On this, the official 2010 Canada Men's Olympic Hockey Roster Eve, I present my picks for Team Canada if I was making the selections. I've thrown together some line combinations as well, which are part of my justification for certain players.
After the jump...
Why: One of the things I valued more than anything was line consistency and familiarity. One of the huge problems in Torino 2006 was the look of a team that didn't look like it had ever played together. So when considering players on the bubble, I went with players that were familiar with eachother.
The first line is fairly familiar with eachother from previous competitions, and in any event looks like a lock to play together. The second line is all San Jose Sharks. The third line has 2 NHL linemates with the Anaheim Ducks, plus Toews, who had to fit somewhere. And the fourth line is a former Tampa Bay Lightning group. You could also switch Lecavalier to C and substitute Stamkos for that line.
Fisher over Richards was simply based on performance this year. Staal played his way off the team. Morrow and Doan are great checking line options, but I'm going for a 4 lines that can score and play at both ends of the ice. I trust all 4 to be defensibly responsible.
Why: Again, familiarity. Keith and Seabrook have been the best defensive pair in the league this year, and there's no reason why they shouldn't both go. Boyle fits with the Sharks forwards, and makes a good partner for Pronger (who has some Duck history, although he's on this team either way). Weber and Bouwmeester seem to work, and Doughty gets the nod over Green and Niedermayer.
Niedermayer will only make this team on reputation, and at -13 this year, that's not a reputation I'm willing to gamble with. Green is simply outranked by too many others who are a bit better defensively with similar offensive skills.
Notable omissions: None.
Why: There isn't really anyone else. Steve Mason has been terrible. Cam Ward has been hurt and struggled (although with such a brutal team, it's somewhat understandable. Ward could put up Fleury's numbers if he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins).
My captain is Jarome Iginla, and my alternates are Sidney Crosby and Chris Pronger.
Thoughts? Agree? Disagree?