CANADA V FINLAND, OLYMPICS

The drive for Gold begins today. Team Canada is rolling, with so much talent on the blueline that surviving a collective slump (such as it is) among the forwards is barely noticed. The goaltending has been solid, and save for the curious handling of Martin St. Louis and PK Subban all is well in Canada.

The Finns are injured at center, and aren’t in Canada’s league in terms of talent when healthy. This game really represents the first legit test for the Canadians, and they should win going away.

Is this a team of destiny? Will the goaltending be good enough? Will they find a winger for Crosby? If Canada wins Gold this team walks together forever (thanks Fred Shero). This week tells all, and it begins this morning.

Courtesy tsn, the lineups for today:

Team Canada lines versus Finland:

FORWARD
Jamie BennSidney Crosby -  Patrice Bergeron
Patrick MarleauJonathan ToewsJeff Carter
Matt DucheneRyan GetzlafCorey Perry
Chris KunitzJohn TavaresRick Nash
Patrick Sharp

DEFENCE

Duncan Keith-Shea Weber
Marc-Edouard VlasicDrew Doughty
Jay BouwmeesterAlex Pietrangelo
Dan Hamhuis

EXTRAS
Martin St. Louis, P.K. Subban

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70 Responses to "CANADA V FINLAND, OLYMPICS"

  1. striatic says:

    Benn-Crosby-Bergeron is a fascinating line.

  2. striatic says:

    didn’t know Kunitz played defense though.

  3. 36 percent body fat says:

    striatic,

    didnt know kunitz was an olympian,

  4. 36 percent body fat says:

    kunitz has no value to this team if not playing with crosby, and seeing how he didnt bring any value doing that he should be sent home

  5. humantorch says:

    Kunitz playing and St. Louis sitting is so mind-bogglingly dumb that I can’t help but wonder if this is purely Crosby being placated by keeping his buddy and linemate in the lineup. /tinfoilhat

  6. striatic says:

    How much better would this lineup look with Hall replacing Kunitz alongside Tavares and Nash?

    Also, Marincin part of an epic defensive effort for Slovakia, taking Russia to another shootout.

    Meszaros has been the real star of that game though, other than the Slovakian goalie.

  7. stephen sheps says:

    not to be a jerk or anything, but I think you’ve missed the weber-keith pairing?
    sorry LT

  8. striatic says:

    stephen sheps:
    not to be a jerk or anything, but I think you’ve missed the weber-keith pairing?
    sorry LT

    TSN had faulty information on their page, including missing that pairing.

  9. stephen sheps says:

    striatic,

    Indeed Marinicin has looked really good. as I said on the old thread, he even got some OT minutes. It was an epic defensive battle. And Laco deserved better. Poor Slovakia.

  10. striatic says:

    Regarding goalie selection, one thing I really worry about is Luongo in a shootout.

    Historically, he has been terrible in them, although better than Price in this year’s very limited sample size.

    Price is, historically, an average shootout goalie. I’m ok with that.

    The guy who is money, is Mike Smith. .700 shootout save percentage, year in, year out. I would have loved to have seen him start against Finland.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Oh for crying out loud. I was trying to send people to the tsn site and they got it all wrong. Sorry, chums.

  12. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide,

    Like I said, lousy TSN… we know it’s not your fault!

  13. iHockeyWpg says:

    striatic:
    Benn-Crosby-Bergeron is a fascinating line.

    Left- Center-Right

    What is wrong with the universe?

  14. Lowetide says:

    iHockeyWpg: Left- Center-Right

    What is wrong with the universe?

    It’s a complete bollocks now! :-)

  15. striatic says:

    When Tavares was playing with Bergeron and Benn, who was the C?

  16. VanOil says:

    Julie Stewart-Binks ‏@JSB_FOX 2h
    Ran into Peter Chiarelli in the bowels of Bolshoy. Him and Kevin Lowe are taking in Russia-Slovakia game.

    Good thing it is MacT’s team and Lowe has nothing to do with trades otherwise…

  17. stephen sheps says:

    VanOil,

    Just a thought, but those guys couldn’t possibly be scouting for the potential of an upcoming match-up with Russia, or possibly looking at their own players on both teams, could they? They’re both on Canada’s management team. We’re too quick to jump on Lowe’s every move. Not everything he does has something to do with undermining MacT.

    (Edit: This was not an attempt to be snarky, please accept my apologies if it came across that way!)

  18. VanOil says:

    stephen sheps,

    I appreciate and agree with your comment. I imagine Lowe does not want to talk Oilers at all when away with Team Canada. They must be an embarrassment for him around his peer group. Oops, I delved into snark there myself.

  19. oliveoilers says:

    Is Datsyuk the best all-round player in the world?

  20. stephen sheps says:

    VanOil,

    That’s some snark I can appreciate! One of those sad but probably true kind of insults.

    Now let us all not worry about the Oilers for a few hours and get ready to watch what should be a really good hockey game.

  21. Surly says:

    Marincin looked great…there was a one-on-one battle where his strength/reach was played to perfection against a shifty Radulov.

    Every time Hughson pronounced that Slovak goalie all I could think about was Toy Story 3.

    Didn’t Healy say in the Shootout game against USA Kovalchuk can only go forehand on a breakaway because of the curve of his stick. Nice backhand goal there Ilya.

  22. Oilanderp says:

    Man that was a tough call… better to play it safe as a ref and call it no goal I guess.

  23. VanOil says:

    oliveoilers:
    Is Datsyuk the best all-round player in the world?

    Doughty?

  24. Ryan says:

    Is it just me or does it feel weird cheering for a team that doesn’t suck?

  25. Lowetide says:

    Canada is clearly the best team here and should be up 2-0 at least. I don’t get the feeling this team is close to firing on all pistons. I also really question scratching Subban and St. Louis. Canada should be running their Gold medal group here.

  26. oliveoilers says:

    VanOil: Doughty?

    It’s close! Thank fudge for Doughty, Crosby is too busy being a whiny bitch again. That’s why I wanted Toews as skip…..See Mario, that’s what happens when you let your kids live in your basement until well into their 20s!

    Lowetide:
    Canada is clearly the best team here and should be up 2-0 at least. I don’t get the feeling this team is close to firing on all pistons. I also really question scratching Subban and St. Louis. Canada should be running their Gold medal group here.

    I agree, but Canada has to put some distance between them and Finland, otherwise it could get sticky…And what’s with some of the players doing a Hall and taking on four players at once? Interesting to see if Babcock stamps on that pointless roll off the halfboards to high slot and try to force a weak back hand shot through the entire Finnish team.

  27. stephen sheps says:

    So watching coach’s corner, Cherry just did a little segment comparing the Canadian and American players’ dress-code, ripping on the Americans for dressing in team US gear and staying casual, while praising the virtuous Canadian hockey players for coming to the rink in their suits, calling them classy while lambasting the American players choice.

    The American players seem to recognize that they’re a part of the greater “Team USA” rather than elevating themselves above the other athletes. The non-hockey-playing olympians don’t make nearly the same amount of money as their NHL counterparts wouldn’t be wandering around in tailored suits and likely couldn’t afford to have such luxury items anyway. I hate to say it, but the Americans are doing it right. Its far more democratic to not elevate their hockey players above the rest of the team, and it’s actually a bit shitty that the Canadians do. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s probably something that team Canada ought to look at.

    (And don’t even get me started about his 4th line needing to be “plugs” remark… Everyone on the team is used to playing more minutes in the NHL. But the 4th line goonery is what’s wrong about the NHL game. Every time I watch international hockey at this level, I’m reminded how much more beautiful hockey without the thugs and cavemen actually is to watch. End rant.)

  28. Captain Smarmy says:

    Cherry also questioned the Canadians not playing St. Louis and PK so yeah…

  29. Oilanderp says:

    stephen sheps,

    I kind of agree with Grapes here. Back in the olden days when I was a Christian, we’d always wear our ‘Sunday Best’ to church of course. It wasn’t because we were showing off (though perhaps for a few it was). Rather it was because we were going to an important place to do an important and meaningful thing, and if you couldn’t straighten yourself out spiritually the least you could do was shave and clean yourself up a bit and try to make it look like you were giving it some effort. It’s why people dress up at weddings, funerals, and job interviews. Putting on a suit means you take this shit very seriously. Would you go through that extra effort if you didn’t? More importantly, it’s what your grandmother would tell you to do, and she’s been around a long time and probably picked up a few good ideas. It never hurts to look good!

    Would you have the Canadians wear this? http://www.sacu.org/art/MaoSuits.png

  30. Captain Smarmy says:

    Sort of game where Canada can dominate 58 minutes and lose in a shootout.

  31. stephen sheps says:

    Oilanderp,

    Don’t get me wrong, the two or three times a year that I go to Synagogue and definitely on my teaching days at Queen’s, I put on a jacket and once in a while even a tie. The point I was trying to make was more about the status of the athletes relative to the hockey players. If it’s one big team Canada, why not wear team Canada gear to go to the rink rather than the “Sunday Best”? The other athletes don’t have the same opportunities so it comes across more as “showing off” than “taking their shit seriously.” It’s the Olympics, not going into work or going to church.

    (Also, those Mao suits are hilarious!)

  32. Captain Smarmy says:

    I would probably avoid the Team Canada gear because it’s hideous, especially those jerseys.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Canada seems to be playing an exhibition game. Which is fine, except this is the Olympics.

  34. Bar_Qu says:

    Leaving two fairly dynamic offensive players in the stands is now feeling like a huge mistake.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Bohologo: Americans wear basketball, football, baseball jerseys.Canadians wear hockey sweaters, even if they’re ugly. Especially if they’re ugly.

    This is exactly true. Doesn’t matter. Canucks fans prove it.

  36. Bar_Qu says:

    Bohologo,

    And with so many goals coming from the D, it makes total sense the offensive D man in Subban there too.

  37. Oilanderp says:

    Bohologo: Right, and if someone gives you a Leafs sweater, you pray that moths swing by and eat it.

    Monsieur Eaton would not be pleased!

  38. Bar_Qu says:

    If frustration had a word or verbal expression, I think it would sound a lot like Suomi.

  39. jp says:

    Captain Smarmy:
    Sort of game where Canada can dominate 58 minutes and lose in a shootout.

    For sure. Though Canada really hasn’t been dominant. The better team for sure, but not by a landslide. Not that crazy a 1-1 game. Fins have been solid, but Canada needs to be better. Obviously.

  40. oliveoilers says:

    I think we should take more shots from steeper angles. And why is Nash here? Not the same player…..(Please score GWG to shut me up!)

  41. oliveoilers says:

    jp: For sure. Though Canada really hasn’t been dominant. The better team for sure, but not by a landslide. Not that crazy a 1-1 game. Fins have been solid, but Canada needs to be better. Obviously.

    Little bit of ‘different’ needed. Finns have the book on us. If we win, it’ll only be by one goal I suspect.

  42. Bar_Qu says:

    oliveoilers,

    Are you saying that because it is going to OT?

    ;-)

  43. oliveoilers says:

    oliveoilers: Little bit of ‘different’ needed.Finns have the book on us.If we win, it’ll only be by one goal I suspect.

    Well it will be now! Safe prediction ;-)

    I swear the commentator keeps saying “Cosby”.

  44. Oilanderp says:

    oliveoilers: Little bit of ‘different’ needed.Finns have the book on us.If we win, it’ll only be by one goal I suspect.

    You’re really going out on a limb there as the buzzer ends on the third period! Haha! Props!

  45. oliveoilers says:

    I wonder if they keep having to wake KLowe up in the third period to tell him his team is still in the game? He might not have ‘meaningful game’ stamina. Glenn Healy paving the way for defeat by saying no good plays can be made on that ice.

  46. Oilanderp says:

    Wow, can’t believe Benn is still alive!

  47. czar says:

    Not that we should be taking fashion advice from Cherry but Canadian kids have been wearing a shirt and tie to tournaments forever.The Americans looked like they were going to a ballhockey tournament or stopping at the store for milk after the gym.

    Capt. Smarmy is right, those are the worst canadian jerseys ever! Do you get 10% off on a fill at petro-can if you show up in one?

  48. jp says:

    Oilanderp:
    Wow, can’t believe Benn is still alive!

    Yeah. And huge save by Price a second ago.

  49. Bar_Qu says:

    *deep exhale*

  50. Oilanderp says:

    NO DOUBTY!!!!!

  51. jp says:

    Wow, Doughty is touched by God. Weak goal by Rask after such a big game. Canada has to do more in the medal round!!

  52. spoiler says:

    Yeah maybe Babcock should be fired. At least now we’ll never have to think “what would Babcock do?” when analyzing our own coach, because Babcock is obviously mentally incompetent and doesn’t have enough brainpower to rub just two synapses together and get them to fire.

  53. oliveoilers says:

    See my earlier post, CAPSLOCK THIS, MOTHER FUDGER: THANK FUDGE FOR DOUGHTY!

  54. oliveoilers says:

    spoiler:
    Yeah maybe Babcock should be fired. At least now we’ll never have to think “what would Babcock do?” when analyzing our own coach, because Babcock is obviously mentally incompetent and doesn’t have enough brainpower to rub just two synapses together and get them to fire.

    Way to turn a happy moment for Canada into a damning indictment of Oiler fans who don’t share your point of view. (Slow clap and cut to scene of the Wiserhood.)

  55. jp says:

    Bohologo:
    I await Olympic history being made by the legendary Chris Kunitz.

    Sad that he’s on the team and NOT playing with Crosby. Didn’t like the original decision, but it’s defensible. Players familiarity with each other can be a real factor. Take that out of the equation and Kunitz on team Canada is almost inexplicable.

  56. spoiler says:

    oliveoilers: Way to turn a happy moment for Canada into a damning indictment of Oiler fans who don’t share your point of view. (Slow clap and cut to scene of the Wiserhood.)

    Yeah, I was swearing under my breath when Doughboy potted that goal as I was typing. Couldn’t he have waited a minute, lol.

  57. oliveoilers says:

    Jeez, hard to understand the guy interviewing Sidney Cosby when he seems to be talking with his mouth full: “Sid, you’re (zippp) the (mmnhh) best player (*choke*) in the world, (gnhh).

    To his credit, Sid looked embarrassed.

  58. oliveoilers says:

    spoiler: Yeah, I was swearing under my breath when Doughboy potted that goal as I was typing.Couldn’t he have waited a minute, lol.

    LOL, sometimes I think of posting something derogatory about a player on purpose so he does something spectacular to shut me up. But I don’t think it works that way, otherwise Eakins would be the best coach ever, and the Oilers d-corps would all be +10000.

  59. stevezie says:

    stephen sheps,

    I’m fine with it. We were always going to have to beat two good teams, I don’t think the Americans are going to be that much tougher than the Swedes or Russians. Hell the Finns took us to O.T (though we dominated).

    I disagree it is ugly. It just is.

  60. stephen sheps says:

    stevezie,

    You’re right-no matter what it is going to be a hard battle. Just would’ve been a bit nicer had a rematch for gold been in the cards this year instead of a showdown in the semis. It’s actually the Finns I feel the worst for. Russia, then Sweden to get to the medal round. Tough sledding.

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the Finns. They’re my default #2 team in international play. Plus, Finland is a very pretty country with good politics… these things shouldn’t matter to me, but they do.

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