Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Team Canada 2010

Here's my pick for Team Canada

In Goal:
Marc- Andre Fleury
Martin Brodeur
Roberto Luongo

In my mind it is still a toss up to who should be the starting goaltender and who should play back-up. Prior to the start of the NHL season, Luongo had the highest chance of starting. In Luongo-like fashion he had a slow start, losing 3 games in a row; looking like a young Dan Cloutier. He turned his season around winning 5 of 6 but was promptly feel to the injury bug like most other Canucks. Luongo's overall play hasn't been stellar by any means, but he has shown flashes of competency. If use statistics to decide the starter then I'm going to have to go with Marc- Andre Fleury since he's backstopped the Penguins to the top of the Eastern Conference. Luongo has the Canucks hovering around .500, NHL mediocrity, a mid-level draft pick. If you want a goalie with international experience and composure, my vote will go towards Martin Brodeur. I'm not hating on Luongo, but he has yet to impress to the point where I would rest our Olympic dreams on his shoulders.

Scott Niedermayer
Shea Weber
Chris Pronger
Dan Boyle
Dion Phaneuf
Jay Bouwmeester
Mike Green

Most hockey pundits would compose of a list similar to this one for defense. Niedermayer is a perennial all-star, Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, Conn Smythe, Olympic Gold medalist. Folks, this man is just a winner and hard-worker through and through. Sure, he looks like a 45 year old mountain man when he grows out his facial hair, but the man can lace them up like no other. This year's defensive core will be a good blend of smart veterans, hard hitters and point producers. I put Mike Green at the bottom of the list. He had a very good regular season last year and then disappeared when the playoffs came around. So far, he's been having a quiet 11 points in 13 games start to the season. The +5 is encouraging though.

Rick Nash-Sidney Crosby-Jarome Iginla
Jeff Carter- Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Martin St.Louis
Brenden Morrow - Mike Richards - Shane Doan

Approximately half of the N.H.L. players are Canadian citizens. We could easily make two Team Canadas and both would do well during the Olympics. These are my forward lines. There seems to be a lot of hype surrounding Jordan Staal being our 4th line center, but simply put he just hasn't played as well as he did in his 29 goal scoring rookie campaign. Year after year, Joe Thornton has been amongst the top producing centers in the league, yet he is overlooked due to this lack of playoff success. On a team as deep as Team Canada, you wouldn't need him to provide that aspect but his gazillions of assists will be enough. If the man can make Cheechoo look like a stud, imagine him playing with Marleau, Heatley, St-Louis. Unfortunately, I couldn't put Heatley on the list even though he is one of the best snipers. I just think that Brenden Morrow will bring more grit and tenacity than Heatley would bring. Coming up with this list made me realize how many great players are Canadian and also how hard it will be for Steve Yzerman to make these picks. Canada is amazing at hockey, imagine if we put this much emphasis in other sports such as soccer.
Currently, Canada is ranked #53 according FIFA.