Canada/USA in Sochi Semifinal

SensChirp February 21, 2014 141
Canada/USA in Sochi Semifinal

Talk about a tough act to follow.

Yesterday, the women’s team played one of the most entertaining games of the tournament.  Two goals in the last four minutes to tie it, and then a dramatic overtime winner from Marie-Philip Poulin to seal a Gold medal for Canada. Today the men’s team hope to book a spot in the final with only the tournament’s best team standing in their way.

Through the round robin and quarter final portion of the Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi, the Americans have been the most impressive team.  On the heels of a silver medal performance in Vancouver four years ago, they seem 100% focused on Gold this year.  Their offence has been the best in the tournament, paced by the Phil Kessel line.  He leads the tournament in scoring with 8 points and will certainly be a factor in today’s game.

Meanwhile Canada comes into this game as the most questioned undefeated team you’ll ever see.  The goaltending and defence have been excellent but the forwards just haven’t been able to find chemistry.  Babcock has shuffled the combinations each game hoping to find a spark but still goal scoring remains an issue.  They are certainly generating chances but just seem to lack finish so far.  The good news is the percentages suggest this Canadian team is due to break out.

Here’s how Team Canada is expected to line up.

Kunitz-Crosby-Bergeron
Marleau-Toews-Carter
Benn-Getzlaf-Perry
Sharp-Duchene-Nash
St. Louis

Keith-Weber
Vlasic-Doughty
Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo
Hamuis

Carey Price gets the start in the Canada goal.  Puck drops just after 12:00 PM.

I’m already sick with nerves.

GO CANADA GO!

  • Hax

    Total crap shoot today. We could see a couple of lines start to click and Babcock shorten the bench and win handily … or we could see Price act like he’s playing the Sens and we lose 5-0.

  • Conor_smythe

    Sharp-Crosby-Perry

    Benn-Crosby-Nash

    Getzlaf-Crosby-St.Louis

    Not saying Babcock is wrong… but there’s about a million and half ways to make Crosby’s line more potent.. Bergeron and Kunitz? they’re great talents in the nhl, but in the Olympics, they probably slot in on the 3rd/4th line.

    Babcock is the man, so maybe he’s seeing something different.. hoping to see some “chemistry” out there today..Chemistry was the basis of selecting this team, if it doesn’t show, we might be in trouble.

    Going to need a full team effort today.. something tells me our super stacked blue line is going to come in very handy.. glad we have best defence in the tourny!!!

    go team

  • Dirk-Diggler

    Not going to lie… I hope Sweden beats Canada Sunday and Karlsson scores the golden goal!!!

    • MakesSens

      Well I’m not going to lie. That’s stupid!

      • Jacques

        Why can’t he cheer for who he wants to! I cheered for the Canadian women, very happy for them! But for me as well, I have a bigger attachment to the Swedes with Karlsson and Alfie. If they meet cry baby Crosby and Canada in the Finals , I’ll be cheering for Sweden. In reality, the only hockey team I really gives a rats ass for is the SENS!

    • MikeS

      I would cry for weeks but atleast it would shut the hockey world up about who the best D-man in the world is

    • SensChirp

      Dumb.

      • Dirk-Diggler

        How is it dumb? I love Canada but don’t care for any of the players on the team… Karlsson and Alfredsson are my two favourite players in the NHL.

        • SensChirp

          Well ok then. This is international competition though. NHL resumes next week. You can cheer for Karlsson and Alfredsson then!

          • SensChirp

            And it’s dumb because a Canadian should not hope for Canada to lose.

          • Dirk-Diggler

            This is a reach but what if something like winning gold at the Olympics and the MVP further propels Karlsson into being a recognized superstar and helps bring players to Ottawa that want to play with him?

            Sens success > Canada success IMO

          • SensChirp

            You’re right. That was a reach.
            I’m glad Karlsson is having a good tournament but if it comes down to Canada/Sweden in the final, he’s just another guy in a yellow jersey.

          • MikeS

            I wouldn’t say just another guy in a yellow jersey. Id like him/alfie to have good games, but Canada to win.

          • Dirk-Diggler

            Meh whatever…

            Let’s hope the Sens show some class and have a huge ceremony for them when we play Detroit next week… I will be there…

          • Jacques

            For amateurs I’m patriotic but for these pros, I’m cheering for my sens Superstar and that’s 65! Hope he pots 3 in the finals!

          • Kohlmanator

            As they play against each other? lol

        • MakesSens

          The reason why everyone is criticizing you is because most people would pick patriotism over favouritism. You on the other hand my friend are the opposite.

          • Jacques

            I’m fine with that!

    • MikeS

      He scored the silver goal today, that is enough!

    • Senator forever

      Karlsson’s defensive weaknesses will be exposed by Canada especially if he leaves his defensive position. The only way he does not get exposed is if his defence partner is a stud which will help clarify whether Karlssons terrible plus- minus in Ottawa is the result of his play or the lack of a stud defence partner.

  • MakesSens

    Ok well we have 3 post so far and none of which are positive ones. Our defence is the best in the tournament and Price will do well with the added shots and pressure. It will be a close game but, I think we meet Sweden in the Finals.

    P.S. Kessel your ugly as sin and your sister is hot a $@#

    • MikeS

      Thing is, Canada should win but in a 1 off game anything can happen. I think USA scores 1 or 2. The real question is can Canada score more on Quick the way they have been playing this tournament?

      • MakesSens

        I think the teams are so even it’s not even funny. It will come down to simple mistakes and bad penalties.

        • MikeS

          I would argue Canada should win this game 13-14 times out of 20. 1 game vs quick is going to be hard

        • MethotToMyMadness

          This is exactly what will happen, we just need to hope we are on the right side of the bounces and calls today.

  • MikeS

    And it looks like Canada will be winning another curling Gold!!!

  • Andrews theory

    say what you will about this tournament and the Americans but every team in the world measures themself against Canada. Always have been, always will be the team they most want to compete with for the Gold…
    I think Canadas defense shuts the door on the Americans, Canada wins 3-2
    Really hope Babcock gives St Louis a shot today, how many times does he need to prove he’s a game breaker…

  • Hax

    Regarding the quote from Alfie (“I’m kinda pulling for Canada, to be honest.” Daniel Alfredsson on today’s semifinal between Canada and the USA.)

    Gotta say that’s either a very honest quote where he doesn’t really worry about what fans in Detroit might think, or maybe he just doesn’t realize.

    Or maybe he’s setting the table for a return to Ottawa LOL.

    • MikeS

      Or maybe he has lived in Canada ~ half his life and thinks of it as a second home?

      • MethotToMyMadness

        Or they’d rather face Canada for Gold, then go up against the American’s.

      • Hax

        That would be the “honest” part. See paragraph two.

  • MikeS

    Anyone know why OEL was benched in Sweden/Finland game today? They benched him and cut Karlsson TOI way back cause Edler<<< OEL

    • MethotToMyMadness

      I didn’t even notice that, strange for sure. Happy that Ottawa’s Biggest Star scored the game winner for Sweden, but I think the deciding factor in this game was that Rask was sick and couldn’t play. If he was healthy and had played, I think Finland would have been in the Gold medal game today with a 1-0 victory.

      • MikeS

        It might have been 1-1, Swedens first goal he had no chance on. Lehtonen was very good imho

  • MikeS

    With curling, today and hopefully hockey Canada can move into a tie with Netherlands for most golds. Anyone know of any other sports we are favored in?

  • MethotToMyMadness

    I think most would agree that today’s game is basically the Gold medal game, regardless of the winner still having to play Sweden.

    Not saying Sweden will be easy in a Gold medal match-up. That will be a very hard game to play, as Sweden plays so well on the big ice. But whomever wins this game today, should have the momentum pushing forward.

    My Beer is on ice, my day is almost over at work. Can’t wait to head home, tune in and cheer the heck out of this Canadian Team!!

    • Hax

      Yeah I mentioned this yesterday too and agree.

      USA has played the best in the tournament but Canada is the best on paper. If we can get going today then I think we keep rolling and can win gold. If USA wins today it would be a bit of a leaf-worthy choke job to have their first stumble in the gold medal game.

      • MikeS

        I don’t know if I agree about the USA playing the best. They should have lost to Russia who lost to Finland.

        • Hax

          I admit I haven’t watched all the games. Going by the games I have watched, highlights etc. USA has played better than Canada for sure though Canada has much more “in the tank” if they can start clicking.

    • MikeS

      I would say for pride reasons this is the gold medal game, however, I disagree with the winner today winning gold.

  • PraiseAlfie11

    Just another day at the office for Karlsson. So over the moon that he plays for us!

    • aegiszx

      I know people are worried about Karlsson or Michalek being tired, but man, I cant help but feel this is going to help us down the stretch. Karlsson already plays big minutes, and for a guy trying to get into mid-season form, this is the perfect test (after being off nearly all of last season).

      He’s a competitive guy, and he’s likes to win. If he brings home the Gold to Sweden, I think we’re going to see a very motivated Karlsson.

      • MikeS

        Silver will piss him off more and make him play to win the rest of the way!

  • aegiszx

    On topic of Karlsson though… anyone follow his tumblr/instagram/twitter? 90% of his photos are with Alfie… He’s absolutely loving/missing his mentor. Enjoy it while you can Karl! It’s back to business in a weeks time.

  • MikeS

    Anyways I’m headed out with friends to watch the game. Have a great day everyone!

  • Nikola Todorić

    We’ve played a total of 16 NHL players this tournament. This whole team is NHL players. We need to step it up if we have a chance. GO canada!!

    • Hax

      Here’s hoping that’s part of “the problem” with our sort of bland play so far. Playing too many muckers. Kind of like playing poker against donkeys all the time it’s hard to play the way you’re used to.

      We’ll see soon enough if Canada can find their extra gear today.

  • The Apostle

    i’m still pissed about the curling

    • Doc

      Huh?

      • The Apostle

        I don’t quite know how to simplify it but here goes. The team I wanted to win the curling today didn’t.

        • Hax

          Most people are going to assume that everyone on this site is Canadian.

          • The Apostle

            Oh I know that. That’s why I was being deliberately incomplete.

          • Hax

            How very British of you ;)

  • A-Train

    Karlsson at the Olympics is like when your girlfriend at school goes for a ski vacation with “all the old gang from back home.”

  • SenaTHOR

    Canada needs to break out and quit playing to the level of the opposition.

    • Hax

      Actually today would be an okay day to play to the level of the competition. But I get your point.

  • Millennium

    Stupid Kessel. So good, but he’s the perfect storm of hate: Leafs/Team USA

  • move over Gabby Dugan

    Erik Karlsson – KING of hockey

  • Millennium

    Canada was definitely the better team through that period. They look so much better playing against the North American style. They have the defence to counter US offence, and the open style lets our guys get into the zone.

  • Kohlmanator

    BENN!

  • Cicero

    I’d have to put Wayne on there. I think I’d put Wayne and Lafleur out there with Bubbles. Maybe Coffey on defence.

  • Hax

    It’s somehow validating for me that Glenn Healey is just as big a moron when he’s biased for the team I’m rooting for. I used to think part of my hate for him was his anti-SEN-itism. But he’s legitimately a jackass.

    • Doc

      Good god yes. He wouldn’t shut up and had the most inane things to say.

    • SuperSENS

      Terrible goaltender, terrible broadcaster … no surprise to me! :)

  • Spoons

    1-0 after after 2 is a good thing at this point. Keeps the Canadian players on their toes. If it were 2-0 or even 3-0 I think I’d be more nervous.

  • Hax

    As nervous as I was about Price he played great today. Props to him.

    Kunitz too – as much as I didn’t like him on the team he looked sharp today.

    • Doc

      Disagree. He couldn’t hit the net to save his life. He had 4-5 VERY good chances and not once hit the net. Ugh.

      • BFR

        I gotta agree with both of you, first point only. Was worried about Price in a 1-0 game but he delivered.

        And despite Kunitz showing up and having quite a few chances he couldn’t even make it a SOG. Thought I was watching Condra out there…

  • Millennium

    That was an amazing showing by Canada. the goals still aren’t there, but damn did that team put on a clinic of forechecking and possession. Really dominant play.

  • T K

    Betcha the Americans wish that they had Bobby Ryan on the roster…

  • Sensnation

    Woohoo Canada! What a game!

    Price is the man!!!

    Bet the Americans wish they had Bobby Ryan and Jack Johnson.

  • Dirtysweetness

    FML…our broadband overloaded within the last three minutes of the game…

  • Kohlmanator

    The states just weren’t in tents enough.

  • esk

    King Karlsson vs Canada

  • Ghost of Moose Vasko

    Bring on the Russians

    OOPS – they didn’t make it

    One observation – that large (both teams) group of large NHL
    players fit very well on the bigger ice surface

    • Sensnation

      Agreed! That was exciting hockey, unlike the majority of this tourney. They just need to find a way to eliminate the blue line 4-5man trap that lesser teams use. Some high end cycling all game by the Canadians just looked even better.

  • Millennium

    That US powerplay lacked intensity. Oh, and goal scoring. But you know, intensity first, right?

    • WolfInSheepsClothes

      “Truculence” is the word you’re looking for.

  • WolfInSheepsClothes

    I’ll bet a pure goal-scorer like Bobby Ryan could have helped ‘Merca….

  • Hax

    Not sure how much people care about it, but this win is actually pretty important in terms of the overall medal standings too. Could mean the difference between staying ahead of the US. (Though I have no idea what the remaining events look like in terms of medal favorites or favourites.)

    • Pasky

      I think the 4-man bobsled is the only competition left other than hockey that they are suppose to contend for a medal, but I doubt they beat Germany or Russia for Gold… And we got a shot at a bronze in Speed Skating tomorrow against Poland so that would cancel each other out. Unless they pull an upset over Norway/Austria in the skiing competitions, I think we got them beat for Gold/Silver totals, not total medal count.

    • Sensnation

      Are you counting just golds or total medals? So proud of Canada’s standings in both version, but agree it would be sweet to top the US overall!

      • Hax

        Standings (official) in the Olympics are based on golds, then silver, then total medals.

        • Aaron 2.0

          I don’t think the Olympics actually tracks medal counts in any official standings. Countries and media outlets do.

          • roon42 .

            they do… its golds first.

          • Aaron 2.0

            I guess we’re just talking about semantics. There might be a medal table on their website, but the IOC doesn’t declare any nation the winner. It’s not like a track meet, where your ranking in a particular event is awarded points, and there is a competition for the overall winner. That sort of thing is not really within the spirit of the Olympics.

  • PraiseAlfie11

    Dear Erik,

    You are my favourite player in the league. You have brought so much entertainment over the past few years.

    As much as i respect you, it is with deep regret that I have to cheer against you on Sunday.

    GO CANADA GO!!!

    • esk

      DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP regret haha

  • PraiseAlfie11

    Not a single giveaway by subban all game. Maybe he does know how to be a team player after all.

    • SuperSENS

      LOL!

  • Kohlmanator

    Will Harper pay the duty and tax on the second case of beer? lol

    http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ifcrc-rpcrc-eng.html#a5

  • Ghost of Moose Vasko

    soooo – Justin Bieber is now a permanent American resident ?

  • Hax

    Highlight of the game for me besides the one goal was Healey’s “Derp derp derp boat in the Atlantic derpdie derp”.

    What a completely brain dead moron.

  • Sensturion

    Is Strombone actually Luongo?

    • Hax

      Yes.

  • Kielbasa

    I swear every computer in our office was streaming the game. And the cheer heard throughout was amazing. GREAT WIN!!! Glad to see the men follow the women’s lead from yesterday.

    And what did Kessel expect? Just like the Leafs…the Americans came in expecting the world handed to them. Hopefully the Americans with that oversized pumpkin will head home medal free. Let’s go Finland!!!

    Cannot wait for Sunday. Sorry Karlsson…wrong colours for this game. I’ll cheer for you when you return to Ottawa.

  • Hax

    Am I a bad person because I love the fact that Subban can’t get in the lineup?

  • Spoons

    So many things went wrong for Team Canada; Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf and Perry are not scoring. Tavares injured. Stamkos injured… Yet here we are getting ready for the gold medal game!!! Scary depth.

    • Sensturion

      Scary depth on D. The D is what is winning us a medal. Not the offense.

      • 010101111111010001010101010

        D AND coaching

    • roon42 .

      Maybe I’ll coin the phrase “Defence wins Championships!”….
      oh wait…

  • Gordon Ramsli

    Sorry Canada, I love you but I’m cheering for Erik Karlsson!

    • SensChirp

      Go.Away.

      • Gordon Ramsli

        65

  • Andrews theory

    I don’t know if there’s ever been a better team Canada defense than this squad… It’s an embarrassment of riches. PK is nowhere near as bad defensively as some suggest but the guys ahead of him on this team play close to perfect 2 way hockey…

    Canada wins it Sunday

  • Don Cherry LOVES Mark Stone

    Fredrik Claesson was plus 3 in Binghamton tonight

    • Spoons

      He’s got to be brought up next year and we’ll need to be patient for him to adjust. He leads the AHL with +33, something like +15 ahead of the second best B-Sens player.

      • Sensnation

        He’s turned into quite the prospect. I know there’s still some concern about his foot speed at the NHL level, but the rest of his game should fit in really nicely.

  • Floridasensfan

    Watched the game on my phone at work, watched olympic coverage tonight and there was not a word spoke about the game, and Americans were critical of Russia not posting a score on the building when they won. pathetic.

    I said the US would not even medal this year when they snubbed Ryan and others, its still possible.

    • son of a Diefenbaker

      Bob Costas on NBC had a 2 minute clip that covered both of today’s games

  • Spoons

    ANyone know what the Swede line combos looked like so far?

  • ozzyb

    Cheering for Canada, but if Karlsson brings Sweden to victory I won’t feel as bad. That would continue to show the rest of the NHL players that he’s a top talent and maybe come free agent time, the sens would have an easier time signing a good player. Maybe it would also make it easier for a player to waive his no trade to join the sens. (memories of the whole Nash thing)

    • Andrews theory

      I’m pretty certain every player in the NHL is aware that Karlsson is a top talent, their team game plan starts and ends with 65. I am also pretty certain that their agent is aware of the ridiculous tax implications of playing in Canada

      • sprucesens

        the players know, but now maybe the rest of the world that doesn’t watch sens games regularly will see how well he plays. its his first of many olympics to come. last time on a big stage was world juniors. now its in a gold medal game. hopefully next time its in the stanley cup final.

  • MikeS

    I honestly don’t know how I would react if Sweden won. I would be a lot less disappointed then losing to the states and feel good for Karlsson/Alfie. It’s basically a win win game for me. Ideally Canada wins and Karlsson is MVP

  • Richard Gough

    Does any one have any Franks Hot Sauce ? I am going to need some for the amount of crow I have to eat
    I really didn’t think Canada was going to win any medals this time around.

    Boy I am happy I was wrong

  • Conor_smythe

    Does anybody know where Brian Burke is?

    Doesn’t look like anybody on team USA can spell “Intense”

    • Dirk-Diggler

      Burke failed in his USA team selection… I wonder if there will be any backlash or will hockey get treated as the 8th favourite sport again and be swept under the rug…

      • Sensnation

        Burke wasn’t the gm. So much misinformation going on about this. Yes he had the insulting quote, but he still wanted Ryan on the team.

        http://www.thescore.com/home/articles/2852122-bobby-ryan-was-on-brian-burke-s-final-team-usa-roster

        • Jacques

          Still making excuses, Burke your uncle? How’s your cousin Spezza doing, will his back allow him to Backcheck when he gets back to playing? Zzzzzzzzz….”

          • Sensnation

            Excuses for who? You have a real comprehension issue don’t you. Enjoy your silver medal LOSER!!!

    • MikeS

      They left a lot of firepower at home for “intensity” and then they couldn’t score. Who would have guessed it

    • aegiszx

      Except Burke didn’t select the team… Poile did lol, he just helped scout…

  • MikeS

    Congrats to Teemu on a wonderful International Career!

  • T K

    I know that this is cold but it pleases me to see both Kessels take home nothing but broken hearts and bruised bodies

    • aegiszx

      Interesting that now Amanda Kessel has a silver medal to go along with her brothers 2010 silver. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!

  • esk

    i hope burke gets ripped apart in the media

    • Conor_smythe

      All I know: If team USA had won, its about 5 seconds before we get the first burke quote (along with the obligatory circle jerk of truculence and pugnacity)

      • aegiszx

        Again, Burke was not the GM this time, he was the director of player personnel… David Poile was the GM this time…

        • esk

          fuck him and his comment towards a sens player. lol

    • Sensnation

      Not sure if you followed the coverage pre-selection, but Burke had Bobby Ryan on his final US roster. He’s not the gm, therefore did not have final say.

  • aegiszx

    I called this yesterday! I had a feeling that the Americans would come out uninspired and heart broken after their crushing defeat to Team Canada. The Fins on the other hand, this is great for such a young team!

  • Simple Jack

    get rid of disqus, they dropped down voting. happy fuzzy people make soft fragile minds.

  • Rick of the Universe

    Soooooo – the Americanos scored ZERO goals in 2 medal games

    Hard to believe that Bobby Ryan couldn’t have helped their power play – at the very least

  • Bobby Ryan

    I-N-T-E-N-S-I-T-Y

    • Jacques

      That’s what 65 in blue and yellow will bring tomorrow!

      • Sensnation

        Wrong again lol. If only we could get you to cheer for another NHL team. You’re likely what’s holding this one back.

  • things that make me go hmmmmm

    Mike Hoffman currently tied for the AHL lead in goals scored this season

    • SenaTHOR

      Just needs to show up at the NHL level.

  • Sensnation

    What a showing by Finland, they really earned their darkhorse title! It’s awesome to watch the US, it’s media and it’s fans all fall apart with that loss. Only thing better will be gold around our necks in about 12 hours. GO CANADA GO!!!