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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Canadian Team Crushes Gold Medal Hopes

Team Canada was scoreless 11 out of 12 periods in their last 4 games. Gretzky thought this team was better because they didn't have put centerman like Lemieux or Yzerman on the wing. But with players like Staal and Crosby left off the team while Ovechkin scored the key goal for Russia- Canadians are infuriated that Gretzky left off young players who could have made a difference.

Here's the foursome of players I am blaming:

1. Jay Bouwmeester

Tough defenseman was well suited for NHL-size rinks. But on Olympic ice surface and with the loss of Canada's two fastest defenseman to injury (Niedermayer and Jovanovski), Canada needed speed to generate offense from the point. Speedier defensemen like Brewer, Boyle, or even Phaneuf should have been chosen instead.

2. Todd Betuzzi

Canada wasn't scoring. But Pat Quinn still put him on the ice more than other player. Eric Staal is one of the league's leading scorers and unlike Bertuzzi he delivers on his potential.

3. Shane Doan

Like Betuzzi and Iginla, Doan is also a power forward. On a european ice surface speed is more important. Doan did well on a smaller ice surface during the world cup but this is the Olympics. A better winger might have been Alex Tanguay who would have gelled with Joe Sakic.
4. Kris Draper

Two years he scored 20 goals and that was considered a success. Draper seemed out of place and couldn't help when Canada's talented players were struggling to score. A better player to play on the fourth line would be Martin Gelinas who can check and also play on the first line if he has too.

Canada was too experienced and didn't fill holes (speed) with inexperienced players. All of the players had the experience and were confident in their abilities. Canada was like an NHL team that loads up on veterans before the playoff deadline. Rental players are useful as fourth-liners and not much because they rarely gell with the rest of the team. Just like the Toronto Maple Leafs who have never won the cup with that formula and who was Canada's coach. Russia took a chance on Ovechkin and Sweden selected Lunquvist as their goalie. They took a chance on youth and Canada didn't. The results tell the story.

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