2014 Pt.3

 

Probably will do this one, and then one more during the holidays right before they announce the team.  I see other people do these and I just don’t get what they’re thinking.  Then I see people who have inside knowledge doing these projections, and I have no idea what the brass is thinking.  Like Kunitz being on the team just because of Sid.  LEARN YOUR LESSONS!!!

 

2010 WJC team, they took the Windsor line of Hall, Henrique, and Greg Nemisz just because they had chemistry.  By the end of the tournament that line wasn’t together.  2010 Olympic team they take Seabrook mainly because they have Keith.  They also take the “Sharks” line of Marleau, Thornton, and Heatley.  By the gold medal game, Seabrook was stapled to the bench, and the Shark line was broke up.  It doesn’t work!!!  It is a brand new team, no matter what lines you take.  New coaches, new teammates, new system, it is all new!

 

Now that doesn’t mean it can’t be a tie breaker between 2 players.  Then I have no problem with it, but Nemisz, Seabrook, Thornton all shouldn’t have been on those teams over other guys, yet they were just because they played with other players.  And don’t say “well they won”.  Just because you win doesn’t mean you did it all right.  And just because you lose doesn’t mean you do it all wrong.  Look at things objectively.  I REALLY hope they do this time around but who knows.

 

Now, here are the links to the first 2 teams I had.  First one is from last November, the second one is from July:

 

http://soupsonhockey.com/2012/11/12/2014/

http://soupsonhockey.com/2013/07/29/2014-pt-2/

 

Obviously I didn’t know when I did those 2 that they would have 2 extra roster spots.  That will make picking the team a little easier, but still nearly impossible.  But here we go, I’ll give it another shot and I’m sure you will let me know how dumb I am:

 

John Tavares – Sidney Crosby – *Steven Stamkos

Matt Duchene – Jonathan Toews – Rick Nash

Eric Staal – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry

Mike Richards – Patrice Bergeron – Brad Marchand

Martin St.Louis, Logan Couture

 

Sorry Oiler fans, no Taylor Hall.  Sorry Bruins fans, no Milan Lucic.  Sorry Flyers fans, Giroux has just been too bad to start this season.  Sorry Pens fans, Kunitz gets taken off Sid’s line and he becomes a liability.  Now, I have the star next to Stamkos.  IF he can’t go, then I do believe Giroux will be on the team.  RH shot who can play the wing or the middle.  Add to that, I would expect Giroux to start heating up before January 1st.  He only has 2 goals right now, but the Flyers have got their act together the last few weeks.

 

A new change that I have (there are quite a few), Duchene replacing Hall.  Similar guys, I give the edge to Duchene because of the better start and the ability to play centre or wing (going with the Canadian spelling of centre for this peice).  Also, Ryan Getzlaf, despite the foot speed being a concern for me is on this roster.  Again I’ll state, you won’t find a bigger Getzlaf fan than me, but this tournament is at another level of speed.  Then you add in that it’s on the big ice and it could be a problem for Getzlaf.  However, if it is, than I have Logan Couture to slide into that spot (or Stamkos, or Tavares, or Duchene, or Staal, or Richards…).

 

Rick Nash is now on the team.  I wouldn’t take him, I’ve seen the guy come up small in big moments too many times and centre’s have problems playing with him.  But I think they’ll take him.  I believe they just get infactuated with the size, speed and skill that he brings to the table, and they believe he’ll be able to recapture the chemsitry he had with Toews from 2010.  Me personally, I would have Patrick Sharp on the team over him who is more versatile, experienced, and clutch.

 

And finally, I still have Brad Marchand.  I don’t know if the brass will see it the way I do, but I just think he is too unique of a player to pass up.  The best pest in the game, and is as clutch as anyone in hockey.  He is such a huge asset to have on your side, you just have to take this kid.

 

As for those not on the list….I wouldn’t have any issue at all if Mike Richards or Ryan Getzlaf was left off for Andrew Ladd.  I’m just such a huge fan of Ladd.  Size, grit, good skater, will do whatever his team needs to win.  Jamie Benn falls into that same category.  Not as good of a skater as Ladd, but so strong and nearly impossible to knock off the puck.  And if I wouldn’t have an issue with those 2, than I obviously don’t have an issue if Lucic makes this team.  I just don’t think they’ll take him though.  I think the issue will be that he’s too physical for IIHF officiating, and there for won’t be able to get comfortable and play his game.  Skating is an issue, but not a big issue for him.

 

Let’s move on to the D-men.  I haven’t budged much on this.  I feel the top 6 is set, but that’s just me.  1 guy in this top 6 may fall out, but I don’t think so.  The good news for so many guys who were passed over last time though is that we now have that 1 extra spot.  So here we go.

 

Duncan Keith – Shea Weber

Marc Staal – Drew Doughty

Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo

Kris Letang – Dan Boyle

 

So a few things I’m sure standout here.  No P.K. Subban….I just think he is too high risk of a guy.  Norris trophy is great, but let’s be honest here, the Norris trophy is basically awarded to the best offensive defenceman (Canadian spelling again!) not the best defenceman.  Me personally, I would take Subban over Letang because that one timer on the PP is just too lethal for me to pass up.  Also, he is a spark plug.  He can make that big hit that can change a game.  But I don’t think they’ll take him.

 

Another guy who is getting a lot of love from the media right now is Marc-Edouard Vlasic.  I just don’t see it.  He is the one guy who might knock Marc Staal out of the top 6, but I just like Staal better.  VERY similar d-men, Staal has more size.  That’s about it.  I also feel like Vlasic has looked solid on a great team, while Staal has looked solid on teams that were just ok.  I wouldn’t have an issue with Vlasic going in ahead of Letang, I’m not a big Letang fan at all (you don’t want Subban because he’s high risk yet you’ll take Letang?)

 

On the first team that I did last season, I had Mark Giordano and got crushed for it.  He won’t now that he’s hurt, but he was making a run at it prior to that!  Hate the Flames all you want, the guy is a top pairing LH shot d-man and this country simply doesn’t have many of them.

 

Some people will clamour for Brent Seabrook to be on the team.  I wouldn’t have an issue with him being there at all, but he has 2 things working against him.  Lots of RH shot d-men, and lots of D who are better skaters.  He’s not a bad skater, but this country has a lot of high end guys who are better skaters.  Also, I mentioned this in one of the other 2014 team peices, I’m not sure Mike Babcock is a big fan of his game.

 

I think that covers the D, so as always we finish up with the netminding.  A big change at the top for me this time around, and 1 of my 3 has changed.

 

Roberto Luongo

Carey Price

Mike Smith

 

First off, Luongo.  He doesn’t HAVE to be the starter because he won gold last time.  4 years ago people.  4 years ago, Mark Sanchez the franchise QB for the NY Jets.  THINGS CHANGE!  Having said that, Luongo is earning that starting job.  He did nothing but not lose the gold medal, but he did nothing to win it for us.  But with the way he is playing so far this season, I would feel very comfortable with him starting.

 

Price is finally bumped to backup, but I’m a big Price guy and would feel just as comfortable with him in net.  I’ve said this before, if Price were from another country most Canadians would be saying “if only we had him…”  Yet in this country, we bitch and moan about our goaltending simply because we aren’t dominant in net.

 

Finally the 3rd goalie and frankly while I picked Mike Smith, I simply have no clue.  I hate Mike Smith on this team.  Again, it’s all that system he plays behind.  I would STILL pick Cam Ward because as I’ve gone over before he has proven himself to be as clutch as anyone in the game.  But he hasn’t had a big game in over 4 years now, and is just now coming back off of injury so I think his chances are shot.

 

Marc-Andre Fleury, as much as some of you may hate it, has played his way back into the discussion.  He hasn’t been solid, he’s been the best of the Canadian goaltenders this season.  But I just don’t think they can trust him if it ever came down to needing him to step in.

 

I would be a big fan at this point if they took Braden Holtby.  Of course I have a bias with him being a Lloyd kid (Marshall) and his folks being such good people.  But more so then that, he’s looked great in 2 playoffs now.  Technically sound, smooth in net, he’s a lot like Price both in style and demeanour.

 

And finally, a lot of people would be outraged if this were the case I’m sure, but if Jonathan Bernier were to go on a bit of a hot streak in the month of December I could see him playing his way in there.  Very unlikely I know, but I think it is possible.  Then again, I’m a bigger Bernier fan than most.  For most people, they would see it as Eastern bias, Leaf bias, on and on and on.  You have to block that out and look at things objectively and if you do that you’ll see that Jonathan Bernier is one of the best young goaltenders in the game.  I put him in the same class as Holtby.

 

So there is version 3 of Team Canada.  Don’t be afraid to let me know what you think, unless of course it’s bad then I don’t want to hear about it because you’re an idiot and I know everything about everything!  Obviously….

 

Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups

 

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