Team Canada: Keith's Edition
Posted 07/03/2009 - 17:49 by HockeyPolls
This is just my take on the 2010 Canadian Olympic roster. Feel free to use the comment board to show me your 2010 lineups.
Roberto Luongo: He is the best goalie in the game today. He will play the majority of the round-robin games and all the elimination rounds.
Martin Brodeur: He is the best goalie to ever play the game. He will play a game or two and be a steadying influence on Luongo, and he brings experience to the table.
Cam Ward: In a short tournament like the Olympics, a goalie that can elevate their game quickly is important. As his Conn Smythe Trophy can attest, he can raise his game when it matters most.
Goaltending should be a strength for Canada. No other team can match their depth, and their talent is All-World
Scott Neidermayer: He is an believable skater and a very smart player with and without the puck. Neidermayer will the leader of the defence for Canada.
Chris Pronger: He's big, mean, talented, and smart. Love him or hate him, Pronger is a brilliant defenceman. He and Neidermayer should be the top pair.
Jay Bouwmeester: An all-around two-way defenceman with great vision, patience, and technique, Bouwmeester will be valuable to Team Canada. He isn't going to smash his way around, but by using his body and his reach, he is a great addition to this team.
Robyn Regehr: It is hard to quantify, but he could be the best shutdown defender in the game. Regehr will quietly and efficiently do a brilliant job and occasionally throw a bone-crunching hit to keep oppositions honest.
Dion Phaneuf: Three teammates making the team is tough, let alone three defencemen, but Phaneuf's grit and offence are both top notch. Plus, with the players ahead of him, he won't be called upon to play against the top lines, freeing him up to make more rushes without sacrificing defence.
Duncan Keith: Brent Seabrook, Brent Burns, and Shea Weber are all capable and deserving, but Keith's game of good decision-making and responsible play would seem to pair up with Phaneuf's game very well. Both are big-bodied young men that will serve Team Canada well for years.
Mike Green: As the seventh defenceman, Green would be used sparingly, most specifically on the power play. The first 30-goal defenceman in years, Green's offensive talent will be welcome.
The defence will be a threat to join the rush on every pairing, and this group is responsible in its own end. While Lidstrom and Chara are both arguably the best in the world, this group should be deeper than any other, one through seven.
Canada has a great problem: Far too many great centers. Those that can play the wing will probably end up there. As well, on the NHL-sized ice, size matters. Bigger players may get the call over smaller counterparts.
Joe Thornton: A big-bodied, smooth-skating center that puts up huge amounts of points without every having capable and consistent wingers, Thornton is a controversial selection to some, but he is too good of a player to leave off the team.
Vincent Lecavalier: Lecavalier is the best goal-scoring center in the NHL, and he is another big body to crash around. Plus, he is a threat every time he is on the ice.
Ryan Getzlaf: He's a young, talented center that can play: Good size, great hands, and a fast skater. Canada will be riding this center for years.
Mike Richards: The shutdown center that everyone needs, Richards can score goals just as well as he can prevent them. This Flyer will be a captain for Canada in the near future.
Center is the strongest position for Canada. As a result, some of the best centers will play wing, and some great centers, such as Marc Savard, have been left off the invite list all together. Anyone of Canada's centers can be compared to the best center on any other country's team.
Rick Nash: Strong, fast, and with a nose for the net, Rick Nash is a premier power forward in the league. One of the top left wingers in the game, Nash is exactly what Canada needs on the NHL-sized ice.
Sidney Crosby: Crosby's talent and vision allow him to make the switch to wing without a significant drop off in production. His offensive prowess and commitment to defence will be a huge boon to Canada, and having two natural centers on a line will allow the center on his line to cheat on faceoffs, knowing if he gets thrown out, Crosby can step in.
Dany Heatley: Heatley is capable of playing both wings and may end up on the right side in order to balance everything out. Because he plays left wing during the regular season, that is where he will be placed on the list. Despite the Edmonton/Ottawa situation, he is one of the most productive scorers today and will be needed in Vancouver.
Shane Doan: Also able to play both wings, Doan's physicality and effective approach to defence see him on a checking line that will still be dangerous offensively. He is a fast and strong forward capable of digging in the corners and making smart decisions.
Left wing will have only one natural left winger along with a center and two hybrid wingers. Despite this, Canada will still be deep and capable of creating offense one through four. None can match the genius that is Oveckin on the wing, but Team Canada's left wingers will more than hold their own on the world stage.
Jarome Iginla: One of the best players in the league over the past 10 years, Iginla is ultimate power forward and one of the best two-way players in the league. "Most Complete Player" is something that gets mentioned with Iginla on a regular basis, and he will be a huge part of the 2010 team.
Martin St. Louis: Despite the small ice, St. Louis is just too fast, too talented, and too hardworking to consider leaving off the team. His familiarity with Lecavalier and his nose for the net are all positives that Team Canada will want on their roster.
Jeff Carter: A natural center, his goal scoring talents and his size (6'3", 200) will hopefully allow Carter to make the transition to the wing easily, and his +23 rating demonstrates his commitment to playing in both ends of the ice.
Milan Lucic: Despite the talent that is still available in camp, Lucic brings something to the table that not many teams bring to the Olympics; he is a shift disturber that can put the puck in the net, and he is a plus player. On international ice surfaces, he would be a liability, but, on NHL ice he is a talent of a different sort and someone this team could use.
Joe Sakic: Sakic might not get plenty of playing time, but his contribution won't be on the ice; it will be in the dressing room. Sakic is one of the most respected players of all time, and if he returns this season, he will be on the team.
Jarome Iginla, Sidney Crosby, and Scott Niedermayer will be the letters. Niedermayer or Iginla will be captain. Sakic may not be a letter because he may not be on the ice. His role on the team will still be a leadership role, as it doesn't take a letter to make a leader.
This is my offseason team. As the season gets underway, things may change. What does your team look like; what roles do your players fit?