Good Enough For Gold?
With just over a month to go before the puck drops at the 2014 Winter Games, Team Canada unveils the lineup it hopes can capture hockey gold.
Here’s the team that Team Canada’s executive director Steve Yzerman will take with him to Sochi:
- Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
- Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
- Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes
- Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis
- Blues Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
- Dan Hamhuis, Vancouver Canucks
- Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
- Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues
- P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens
- Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks
- Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
- Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
- Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
- Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings
- Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
- Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
- Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
- Rick Nash, New York Rangers
- Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
- Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
- Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
- John Tavares, New York Islanders
- Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Led by Sidney Crosby, the roster looks a lot like the one that finished in first place in Vancouver. New faces include Mike Smith and Carey Price in goal, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dan Hamhuis on defence and Steven Stamkos, Chris Kunitz, John Tavares and Matt Duchene up front.
The consensus among experts seems to be that no other team can match Canada’s skill and depth at the forward position. And while the blueline lacks a classic big, shut-down defender (a la Chris Pronger), it still has plenty of firepower and should be able to move the puck out of the zone.
The big question marks for Yzerman and coach Mike Babcock will be in net. If it comes down to a goaltending battle, Roberto Luongo’s play of late does not inspire anyone with confidence. Should Luongo fail, will Mike Smith or Carey Price – neither of whom have been tested on the world stage – be able to make the big stops the team will need to win gold?
Playing out of Group B (along with Norway, Austria and Finland) Canada’s first game will be on Feb. 13 against Norway. Each game begins at noon ET.