss something or is there some awkward pictures he has of Stevie Y?

    We could have two teams in there. The big ice surface will demand the best skaters and I’m not convinced this team was chosen on that basis?

  • S cottV

    I thought Kevin Lowe was comic relief for team Canada executives. Claude Giroux not making the team was probably Lowe’s bright idea..Erroneous Erroneous

  • Serious Gord

    I can’t stand Nash. People are in love with the guy because of his size, hands and he skates well. He scores the occasional highlight goal, but his production is nothing to write home about. Definitely the most overrated player in the league. James Neal should be pissed. Duchene Carter is ???? for me. Giroux and St. Louis should bether.

    Seabrook off is a tough one as well.

  • **

    Anyone picking Marleau over St. Louis is nuts. And don’t say size is the difference. THE last person Marleau hit was… I don’t see any fire in that guy, and it’s not like he ramps it up for the playoffs. St. Louis is wicked fast, and if you watch him make decisions with puck (especially on the PP), he’s lightening in his decision making and distributes the puck so well it’s tough to defend. He should be there for sure.

  • Zarny

    i would argue the biggest surprise is no MSL…we had lemieux in 2002 as our veteran, 2006 was sakic, and 2010 was iggy….i don’t see our veteran leader on this team

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

    I’m excited to watch Team Canada in Sochi…..but I’m a little surprised that we always talk about Canada’s depth and being able to send two teams etc…and then you get a team with a Kunitz, an under performing Nash, an injured Stamkos, guys like Tavares and Duchene having to play out of position, and goaltending that may not match up to the best goaltending in the tournament.

    Still, it’s a great team who we can all get behind and enjoy the 2 weeks in February.

  • **

    Sisyphus your comments are on the money. It doesn’t matter how well a player plays, it matters how well a player’s team plays.

    That does not bode well for Hall, Eberle or RNH in the future.

    • pkam

      Pens was 2nd last and drafted Jordan Staal after drafting 4 top 2 picks 4 years in a row.

      Now Crosby and Kunitz are selected, and Neal and MAF are probably on the bubble list.

      Who knows what will happen 4 years later.

      • 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