Team Canada vs. Team USA Preview

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It’s the first Olympic meeting between the Team Canada and Team USA men’s national hockey teams since the Vancouver 2010 gold medal game.

Where to begin?

Nothing less than the ideal is acceptable when it comes to Hockey Canada, but let’s think about what Canada has done well versus what they haven’t done so well so far in this tournament. What hasn’t been Canada’s problem is their defence and goaltending. What has been a problem is scoring enough goals on excessive quantities of shots. Are Canadians more confident if Team Canada is entering  a game against the high-scoring Americans with questions in net and on the blueline? Certainly not. If they accept something less than perfect, winning four out of four while not scoring “enough” on 35, 40 or 45 shots against trap teams is surely the best of the less-than-perfect scenarios.

Which brings us to the point of how some fans and pundits espouse an entirely too simplistic expectation of a single game of hockey when they suggest it is (or should be) a guarantee that a team like Latvia will be blown out by Canada; as if Latvia is “so bad” that Canada sucks if they don’t walk over a team whose entire gameplan is to stack five players between the puck and the net, hope for the best, and rely on a hot goalie. There was eight players on Latvia who have played in the NHL, and an NHL-drafted goalie with some recent AHL accolades, who, over a single game sample, is entirely capable of putting on a show that frustrates a collection of very good NHLers. The difference between a good AHL goalie who is playing out of his mind and a good NHL goalie playing well in a single game is not a difference at all. Mix in a large heaping of luck and good fortune (hand-on-the-puck incident, Kunitz’s empty-net cross bar, ample lucky bounces around the net), and, yeah, it’s possible the Canadians might only win by one goal. Play a game with a 58-17 shot count five more times…

Austria and Slovenia entered the tournament as the two worst teams – Canada and the USA blew them out, respectively. While Canada played a group of teams who had no illusions of going go toe to toe with them, Team USA trounced a terrible Slovakia team (who lost every game, including to Slovenia, and conceded a ton of goals overall) that thought they could trade chances and a poorly-put-together Czech team that wasn’t content to just sit back, either. Canada’s preliminary group was “poor,” but every team they played against played like they knew it. Canada’s consistent possessional dominance and its depth should ensure it generates the majority of the chances on Friday.

The United States has had the best single line in Joe Pavelski, James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel unit, but not the better supporting cast, and certainly not the better defence, as Canada’s has been excellent. The goaltending remains to be seen; Jonathan Quick has a track record of big-game success, but there isn’t a shred of evidence yet to back up the statement that Carey Price hasn’t done his job. In our angst we sometimes lose sight of it, but unquestionably Canada’s roster is more talented.

The point here is not some argument that it’s all going to come together for Team Canada on Friday in an unexpected rout of the Americans. The Americans have looked better as a team, able to find working combinations and roll with them, perhaps giving them the edge, while Canada still struggles to find the right combinations up front. That could of course change in one game. The point is, all bets are off and to pretend as though we have any clue what will transpire on Friday, a 60-minute meeting between a collection of the best in the NHL on the big ice, is foolhardy. While Max Pacioretty portrayed his team as the underdogs in Wednesday’s post-game interviews, it seems Team USA is the Vegas favorite going into this game. If you’re Canada, you’ve got no problem with that.

Stick Tap to Daily Faceoff for the jersey graphics.

Team Canada Olympic Roster vs Team USA

Left Wing

Center

Right Wing

KunitzChris_1CrosbySidney_1BergeronPatrice_1
MarleauPatrick_2

JohnathanToewsCarterJeff_1
BennJamie_1GetzlafRyan_1
PerryCorey_1
SharpPatrick_1
MATT DUCHENE
NashRick_1
13th forward: Martin St. Louis

Left Defence

Right Defence

KeithDuncanWeberShea_1
VlasicMarcEdouardDoughtyDrew
BouwmeesterJay_1PietrangeloAlex_1

Goalie

Starter:
PriceCarey_1
LuongoRoberto_1
Stick Tap to Daily Faceoff for the jersey graphics.

Team Canada Olympic Roster Line Combinations, Feb. 20th. 2014

Forwards:
Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby, Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos (injured, will not play), Martin St. Louis, John Tavares (injured, will not play), Jonathan Toews

Defensemen:
Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Shea Weber

Goalies:
Roberto Luongo
Carey Price
Mike Smith

 

Team USA Olympic Roster vs Team Canada
TEAM USA FORWARDS

TEAM USA D PAIRINGSTEAM USA GOALIES

  • Pent_House

    USA ALL THE WAY. I can’t believe the top6 wingers for Canada are Kunitz, Bergeron, Carter and Marleau. Not sure if the supporting cast is really better than USA’s.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Gold Canada Gold  :)

  • Shift_Disturber1

    https://twitter.com/Jgardiner272

    https://twitter.com/Jgardiner272/status/436616898135212033

    https://twitter.com/Bozie42 How is your sister on the USA women’s team but you are Canadian?

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Going to be a hell of a game tomorrow. Can’t wait

  • Pent_House

    Shift_Disturber1  lmao I’m pretty sure it’s bozek on the usa team not bozak haha

  • TheJFish

    Pent_House  well, when you’re missing stamkos and tavares, and you leave giroux, that’ll do it.

  • Pent_House

    TheJFish Pent_House  that’s part of it, the other part is canada is dumb they put the better wingers on line 3 than the top6. Benn and Perry should be in that top6.

  • wendelsway1

    Pent_House Shift_Disturber1  lol….you say tomato…I say tomatoe  lol  :)

  • lieffan

    Pent_House TheJFish  Crosby, Toews, Getzlaf, Duchene, Tavares (before injury) down the middle. Hell yes Canada has better depth. USA’s is very good too.

  • Pent_House

    wendelsway1 Pent_House Shift_Disturber1  They’re all godly Ukrainians right? Boze Boze

  • Alec Brownscombe

    @lieffan Pent_House TheJFish  Yeah Canada is unrivaled down the middle.

  • wendelsway1

    Pent_House wendelsway1 Shift_Disturber1  lol…tak  :)

  • drummond

    tomorrow, it will be more about will and determination than about pure skill

  • TheJFish

    For whatever reason, i think the team that wins tomorrow is gonna do it in a blowout.

  • Pent_House

    Murph2417  we didn’t want the undesirables to find it 😉

  • Leafs rule

    Pent_House Murph2417 U bad ,now who stole my post ,it was here and now its gone

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    lets go USA !!

  • Pent_House

    Man It’s really pissin now Downtown damn

  • Leafs rule

    TheCanucksnaphook    Ban hammer time U

  • lister

    TheCanucksnaphook  As someone else as posted previously, hat tricks for Kessel and JVR but Canada wins 7-6. :-p

  • peterbleafs

    I dont get why they show Kessel and JVR as their 2nd line, they are by far their first line.  Also MSM keeps naming others than Kessel or JVR when clearly those two have been exceptional.

  • daniel marois

    Did anyone see Tim and Sid on Sportsnet 590 The FAN go BALLISTIC when Canada tied and scored the OT goal?  Check out both links.  IT’S WORTH IT….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiAXYC4cWeg&feature=c4-overview&list=UUVhibwHk4WKw4leUt6JfRLg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNVS0wgXm3s&list=UUVhibwHk4WKw4leUt6JfRLg&feature=c4-overview

  • wendelsway1

    Pent_House  We are being hammered by snow, at the moment.

  • Leafs rule

    lister TheCanucksnaphook Perfectomondo

  • Tommy Cat

    Pent_House  Good work on the Marlies.  Keep it up.  Good to see how the farm hands are making out.

  • drummond

    peterbleafs Crosby´s line is also not first line :)

  • mcloki

    Leafs rule TheCanucksnaphook  I concur. 😉

  • Pent_House

    wendelsway1 Pent_House  It’s mix over here, half snow half rain, really coming down tho

  • peterbleafs

    wendelsway1 Pent_HouseI just filled my bird feeder, trimmed some schrubbery and had a coffee in the back yard.  In LONDON

  • Burtonboy

    TheCanucksnaphook  One down ,one to go Canada go

  • mcloki

    Pent_House Murph2417  And  yet we are here

  • Komas Taberle

    Wow all these American fans pissed about the referee in today’s game, al I have to say is remeber back 2 years ago to London England when the ref handed the women’s soccer game to the USA and ripped of Canada.

  • lister

    Leafs rule listerTheCanucksnaphook   I’ll be probably at Loose Moose in my Leafs jersey and Canada hat. (I don’t have a Team Canada jersey or else I’d likely reverse the two.)

  • Pent_House

    mcloki Pent_House Murph2417  persistent fuckers lol

  • DJBrianBurke

    Komas Taberle Please, it was suppose to be a penalty shot. I’m sure they were breathing a sigh of relief when she changed her mind and made it a PP instead.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Komas Taberle  The linesman also gave them a freebie at the open net but they couldn’t seal the deal.

  • peterbleafs

    Komas Taberle Ref made a few mistakes, worst one being the slash to the American to even up the cross check by Canada.  But Ref also triggered that shot on the empty net that hit the post, so refs almost won it for America…so fans…Go blow.

  • Pent_House

    lister Leafs rule TheCanucksnaphook  Good luck with that, I bet both floors are going to be rammed.

  • Leafs rule

    peterbleafs wendelsway1Pent_House And St Thomas is surviving as usual ,stopped raining just in time for a wine run

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Pent_House ingy56  At one time it looked like the Canadian D was going to shoot so she moved out, but never moved back. Good play by the Canadians to recognize that .

  • Pent_House

    TheCanucksnaphook Pent_House  shouldn’t have been a penalty. good for the girls for capitalizing on the PP, but states got ripped off there

  • wendelsway1

    Pent_House  And yet, if the US kept playing for the full sixty minutes, rather than just try and ride out the last few minutes with D…..it could have been a different result.  Nobody felt sorry for our Leafs in Game 7…..it’s not over ’til the final buzzer and just like our Leafs, they learned a valuable lesson.

  • Pent_House

    ingy56 Pent_House  I didn’t get why they played 4 on 4, usually for play-off and elimination games, you get 5 on 5, strange. Hope they don’t do that for Men if games go to OT

  • Shift_Disturber1

    There were bad calls on both teams in that game.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    Pent_House ingy56  Must be the rules in IIHF. I was thinking it would/should be 5 on 5 for a medal game

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Shift_Disturber1  tough game to officiate. Those ladies all played right on the edge…and over.

  • Shift_Disturber1

    TheCanucksnaphook Shift_Disturber1No doubt. I thought the previous Canada game the opposition was diving and swimming all over the place. Thought it was a soccer game

  • DJBrianBurke

    TheCanucksnaphook Shift_Disturber1This I think we can all agree on.

  • lister

    Murph2417 I’ve just watched part of the first episode of season 1. Is every episode done like The Office with a camera following them around style?

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Pent_House ingy56  I could be wrong, but I think they do go 4 on 4 in mens.