Team Canada Prepares to Defend Gold

SensChirp February 11, 2014 115
Team Canada Prepares to Defend Gold

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.

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

Keith-Weber
Vlasic-Doughty
Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo
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?

  • SensChirp
  • Millennium

    Our depth at Centre is so strong I just caught myself looking at the wingers and thinking ‘these guys made the team??’ Kinda puts perspective on just how good those C’s are.

  • MethotToMyMadness

    Millennium: I said the same type of thing yesterday. When you look at some of the names, as deserving as they are, it’s somewhat hard to believe they are the names that made it, out of all the possible players available. But I do like this roster, the more I see it.

    • goof

      @both who would you guys prefer to see, name wise? Just curious, as I can’t think of any real big name wingers that were left out

      • Millennium

        Well for me, that’s kinda the point. Most of our biggest wingers are there; they just aren’t on the same plane of existence as our centers (except one or two like Perry). You could argue for guys like Giroux over Kunitz and such, but most of our best wingers are on the team.

      • MethotToMyMadness

        It really depends how far down the line you want to go. Some would say go with young guys who have shown skills like Hall, Skinner, Kane or even Marchand. While crafty and slick, none of these guys are overly large or have the overall experience, outside of Marchand who has played a lot of games and won a cup to boot.

        Or you can go with some size and experience, like Lucic, Hartnell, Lupul, Ladd or Penner. But none of those names look much better in the overall picture.

        As Millennium said, I think we do have what is considered ‘stat wise’, the best wingers Canada has in the NHL, on this team. It just looks strange next to the names we have on C, because of how good those names are.

    • Sensnation

      Agreed. That 1st line clicking with Crosby will be the big one. Those are likely the first 2 wingers most people would replace on this team, with Giroux and Neal.

      Would really like to see Crosby-Nash at some point.

  • SoCal

    “While there are no easy draws in a tournament like this, Canada probably finds itself in the weakest pool to start.” I have to strongly disagree with this statement – there are ridiculously easy draws in a tournament like this. You could never witness such lopsided games in the NHL. If team Canada doesn’t earn a bye to the medal round the country will panic and rightfully so considering our group.

  • MethotToMyMadness

    Out of the pools to be in, we are in the weakest. I would like to see bigger competition to start, but we cannot count out Finland. Finland has a very good group so they will be the toughest in the round robin. They had that big World Championship win in 2011, been a little quiet since. But in these types of tournaments, any team can shock you, especially a team with good Goaltenders. And Finland has one of the best trios in the Olympics this year in Rask, Niemi and Lehtonen.

    I look at the games against Austria and Norway as good ice breakers, see who’s working well together, get adjusted to the bigger ice and work out the kinks. And when the game against Finland happens, we should be ready for them. I’m so excited for these games, can’t wait!!

  • Miguel

    Although I feel very good about out Team Canada roster and our chances, the USA will be a dominant force, that has very dangerous speed, and great goaltending.
    I really believe that although the Russions will be very passionate, However that passion may just be their downfall, and I am certain they will self implode with all those ego’s and with the NHL/KHL split. Any adversity, and they will fold like a lawn chair.
    Swedes, are getting long in the tooth in some areas and probably missed their chance at gold.
    And the darkhorse IMO may well just be the Fins, they have a work ethic that may just surprise some people.
    Best part is our Sens will be well rested ( or very hungover ) by the time we get back to some crucial games
    Go Canada Go

  • EHMatt

    I’m a bit worried about the lack of competition we’ll have in the first few games. Finland should be our first real challenge. I’ve found that we’ve done better when up against tougher teams first and then have a game against a weaker team. That way we can fix the mistakes in the easier game. I hope I’m wrong though and the first 2 games gives us a chance to build good chemistry.

    I would change the lines a bit though. I would have Marleau with Crosby and I’d have Tavares between Duchene and St. Louis. Bergeron would be the extra forward and I’d have Carter playing the wing with Getz and Perry. Benn would sit out.

    As for the defense. I would prefer this:
    Keith – Doughty
    Vlasic – Weber
    Bouwmeester – Pietrangelo
    Subban
    Hamhuis would be the scratch.
    Price would be my starter with Luongo backing him up.

    • s3nsfan

      Personally I like the group we’re in, lets the team gel and get some chemistry going before having to play harder competition in the medal round. Not that Finland is a pushover, but getting a couple, lesser teams in the beginning, is in my opinion better than having to face Russia or the US looking for chemistry and line balancing

  • EHMatt

    I sincerely hope that the players on the Sens who aren’t going to the Olympics are working out hard in the gym. Spezza and Ryan in particular as they really seem to need it. Both look like they’re missing a step.

    • things that make me go hmmmmm

      Spezza needs 3 weeks of back healing therapy so that he play
      the rest of the season

  • things that make me go hmmmmm

    just saw DA11 and EK65 together in the stands at the Olympics
    watching women’s curling

  • FBP

    Chirp – did you end up finding a place to buy Canada jerseys in Ottawa with names/numbers?

  • Sensnation

    Hard to criticize a team Canada roster, and this one definitely offers a lot of high end skill, grit and speed.

    The round robin draw isn’t ideal, but should allow the coaches a bit more time to assess all the players they have and see who finds chemistry with who. Knowing you’re going to win that 1st game or two really means the coach can give the players time to gel instead of desperately juggling things throughout just for a win.

    Won’t be surprised to see 1 or 2 double digit scores, there’s so much leadership and drive on this team, they are definitely coming to play!

  • Kinger

    Ekman-Larsson & EK65 as a defensive pair… oh my.

    • Sandy

      Yeah that is 5 on 5.. On the PP.. the points are Karlsson & Alfie. Hmmmm where I have seen that before.
      What a different season it would have been if Alfie would have stayed..

    • sben

      Karlsson’s vacation from Cowen

  • T K

    I can honestly say that I don’t give a flying rat’s ass about the Olympics. I just hope that Karlsson comes back uninjured.

    • T K

      And I’m not taking about just any ordinary ratus ratus here. I’m taking full bore flying rat.

      • Deadly

        You’ll miss some good hockey but see you in a couple of weeks.

        • SensChirp

          Just had a chuckle at your comment on the last post, Deadly.

          • Deadly

            Glad you enjoyed it.Love the site when we win but sometimes after a loss it is hard to take. I like to look for the positives in life with some humour attached.
            Thanks for your efforts and positive outlook.

          • SensChirp

            You were on to something.

          • Doc

            Hmmm…time to put my detective hat on then…

      • sprucesens

        I don’t care much about Olympics either. I fully support the athletes and all, and think its a great achievement for them, I just couldn’t be bothered to watch it. I’ll try to watch hockey, but only if it fits in my schedule. I like athletes from all countries in the nhl, and don’t hold anything personal against athletes from other countries in the Olympics, so I don’t really feel the need to cheer my team on(Canada), over any other team. I don’t get the patriotic pride that everyone else does, when someone who was born within the same giant landmass, does, when Canada gets a medal. If I knew them personally, or had followed their training and so on, that could be a different story. But I don’t feel the need to be “yeah, Canada! we’re the best!” I just have got nothing against other team’s and athletes doing great also. But its nice to see that we do well I guess.
        As far as hockey is concerned, I mostly hope that none of our players get injured, and since its only karlsson and michalek, chances are decent we’ll be ok. It would be nice for karlsson to put on a show though, so many other people that normally wouldn’t watch an Ottawa game, might say, wow that guy’s pretty good. I should watch him more often. other than that, Go SENS GO

        • yannrock

          Well said!

        • SensChirp

          To each his own, I suppose but that was a pretty sad outlook on the Olympics. Looks like you aren’t the only one though.

          • sprucesens

            of other note, I don’t have tv, I stream to only watch sens games as much as possible. I am also far too busy getting ready for the soon to be new sens fan in the household. already have 3 sens onesies and some knitted skates. lol. don’t even know what sex it is yet. makes it tough to be bothered with Olympics.

        • Loyd

          So then why cheer for the Sens? I mean why hold anything against athletes from other NHL teams? You don’t ‘get’ the patriotic pride when someone wins who was born within the same landmass, but you feel pride when a group of players who were drafted at random to a team in your hometown wins? Unless of course you know the Sens personally….but if you don’t then i’m sure you’ll have nothing against the leafs or Habs doing well either and winning the cup this year.

          • sprucesens

            they aren’t my hometown. born and raised in Edmonton. I cheer for them because I like the way the team has carried itself through the years, was seen as an underdog, and always stays competitive. There are certain athletes I hate, and one of them is on team Canada, albeit, not dressed from my understanding. I do feel more pride when the sens win, because I watch and check multiple websites every single day that I have access to a computer, that have updates on prospects, the team, trade rumours and so on. I invest a ton of my own time to follow this team, whereas the Olympics is a quick week long blip on the radar of hockey, for me. I hate the leafs, because they are the epitome of all that is wrong in hockey. they are treated like they own the place, both on the ice and off. I hate the habs because its a fantastic rivalry. And I get excited when we get to beat their team down. I just don’t feel that kind if excitement or anything for national teams. If Canada wins, great! But I don’t care too much one way or the other. But if the sens win, I can guarantee you won’t be able to wipe a smile off my face for a month, and when it happens I would damn near be in tears I would be so happy.

  • Andrews theory

    I think it’s fair to say any team in the NHL would be more than happy with any one of those 4 lines as their top line!

    That said, I think Vlasic in the top 4 given our options is ridiculous!
    Hopefully I’ll have changed my mind by the end of the tourney.

    Real question is, which of our goalies gives us the best shot at gold?

  • Sandy

    Canada has really good forwards and defense.. The question.. if there is any.. is between the pipes.. compared to some of the other countries.. ie USA, Sweden, Finland..

  • Gordon Ramsli

    Don’t personally care much about Team Canada I focus more on our players who compete.

    • SensChirp

      Surprised how many people feel that way. Been looking forward to this tournament for months!

      • Miguel

        agreed Chirp, very surprising comments from die hard hockey fans

    • yannrock

      I feel the same way!

    • woof woof woof woof woof

      Yeah – we’ll get to see Daugie play again

  • luckan20

    I love the Olympic level of hockey. So many great players around the world competing for one common goal. When you play for your country, it is a pride and players take it personally.
    I will want Canada to win. Karlsson is in Swedes uniform and won’t mind few good hits to nullify his game.

  • Floridasensfan

    Looking forward to Olympic Hockey, Canada tearing up the medals so far.
    Personally cheering for Sweden in hockey (Karlsson, Silfverberg Alfie (sue me), also expect USA not to medal.
    Really hope Karlsson is lights out great on the world stage

  • The Apostle

    Being British I don’t really have that much to cheer for when it comes to Olympic hockey. In fact I haven’t had much to cheer about in the Winter Olympic hockey tourney since 1936 – those were great games. Take that Canada!

    • Ghost of Moose Vasko

      the entire 1936 “British” team consisted of players with dual citizenship who had played a lot of hockey in Canada

      • The Apostle

        you’ll be trying to pretend that Lennox Lewis is Canadian next.

        • bluebuyyoo

          Who does he play for and can he play nets? We need a reliable number 1.

        • Rick of the Universe

          Nahhhh – how about Owen Hargreaves though ?

  • Sicilian

    I love Canada and “Here come the Canucks” gives me goosebumps. It’s good that the level of hockey around the world has gotten so even. I’m very proud of that but when a country of 35 million faces off against a country of 320 million or a country of 145 million. It’ll be harder and harder to be at the top

    Totally pumped to see NHL players in the Olympics!

  • s3nsfan

    Nice work here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Co6bnF8n_Vo

    If this video doesn’t give you goosepumps or get you PUMPED for this tournament check your f*ing pulse!!!!!

    GO CANADA GO!!!

  • Hax

    Canada is the strongest team for sure .. if you don’t count goal-tending. Both Luongo and Price have the potential to be incredible or brutal. There’s going to be some nail biting in the medal round for sure.

  • FistsofNeil25

    Congrats to the Canadian women for beating the Americans in their game this morning but I really can’t wait for these men’s hockey games to get started. I’ve been waiting 4 years for this tournament. There’s nothing better than watching all the best players in the world come together for 10 days of hockey.

    If you take a look at Canada’s roster, there isn’t another nation that even compares to it. It isn’t even close. My only concern is the goaltending and the big ice. Great goaltending can almost single-handedly win a short tournament like like and I’m not all that confident in Luongo and Price when compared to others like Miller, Quick, Rask, and Lundqvist. I also think if Canada fails to adapt to the big ice quick enough we could be in trouble. Canada has had trouble on the big ice in the past.

    At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s anything that can stop us from bringing home another gold.

  • FistsofNeil25

    For anyone interested in watching Karlsson pick apart the Czech Republic today, the game will be broadcasted on Sportsnet 1 at noon. I’m almost as excited to see what Karlsson can do on the big ice as I am to watch Team Canada.

  • CUP 2014-15

    Great topic. Can you believe Johnny Freaken T is 4th line centre? Johnny T 4th line…WOW. Looking forward to watching Vlasic, don’t see him enough. Loving the Olympics, Canada doing great and another Silver today in speed skating, that’s a good story line as well, teammate steps aside so he can race….
    How good is this tourney? Every player wants this bad. Stamer worked his ass off to get there but comes up short. The players want to have the four years of bragging rights over their NHL teammates and to win Olympic Gold is a testament to being the very best in the world. Go get em boys. Can’t wait to see the PP..LOL

    • FistsofNeil25

      I don’t see a 4th line. I see four 1st lines.

  • MikeS

    Anyone watching Swed/Check game? Karlsson is making people look like pylons over and over and its only 5 minutes in

  • FistsofNeil25

    Karlsson point shot deflected by Alfie for a goal… Sad Sens fan here.

    • MikeS

      karlsson is the most dominant player by far in this game

      • MikeS

        Btw karlsson’s goal

  • MikeS

    That delayed penalty looked like a 5on 3 lol

  • esk

    tsn should cover all the teams..had to find out randomly that sweden and cze were playing..missed most of the 1st…alfie and karlsson :(

    • Millennium

      Pro tip: http://www.tsn.ca/mens_world/schedule/

      should show all Mens games with times and boxscores.

      • esk

        haha thanks. Should be on the front page!!!

        • Millennium

          Agreed. Oddly hard to find considering how important the events are.

  • Millennium

    Can you imagine if Karlsson had that kind of quality defensive partner in Ottawa?

    • Doc

      I can, but I’d rather not. Sadness. :(

  • xN1Cx

    Missing Alfie just a little bit today. Man him and Karl love each other.

  • Millennium

    OH GAWD THE MUPS ARE IN RUSSIA

    • Doc

      Explains the Mup-isless in Ottawa lately.

  • Zelle

    Karlsson with the first goal on Men’s hockey!

  • Millennium

    Man, Karlsson does not look right in blue. Not his colour.

  • FistsofNeil25

    ohhhh man Karlsson just ripped one.

  • MikeS

    2 goals for karlsson

  • MikeS

    Just imagine if karlsson had a good partner in ottawa

    • xN1Cx

      Maybe this will get B Murray thinking. OEL a possibility? lol

      • Doc

        God that would be just filthy.
        *wipes drool*

      • MikeS

        Would cost way too much though

      • Sensnation

        Not many teams have multiple #1 dmen. Maybe Phoenix and St. Louis, any others? Chicago arguably maybe. Hard to afford that much on D and have drafted them as they are rarely on the market. Almost every team is in need of a top 2-4D.

      • sprucesens

        yeah, dream on. Michalek, lazar and next year’s 1st. Big price. maybe more, not that I wouldn’t love it

        • MikeS

          Id do that in a heartbeat. Probably means they wouldnt

  • esk

    sweden looks dangerous

  • Millennium

    In a Canada vs Karlsson matchup, I don’t even know who to cheer for anymore. The guy is so good its unreal.

    • xN1Cx

      Karlsson – so sick!

    • Zelle

      Love that everyone can see how good this guy is. Many fans from other teams are in disbelief. Shows how little recognition he gets outside of Ottawa in the NHL.

      • sprucesens

        that’s what I said the other day as a big point. I really hope karlsson lights it up, for all the world to see, and say wow, this guy is good, maybe we should watch him. Maybe make a few more sens fans out of it, and somehow indirectly get us some more revenue!

    • MikeS

      I cheer for canada. But man I really hope they dont have to play sweden. They are the only team that scares me this olympics

      • esk

        supposedly they’re to old to keep up with canada, usa and russia..according to tsn

        • MikeS

          They have 3 deep forward lines, best goalie in the world(when on his game) and a very dynamic d. Russia has only 2 lines and the states took a very weird team

          • Sensnation

            How often do we get to see a passionate Russian team though, it’ll be interesting to see what that looks like. ;)

            They definitely have the top end skill.

  • Millennium

    Do these announcers not know that (at least on the web stream) their mics are on between whistles? Hughson was chirping the goalie thinking he was off air.

  • Sensnation

    I wish the NHL would start a 50yr plan to move to bigger ice. If they really want to reduce the “pure enforcer” role, that would do it pretty well. Game just looks so much nicer on the big ice.

    Personally I see nothing wrong with having different sized rinks during the transition, brings us back to days of true home ice advantage.

    • MikeS

      I actually wouldnt mind this. Would cost soo much for owners though

      • Millennium

        Well i think the idea would be to build bigger rinks as the current arenas get replaced. If a team is building a new arena anyways, I wonder how much extra cost it would be to just accommodate a bigger ice surface. I’d support something like that for sure.

        • Sensnation

          Exactly. The new arenas may need to be bigger to still hold the same number of seats. I understand them not wanting to lose the top priced seats in current arenas, though some of them were built to allow the change if needed.

    • sprucesens

      yeah, that would certainly bring some more exciting hockey to the nhl. especially for guys like karlsson that can control the puck like no other.

    • Hax

      Logistically almost impossible I think … and politically it’s totally impossible. You’d have so much fighting from some owners unwilling to either move to a new arena or spend the money (and lost revenue of being closed for so long) to upgrade. Thinking ACC, MSG, STAPLES etc. Even if it’s over 50 years.

      Would be nice to see but I think they can remove the one-dimensional enforcer through other rule changes and still keep the smaller ice.

  • MethotToMyMadness

    So happy the Laides beat the US today, they really needed that win to kick off this tournament. They’ve been taken down by the US a lot in the last while, it must be a nice feeling for them.

    As for the Mens. Karlsson is starting off just like many expected, with 2 goals in his 1st game and still almost a full 20 mins left to go. Man, this Swedish team is stacked.

  • MethotToMyMadness

    I was really surprised to see the Czech team starting the game with Alexander Salak. Not that he hasn’t been good in the KHL, but I figured they’d run with Ondrej Pavelec.

    • Sensnation

      And Kovar started on top of that. Pavelec somehow became their 3rd string? Very surprising!

  • Miguel

    I too am surprosed by some of the carless attitude towards the Olympics, for such die hard fans on this site who for the most part are very hockey knoweldgable, I too am surprised.
    This is the “World cup of Hockey” where the best lineup vs the best, in a one team takes all tourney.
    We will be witness to the best hockey in the world at this particular time.
    Where the players are not playing for the almighty $$$, but are playing for the love of the game, and the right to be called the best in the world.
    For some, who may never get a shot at the Stanley cup, this is the greatest stage of their lives, and I can assure you that some will give more blood sweat and tears for the Gold medal, than any other tournament in the world.
    My bigger concern that I realized in the last Olympics, was how difficult it was to tune into the NHL Regular season, after witnessing some of the best hockey being played by the best players, all at the top of their capabilities. The NHL calibre was noticeably slower, and less intense, of course until the NHL playoffs.
    Chirpers, if you watch any of Canada’s game and we win some key games, I can almost guarantee, that you will get hocked, and you will be on the edge of your seat, cheering on our Canadian brothers,
    Go Canada Go
    PS and of course please stay healthy EK :-)

    • Millennium

      If I had to offer a guess as to why some ppl don’t get as into the national-level hype, it would be because they don’t feel the connection with most of the team’s players. Team Canada is full of the Sens’ competitors and guys we only see as opponents or statistics on a scoresheet. If Karlsson and Ryan and Alfie were playing for my national team, it would be a lot different I’m guessing. I’m not super attached to guys like Crosby or Sharpe, or Carter etc. I like them as players, but I’m not a fan of them per se.

      • Miguel

        agreed but at the end of the day, our National pride as the best hockey country in the world is at stake. As a nation we eat, breath, bleed, hockey. As hockey fans who do we think produce the best players in the world? Russia? USA? Sweden?… Hell no the best hockey players and country in the world we all know is CANADA, and this is our time to prove it!
        And I for one, want the rest of the world to know who and where the best hockey players come from.
        “Canada wind Gold in hockey, proving once again WE are the world leaders in Hockey

        • sprucesens

          while I certainly get the pride about it, we can all easily argue that other countries are on par, or at least very close to having as good of talent. Maybe not as many players that are good, but can at least ice a team that will be as competitive as ours is. I would feel no shame in losing to Sweden, Russia, usa and a few others, if they have a better team.

        • CUP 2014-15

          No question it’s all about “OUR” game and I look at it very different then those who have a hard time cheering against Karl, Alfie etc. I lived in Montreal in the 80′s and the only time the west cheered for a Quebecer was for Mario and company, the only time Quebecers cheered for someone from Ontario was for Gretz and company.
          This is a time when Our hockey, with its physical, aggressive and hard on the puck mentality will allow us to wear down the Sweeds, Yanks or whom ever is not Canadian. Hell, I will not be cheering for Alfie at the CTC when the season resumes, why the hell would I cheer for him in Russia? GO CANADA GO

      • sprucesens

        yup, this is kind of what I was trying to say below. there are players that I like better from other countries. there are players I don’t like from Canada. While I agree that its the top talent and it means a ton to the players pride and so on, and certainly won’t argue that its not good hockey, as I’ve watched previous Olympics, I just can’t get as into it as I would an nhl season. Its too short, and there isn’t nearly as much invested in it, from my end. While our team could certainly dominate, we could run into a hot goaltender and lose and not even place. Where over a season, that team with the hot goaltender, might not have even made the playoffs, so to speak.
        And going against these particular Olympics, I can’t justify waking up at the hours it would need to be, to watch the games. I’m also 2 hours behind where most of us sens fans are located. And I am no where near a computer most of the day.
        millennium said it about how I feel. Cheering for Canada is cheering for players I like, but am not a fan of after the fact. I’d be more inclined, this year in particular, for Sweden to dominate, because of karlsson, alfie and silfverberg, over cheering for Canada, just because of my love of the sens. But even so, because of the times of the games and so on, I likely won’t be tuning in except for maybe the gold medal game, as I believe its on a sunday morning?
        To be clear, I certainly don’t hold it against people for getting all excited and such for the Olympics and cheering hard for whoever they please.

      • T K

        This and Spruce’s comments somewhat express my perspective. You can be a fan of a sport’s athletes or of its teams. It’s hard to do both simultaneously. Few people can settle solely for pure and neutral admiration of individual players in a team sport environment. We have a natural affinity towards tribalism and the protection and promotion of our own tribe. Team fandom is the modern reflection of this natural tribalistic attitude.

        Olympics simply make us want to broaden the scope of our tribal instinct to a national level.

        Personally, I have a hard time backing a tribe that is represented by people for whom I have built up contempt despite a sometime begrudging respect (but not admiration) for their individual skill.

        In short, my tribe could never include someone like Crosby or Ovechkin regardless of their skill.

        I’ll stick to my Sens tribe. It’s enough for me.

    • Aaron 2.0

      I’ve had a hard time watching and/or getting excited about international hockey since I went to see an exhibition world junior game, where we crushed Slovenia, or some other smaller European country, about 7-0. The players were still celebrating like crazy after every goal. And, the fans were actually heckling the few Slovenian fans in the crowd, including families with very young children. I realized that day we were probably what Team USA is in pretty much every other sport. We’re the bad guy that everybody loves to beat. That’s obviously not an indictment of every Canadian player. There’s lots of great players and great people in our country. But, when it comes to hockey, I find most Canadians are obnoxious about their superiority. Add that there’s still only about 6 countries in the world that are good at it, and it’s hard for me to care. At the Olympics, I prefer watching the amateurs do their thing, who don’t get payed millions of dollars to do what they do. I guess it’s nice hockey players do it for two weeks….

  • MethotToMyMadness

    It looks like Sweden with take the 1st win in the Mens Tournament.

  • jasonontheoldsenschirp

    Karl had two goals in Sweden’s 4-2 win today

  • FBP

    Steve Ott eh?

    • Miguel

      Steve Ott… what???

    • Sensnation

      Is Conacher one of the guys Tim pushed Murray for? Would be a nice swap for the playoff push.

  • Sandy

    Screw the forward.. get a good vet D.. Move Methot to play again with Karlsson and put the other D with Cowen..

  • Sensnation

    Looking over the Latvia vs Switzerland boxscore and noticed Sandis Ozolinsh is the Latvian captain. I had no clue he was still playing!

    He was one of the top offensive dmen in the game during his time, and Karlsson blows his stats out of the water!

  • aegiszx

    Definitely feel this Olympics could be something special for a lot of the players involved… This is the icing on the cake, or the first of many cakes… I know, weird analogy, but if you just look at those names, and past names, these players represent the best of the best of the BEST hockey players, to play the game right now. For as young as they are, Sid, Toews, Doughty, are already legendary and first ballot HOFers… but for some names like JayBo and St Louis who came into their prime muchhh later, this shows just how special they are. And for players who arent even in their primes yet like Duchene, Benn, and Subban… Wow, this could be the start of something big for those guys.

  • bluebuyyoo

    The only connection I need with the national team is the red maple leaf on the front. My tribe is Canada and it includes all Canadians.