In just a couple days, Team Canada will begin their defence of the Gold Medal at the Sochi Olympics. Canada is off to a great start at this year’s Olympics and the men’s hockey team will be looking to build on the country’s early success.
Canada has practiced a couple times already and at both sessions, featured the same line combinations. Head Coach Mike Babcock has stressed that those combinations can changes quickly but at this point it’s safe to say that’s how he’ll line them up with Canada plays their first game on Thursday against Norway. Here is how the line up looks after two practices.
Extra- St. Louis, Duchene
Extra- Hamhuis, Subban
After the opener against the Norwegians, Canada will play two more round robin games against Austria on Friday and then Finland on Sunday. Start time for all three of those games is 12:00 PM eastern. After the round robin portion of the tournment, the top teams in each of the three pools along with the top second place team will get automatic byes into the medal round. The other 8 teams will play single elimination knockout games to join the four teams with byes.
While there are no easy draws in a tournament like this, Canada probably finds itself in the weakest pool to start. Not that it’s necessairly a good thing. In such a short tournament, there’s something to be said for playing tough games early on. Whoever comes out of Pool A (United States, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia) for example, is going to have played some extremely competitive games to start. May be a bit of an advantage. Pool C features Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Latvia.
I know the focus is usually on the Ottawa Senators around these parts but how are people feeling heading into this year’s Olympic Hockey Tournament? Do you like the roster Canada is sending? What about the line combinations? Does the big ice worry you?
Let’s talk a little Team Canada, shall we?