Team Canada vs Team Norway Recap

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Shea Weber
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Shea Weber #6 of Canada shoots the puck to score a goal in the second period against Lars Haugen #30 of Norway during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

What’s the acceptable scoreline against Norway? Is 3-1 too competitive? Should we panic?

All joking aside, it was consistent dominance throughout by Team Canada. There will be some complaints about too little conversion of possession into more goals, but that’s more of a testament to Norway goaltender Lars Haugen, who stopped 35/38 shots, as well as loads of blocked shots by the Norwegians.

Apparently, the webcast had no Glenn Healy on it for those watching at work, which is the one of the most compelling arguments we’ve ever heard for getting a bad office job.

It’s always fun seeing how a team with a monumental skill deficit approaches a game against an All-Star lineup playing full tilt or close to it. Surely, allegiances aside, we can all enjoy the fact that the game remained reasonably competitive to the end while Canada dominated play (although not the scoreboard) just about as much as expected in one of the—essentially—warmup tilts before things get serious.

The full game replay is available here.

1st Period

The Norwegians were forcing some mistakes – a couple of turnovers, offsides, icings – out of Canada early. The formula for countries like Norway is obvious: pack mentality, trap, rely on a hot goalie, try to create outnumbered situations in their favour in their own zone, block a tonne of shots, etc. Canada was activating their defence as a response to the “collapse,” creating some chances, but Haugen (KHL goalie, Dynamo Minsk) was up to the task in the first period. Norway was picking their spots the other way, with a few half chances against the run of play, as was their gameplan.

The period was mostly all Canada, with a late Norway powerplay. It’s a tough ask of Carey Price to stay alert when so much possession is going the other way, but he stayed sharp when called upon. It took Canada a period to breakthrough in Vancouver, and that was on home ice. They have to figure out the tricks to the big ice game, which Norway, to a man, plays on professionally.

It was 0-0 for Norway after 1, as Ron McLean put it, while Don Cherry sounded like he was soothing himself out of a panic attack with a “we’re alright” refrain at the intermission.

2nd Period

Canada came out with relentless pressure in early 2nd. Jeff Carter missed a point blank chance created by the top line a minute and a half into the period (missed badly). Jamie Benn generated a good chance as well after driving into the slot off the boards.

Signs of the ongoing adjustment became obvious: Drive wide, stretch the width of the ice, use the points, open some lanes, draw Norway out into man to man situations.

The breakthrough finally came off the stick of Shea Weber, a booming, rising clapper that beat Haugen over the shoulder. That’s one he probably doesn’t see too often overseas.

The Toews, Sharp and Nash line somehow didn’t score off a Doughty point shot – deflected by Toews – that hit a post and bounded around the goal mouth. Canada was coming on relentlessly, smelling blood as the Norwegian front started to crack, but Haugen looked liable to keep Norway in it/maintain a respectable scoreline all on his own.

The Tavares, Benn and Bergeron line was looking most dangerous despite limited ice time. The trio made it 2-0 on Canada’s 13th shot of the period. The play started wide before Benn took a pass on the back post and sniped, post and in, off one leg. Patrice Bergeron assisted on both goals to this point.

 

This was a dominant period featuring just one shot from Norway. There was some praise for the Norwegian effort on the broadcast, and good for them for hanging around and keeping it respectable — but it was a game that could’ve just as easily been 4 or 5 to nothing if more breaks went Canada’s way.

3rd Period

Norway started the third period on the powerplay after Duncan Keith lost his stick and took a holding call at the end of the 2nd. Carey Price misplayed the puck behind the net off a dump in; after the fumble behind the net, a shot took a deflection off Patrick Thoresen on the PP to make it 2-1.

Canada’s quick responses snuffed out any sense of panic. Ryan Getzlaf kept the play alive in the offensive zone and sent the puck back to the point, where Drew Doughty split a pair of Norwegian forwards and backhanded it in from the left of the net.

Sharp, Toews and St. Louis (rotated onto the line as a 13th forward) worked a two minute long shift in the offensive zone shortly thereafter. Team Canada was able to brings in fresh legs into their cycle.

Canada’s defence was effective in this game at providing offensive opportunities, starting sequences off by getting shots through, actively pinching down the boards, joining—or starting—the rush, using the width of the ice on the big surface.

John Tavares joined Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby as the swing man on the PP. If a little tense, he looked good and it was nice to see him tested and eased into the lineup; hopefully gets a look at 5v5 with Crosby at some stage.

The game pretty much fizzled out with Norway content to simply keep things respectable and build on the performance against more beatable opponents.

If there’s something to complain about: Can’t say we’re confident Jeff Carter can play at the pace Crosby  is playing at; he seems to be a full measure behind their tempo of play. He can skate and has a quick release, but Crosby throws extremely hard passes into areas he expects his linemates to be in; if he can’t anticipate it, the play is broken up.

Otherwise, Canada will look to continue gaining familiarity with new linemates and the big ice in another warmup game against Austria tomorrow.

  • Mind Bomb

    Firstivus !

  • Alec Brownscombe

    https://t.co/ucoCF5cIXl

  • Pent_House

    Should definitely put St. Louis or Duchene on Crosby’s wing. Not sure how Jeff Carter made this team to be honest.

  • Pent_House

    Should have taken Girioux instead of Carter

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Bruffins Alec BrownscombeI ordered a full case

  • Jmessih

    Pent_House Carter looked lost (and horribly unskilled today), no idea how he made this team. Giroux should be there for sure over him, and I’d have taken Hall over him as well. Duchene should not be the scratch (Carter should be). Benn should get more mins (get Marleau off, why did he play so much??). Kunitz, Marleau, and Carter should not be on this team. I’d have Giroux, Hall and potentially Neal as their replacements.

  • Jmessih

    Bruffins Alec Brownscombe Can’t be him. But I’m wondering too. Kessel was more dominate as a kid.

  • Zep2

    3-1 Canada
    7-1 USA

    One of there things is not like the other

  • Cartsy

    Anyone know a link to watch the highlights of this game or even usa/slovakia?  Or are we being forced to wait until 6?  You’d think by 2014 highlights would be readily available, regardless of broadcast rights.

  • Cloud09

    Cartsy  You are entering IOC territory. They are notorious for holding media rights and sells them at top top dollar with massive broadcasting restrictions. My guess is to scour CBC’s olympic site for some USA highlights.

  • Denied

    Cartsy You can watch the full games on the cbc site, probably highlights on there too

  • Denied

    Cartsy http://olympics.cbc.ca/online-listing/grid.html

  • Cloud09

    Denied Cartsy  Well that wasn’t very difficult at all. With a little bit of looking, in under 5 minutes I’ve got the USA game. Click to the end of the period and it will show all of the highlights and you can pick what you want.

    http://olympics.cbc.ca/videos/live/video/men-hockey-svk-usa-webcast.html

  • Cloud09

    More like Maple Leaf Dead Stove. Over an hour and only 15 comments?

  • Burtonboy

    Cloud09  No Leafs to bitch about :)

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/434078104911241217
    Subban and Duchene will get into CAN lineup tomorrow. No word on who comes out. Hamhuis likely to come out on D, 4 or 5 candidates up front.

  • wiski

    Pent_House  Polish chicks are tough 
    http://www.canada.com/olympics/news/justyna-kowalczyk-of-poland-wins-womens-10k-classical-style-race-at-sochi-olympics

  • Cloud09

    Burtonboy  Didn’t watch the game but I’d pick Carter just because he doesn’t belong there in the first place.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Zep2 Halak and Budal were terrible when needed and they were needed often as Slovakia played a more open game than Norway, not to mention their goalie was lights out in comparison

  • wiski

    Alec Brownscombe  I can picture him with a 3 beer funnel

  • Cloud09

    Burtonboy Cloud09  This is true. Well I really hope that Phil and JVR have an amazing Olympics that fires them up for more glory and brings it back home to Toronto. I’d trade a 1000 Canadian gold medals for a Leafs Stanley Cup.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cartsy    Easy big fella……..they are all there. The link below is USA-Slovakia, Alec gave the one for Can-Norway. A little poking around on either page will get you all the replays you desire.

    http://olympics.cbc.ca/videos/live/video/men-hockey-svk-usa-webcast.html

  • Cloud09

    Shift_Disturber1 Cartsy  Lazy on a computer, who’da thunk eh?

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cloud09   You were here for an hour and didn’t come and get us from the other thread? You bastard ;P

  • Burtonboy

    Cloud09 Burtonboy  Me too . The Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy in the world to win . This Olympic tournament is chicken feed in comparison to the effort it takes to win a cup.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cloud09 Shift_Disturber1Cartsy  Well I did enjoy the rant at the end. LOL

  • Cloud09

    Shift_Disturber1 Cloud09  Other thread? And i’ve been here for 20 minutes.

  • Burtonboy

    Shift_Disturber1 Cloud09  Yeah whats up with that lol

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cloud09 Shift_Disturber1 Was stuck on the game thread and didn’t reload the page to see the new post.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Burtonboy Shift_Disturber1Cloud09  I know, right  ;D

  • Cloud09

    wiski Pent_House  I’d say any of those skiers are crazy tough. I

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cloud09 Shift_Disturber1 also………….I didn’t have the ole twitter open today ;(

  • Pent_House

    wiski Pent_House  Yea I saw that, won the gold with a broken foot. Dawia Kurwa!

  • Cloud09

    Shift_Disturber1 Cloud09  I’ve been at work (real work, not like the desk jockeys on here) so no excuses 😛

  • The_Real_Nonis

    Jmessih Bruffins Alec Brownscombe  They were talking about Kesler actually.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cloud09 Shift_Disturber1 I have had this week off………man was that nice for a change. I’m a little foggy

  • Cloud09

    Shift_Disturber1 Cloud09  I’ve finally been working for more than a day or two so that is nice, just bad timing so I’ll probably miss more of the Olympics.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cloud09 Shift_Disturber1 As they say, got to make hay while the sun shines

  • Burtonboy

    Bruffins The_Real_Nonis Jmessih Alec Brownscombe  Called JVR Vanbesbrook lol

  • Cloud09

    Shift_Disturber1 Cloud09  Very true, especially in my trade. I’ve had most of January off so I’ll take the work.

  • Cloud09

    Burtonboy Bruffins The_Real_Nonis Jmessih Alec Brownscombe  Hahah, that’s awesome.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Burtonboy BruffinsThe_Real_NonisJmessihAlec Brownscombe  I thought I heard that. LOL

  • Komas Taberle

    Alec Brownscombe  
    He’s hungover, wait until he recovers then look out!

  • The Truth Hurts

    Wow. Carter played well today and people are on about him? Kunitz was terrible.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cloud09 Shift_Disturber1 I just came off of 2 weeks with almost 150 hours and have been saying since last spring I needed a week off LOL

  • Cloud09

    Shift_Disturber1 Cloud09  Jesus. I hope there was some double time thrown in there for your trouble.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Cloud09 Shift_Disturber1  Yes and a 10% raise didn’t hurt either ;D

  • drummond

    Bruffins Zep2 Norwegian were pretty well organized while Slovak D was really chaotic.

  • lieffan

    The Truth Hurts Neither should be on the team imo and yet they’re on Crosby’s wings.

  • Cloud09

    Shift_Disturber1 Cloud09  It’s never enough. I’ve got another 1500 hours to put in before I get another 10% raise, so enjoy the newfound $