Team Canada has effectively named their roster for the World Junior Championships to take place in Malmo Sweden starting on Boxing Day. Having had a little bit of time to digest their decisions from a Leafs perspective, here are some of my thoughts.
No Matt Finn
The biggest surprise on Team Canada’s roster from a Leafs perspective is Matt Finn’s omission. Finn is an all-situations defenseman whose biggest weakness in his game is probably his physicality — an element which is considerably less important on International ice. I’m surprised he didn’t make the team (almost as surprised as I was when I heard Nurse was left at home) but the truth of the matter is, Canada has a deep team and Finn, even in my mind, was probably only 60-40 to make the team.
Gauthier Yes, Brown No
If you look purely at the statistical side of our prospects, the idea of bringing Gauthier over Connor Brown is a little confounding. Again, I feel that the International ice was at play here. Brown may have the better hands of the two but Gauthier is a stronger skater and is also better equipped to play a defensive role with the team. Team Canada rarely takes an All-Star team to these events and instead opts to take players to fill very specific roles. I’m sure filling the checking role with a youngster with a mature defensive game was a motive here.
Apparently the Leafs have informed Team Canada that Morgan Rielly will be released to play with the National Squad if he isn’t playing regularly with the Leafs at the time of the tournament (December 19 cut off). Trying to predict how Randy Carlyle will deploy his players is a fool’s errand as far as I’m concerned so I won’t even hazard a guess, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all to see Rielly playing 20 minutes a game in this tourney; helping lead the Canadian team while gaining confidence and feeling good about himself after going in and out of the press box with the Leafs wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen. Rielly’s skating on the big rink would be a thing to behold, and there’s little doubt that he would be one of the primary options on the blueline for the team in the event that he’s released.
2014 Team Canada Roster
|Name||S/C||Ht.||Wt.||Born||Hometown||Club Team||Pro Status|
|Zachary Fucale||L/G||6'1"||176||5/28/1995||Rosemre, Que./Qc||Halifax (QMJHL)||MTL '13 (2, 36)|
|Jake Paterson||L/G||6'0"||185||5/3/1994||Mississauga, Ont.||Saginaw (OHL)||DET '12 (3, 80)|
|Chris Bigras||L/G||6'0.5"||189||2/22/1995||Woodland Beach, Ont.||Owen Sound (OHL)||COL '13 (2, 32)|
|Mathew Dumba||R/D||6'0"||183||7/25/1994||Calgary, Alta./Alb.||Minnesota (NHL)||MIN '12 (1, 7)|
|Aaron Ekblad||R/D||6'3.5"||216||2/7/1996||Belle River, Ont.||Barrie (OHL)||2014 Dft/Rep.|
|Josh Morrissey||L/G||6'0"||184||3/28/1995||Calgary, Alta./Alb.||Prince Albert (WHL)||WPG '13 (1, 13)|
|Adam PelechÊ||L/G||6'2"||215||8/16/1994||Toronto, Ont.||Erie (OHL)||NYI '12 (3, 65)|
|Derrick Pouliot||L/G||6'0"||203||1/16/1994||Weyburn, Sask.||Portland (WHL)||PIT '12 (1, 8)|
|Griffin Reinhart||L/G||6'3.5"||212||1/24/1994||West Vancouver, B.C./C.-B.||Edmonton (WHL)||NYI '12 (1, 4)|
|Damon Severson||R/D||6'2"||198||8/7/1994||Melville, Sask.||Kelowna (WHL)||NJ '12 (2, 60)|
|Josh Anderson||R/D||6'2"||199||5/7/1994||Burlington, Ont.||London (OHL)||CBJ '12 (4, 95)|
|Jonathan Drouin||L/G||5'11"||185||3/28/1995||Huberdeau, Que./Qc||Halifax (QMJHL)||TB '13 (1, 3)|
|Frdrik Gauthier||L/G||6'4"||215||4/26/1995||Mascouche, Que./Qc||Rimouski (QMJHL)||TOR '13 (1, 21)|
|Flix Girard||R/D||5'11"||190||5/9/1994||Lvis, Que./Qc||Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)||NSH '13 (4, 95)|
|Bo Horvat||L/G||6'0"||203||4/5/1995||Rodney, Ont.||London (OHL)||VAN '13 (1, 9)|
|Charles Hudon||L/G||5'10,5"||175||6/23/1994||Boisbriand, Que./Qc||Chicoutimi (QMJHL)||MTL '12 (5, 122)|
|Scott Laughton||L/G||6'1"||190||5/30/1994||Oakville, Ont.||Oshawa (OHL)||PHI '12 (1, 20)|
|Curtis Lazar||R/D||6'0"||198||2/2/1995||Vernon, B.C./C.-B.||Edmonton (WHL)||OTT '13 (1, 17)|
|Taylor Leier||L/G||5'11"||177||2/15/1994||Saskatoon, Sask.||Portland (WHL)||PHI '12 (4, 117)|
|Anthony Mantha||L/G||6'5"||204||9/16/1994||Longueuil, Que./Qc||Val-d'Or (QMJHL)||DET '13 (1, 20)|
|Connor McDavid||L/G||6'0"||182||1/13/1997||Newmarket, Ont.||Erie (OHL)||2015 Dft/Rep|
|Nic Petan||L/G||5'9"||166||3/22/1995||Delta, B.C./C.-B.||Portland (WHL)||WPG '13 (2, 43)|
|Sam Reinhart||R/D||6'1"||183||11/6/1995||West Vancouver, B.C./C.-B.||Kootenay (WHL)||2014 Dft/Rep.|
|Kerby Rychel||L/G||6'1"||205||10/7/1994||Tecumseh, Ont.||Windsor (OHL)||CBJ '13 (1, 19)|
|Hunter Shinkaruk||L/G||5'10.5"||181||10/13/1994||Calgary, Alta./Alb.||Medicine Hat (WHL)||VAN '13 (1, 24)|
- Last night’s Game in 10 – Nik is kind to the team after busting the slump.
- Smith making the most of an opportunity – Picture the Leafs‘ center situation now, and image it if he wasn’t.
- Randy Carlyle Post Game Presser – “We’re 15th in man games lost. 15 teams have it worse than us.”
- Game in 6 Highlights – Nazty.
- James Mirtle’s game story – focus on Bernier, Smith and Kadri, naturally.
- Kadri has an optimistic road ahead – Great opportunity for Naz to grab the 1C role and run with it. Bozak is out for an “extended period.”
i'm hoping liles looks good at moving the puck up ice and also looks responsible in his own end. nothing spectacular, just looks solid. if he does, and they play him for a game or three i think they'll send rielly to the WJC. that's exactly what i want to see happen.
So far this year.
Mean while acordin to Sun news a town has banned ice/pond hockey the f ers
UNBELIEVABLE! Pond hockey dreams have been iced by an Alberta town council because they think the Canadian past-time is unsafe: http://bit.ly/1gcp68V
Let me pose it to you this way, if the 4th line were the issue, we'd have another 55 minutes of solid play to draw from. People who rant and score about OMG ORR AND MCLAREN ARE DRESSED AGAIN like to think they're smarter than NHL coaches, but are failing to really identify issues objectively.
@Leafs rule It's outrageous! What kind of a nanny state do we live in whereby kids can't venture out onto thin ice and play the national sport? Kids these days are far too coddled.
@rustynail Huge Specimen?
@CanuckUKinToronto i would rate raymond lower. I hate his game even though he has out done my expectations from when he was a canuck.
@Gilbey93 Expexctactions are too high on Kulie. Does so many great things, I'd love to have him on my team any day once he fires his agent and lets me talk him into signing for 1.5m
@NotSince67 But like I said earlier, winning NHL coaches DON'T have fourth lines that only play four minutes. The Leafs are one of the only teams doing this. It does make a difference. A good fourth line can bring so much more to a team than our fourth line does, including scoring the odd goal. Look at SJ, LA, Chicago, St Louis, Boston, etc.
@NotSince67 It would be nice if the Leafs had more toughness in the top 9. But playing pure facepunchers who cannot compete at an NHL level on the 4th line just doesn't compensate.
@NotSince67 Seriously dude, are you FML's agent or something?
@NotSince67 Well they are going to win us many games no, but they can lose us games, see SJS :)
@Pent_House Have a terrific time, PH!.....GO LEAFS GO!!
@Pent_House be as obnoxious and belligerent as humanly possible
@Murph2417 Why have MLHS if I can't bitch about the 4th line :P
Popeye's kid's av. 23 mins a games as well. There's lots of big names in the -11 group, including Ovie and RNH.
@MaxwellHowe @NotSince67 Agreed but top 9 players who can fight and win against ANYONE are rare (Lucic is the only one who can truly handle himself vs anoyone), and only a handful can defend themselves against a tough opponent.
Having said that it's a tough night in this league if you don't have someone who can answer to the toughest guy on the other team. Guys like Clarkson will take the inch and run a mile with it, let alone guys like Torres and Burrows.
@Mind Bomb @NotSince67 Why does everyone give Rielly a free pass? Everyone in hockey seems to be pointing the finger at him but of course Toronto hockey fans keep their fingers continuously pointed at one whipping boy...
Like I said, just like Belak. People wanted him gone, he left, and then the compain was the team was getting bullied and was too small.. welllll *facepalm*
I've seen it creep in over the years in different jurisdictions and in most cases it's because of lawsuits resulting from a kid getting hurt. Insurance companies come back on the school board or municipality wanting to quadruple their rates, which are substantial, the cost of which is a tax hike.
well you should have stated your criteria. All things considered yes you're right but otherwise it's a bullshit grade
@jimmyg65 Look at how tough that back end was too, Pronger, Beachemin, Kent Huskins, and that's just off the top of my head.
@Mind Bomb @NotSince67 TBH, all the complaining about the 4th line reminds me of Snatch where the door falls off the caravan and he jokes the Caravan in great, he's just not sure about the colour.
If the TML were a totaled car, complaining about FML and Orr is like getting fixated on the ugly colour instead of your now busted ass car.