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2014 - Canada Roster Discussion (Part IV)

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02-27-2013, 05:48 PM
  #876
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I also disagree these players aren't valuable in international play. The US junior team beat Canada because Canada played like a disorganized all star team while the US team had players who knew their roles and fit the place. I will gladly hear your better options.
When I look at Wayne Simmonds in a Team Canada context, I automatically think "4th line RW". Myself, and some others on here, are hoping and believing that the current iteration of Hockey Canada, led by Yzerman doesn't see players, or the roster that way. There are roughly 30 forwards of very high-quality that you could make a case for on Team Canada. Are you going to go with someone like Simmonds who, frankly speaking, doesn't have the skillset to mesh with someone like Crosby or Stamkos at the Olympic level and is basically only fit for 4th line duty, or someone like Rick Nash, who can play either wing position on any of the four forward lines and has excelled in both defensive and offensive roles for us in the past? Or Tyler Seguin, a guy with amazing speed and talent who already plays a very well-rounded game, has chemistry with a defensive stalwart in Bergeron, has been through the trials of a long Cup-winning run, and has excelled on the international ice surface?

To me the choice is clear - you go with your best players, and players with that level of talent can fill any role that they are asked to - rather than try to assign players to roster spots. Obviously we're not going to ask Stamkos to kill penalties, but you get the idea. What you described obviously worked well for the American junior team this past Christmas, but remember that these are junior-aged players, and systems and roles/responsibilities work better for players at that level, IMHO.

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02-27-2013, 06:13 PM
  #877
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From what I've heard (as I'm sure others have also heard), Kane has quite the attitude on him which I'm not sure would mesh well in a Team Canada context and with some of the veteran players who will be on the team. Obviously a hugely-talented player, and he's playing really well this year, but there may be a bit more risk than reward with him. I still personally have Hall and Benn on my team over Kane at LW.
I read those things about Kane, but I also read that he's perfectly fine. I don't see him as being any more concerning than Seguin, who has his own supposed issues. Kane's KHL play was quite bad, but I actually liked him at the WC last year and he brings a nice package of size, speed and is a natural winger. I hope that he is at least invited to the summer camp.

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I also disagree these players aren't valuable in international play. The US junior team beat Canada because Canada played like a disorganized all star team while the US team had players who knew their roles and fit the place. I will gladly hear your better options.
No doubt Canada played as you said, but it was an issue that pervaded even the loaded first line, which has nothing to do with the guys on the fourth line. I'm also hoping that Yzerman doesn't make his decisions for the 2014 Olympics based on the 2013 WJC, and instead looks at the 2010 team that he picked.

Your Marchand pick is surprising but reasonable, as he's having a very strong year and has proven chemistry with Bergeron. Schenn and Simmonds are completely pointless picks though. If you want someone to do what Schenn does, why not just pick a superior player in Couture who is similar? Benn does everything Schenn does and much more. Simmonds is behind countless players who could bring some solid all-around wing play on the fourth line. That kind of thinking leads to Zamuner type selections.

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02-27-2013, 06:31 PM
  #878
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[QUOTE=JackSlater;60602721]I read those things about Kane, but I also read that he's perfectly fine. I don't see him as being any more concerning than Seguin, who has his own supposed issues. Kane's KHL play was quite bad, but I actually liked him at the WC last year and he brings a nice package of size, speed and is a natural winger. I hope that he is at least invited to the summer camp.[QUOTE]

Yes, a summer camp invite is probably in order, but my radar goes off when I see pictures of the guy throwing wads of cash around in Las Vegas, and hear the TSN announcers (who generally tend to shine a pretty favourable light on Canadian NHL teams/players) allude to problems in the Winnipeg dressing room. I guess personally I would tend to gravitate more towards guys like Hall, Benn, Seguin or Duchene that offer similar skillsets in one form or another but don't come with any (perceived) baggage.

That said, Mike Richards made the 2010 team despite pictures floating around the internet of him and Carter wasted in Philly nightclubs, and speculation of issues existing between him and Pronger. All stuff for people with more knowledge than you and I to evaluate, I guess.

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02-27-2013, 06:38 PM
  #879
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Originally Posted by 86Habs View Post
When I look at Wayne Simmonds in a Team Canada context, I automatically think "4th line RW". Myself, and some others on here, are hoping and believing that the current iteration of Hockey Canada, led by Yzerman doesn't see players, or the roster that way. There are roughly 30 forwards of very high-quality that you could make a case for on Team Canada. Are you going to go with someone like Simmonds who, frankly speaking, doesn't have the skillset to mesh with someone like Crosby or Stamkos at the Olympic level and is basically only fit for 4th line duty, or someone like Rick Nash, who can play either wing position on any of the four forward lines and has excelled in both defensive and offensive roles for us in the past? Or Tyler Seguin, a guy with amazing speed and talent who already plays a very well-rounded game, has chemistry with a defensive stalwart in Bergeron, has been through the trials of a long Cup-winning run, and has excelled on the international ice surface?

To me the choice is clear - you go with your best players, and players with that level of talent can fill any role that they are asked to - rather than try to assign players to roster spots. Obviously we're not going to ask Stamkos to kill penalties, but you get the idea. What you described obviously worked well for the American junior team this past Christmas, but remember that these are junior-aged players, and systems and roles/responsibilities work better for players at that level, IMHO.

It also worked well for the US Olympic hockey team in 2010. They took players like Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan over players like Jason Pominville or Tim Connolly. The US still scored 3.33 goals per game. Having role players who know and accept their positions isn't just a junior thing.

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02-27-2013, 06:41 PM
  #880
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
I read those things about Kane, but I also read that he's perfectly fine. I don't see him as being any more concerning than Seguin, who has his own supposed issues. Kane's KHL play was quite bad, but I actually liked him at the WC last year and he brings a nice package of size, speed and is a natural winger. I hope that he is at least invited to the summer camp.



No doubt Canada played as you said, but it was an issue that pervaded even the loaded first line, which has nothing to do with the guys on the fourth line. I'm also hoping that Yzerman doesn't make his decisions for the 2014 Olympics based on the 2013 WJC, and instead looks at the 2010 team that he picked.

Your Marchand pick is surprising but reasonable, as he's having a very strong year and has proven chemistry with Bergeron. Schenn and Simmonds are completely pointless picks though. If you want someone to do what Schenn does, why not just pick a superior player in Couture who is similar? Benn does everything Schenn does and much more. Simmonds is behind countless players who could bring some solid all-around wing play on the fourth line. That kind of thinking leads to Zamuner type selections.

I would pick Couture over Schenn, except that Schenn is having a much better season than Couture this year. Schenn 17 points, starting in his own defensive zone most of the time, while Couture has only 13.

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02-27-2013, 06:54 PM
  #881
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
It also worked well for the US Olympic hockey team in 2010. They took players like Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan over players like Jason Pominville or Tim Connolly. The US still scored 3.33 goals per game. Having role players who know and accept their positions isn't just a junior thing.
That's not exactly a downgrade though, is it? I mean, Pominville probably would have looked good on your roster regardless, but Connolly? I think any knowledgeable manager would take Drury over him.

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02-27-2013, 07:05 PM
  #882
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That's not exactly a downgrade though, is it? I mean, Pominville probably would have looked good on your roster regardless, but Connolly? I think any knowledgeable manager would take Drury over him.
Not in 2010. Connolly was the 5th leading American scorer in the NHL that season. He had 65 points that year. Drury had 32 points and there was genuine outrage that he was on the team.

Anyway, I'm not going to argue anymore about those two guys for Canada. I knew they would be controversial picks and there's no need to go on for five pages about them.

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02-27-2013, 07:27 PM
  #883
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Not in 2010. Connolly was the 5th leading American scorer in the NHL that season. He had 65 points that year. Drury had 32 points and there was genuine outrage that he was on the team.

Anyway, I'm not going to argue anymore about those two guys for Canada. I knew they would be controversial picks and there's no need to go on for five pages about them.
Fair enough. With Brian Burke as your GM I'm not sure why anyone would expect someone like Connolly to be on the team, anyway. But to align your thinking with Canada's situation, and to sum up, its kind of similar to a debate between Ribeiro, who'll give the Caps 80 (pro-rated) points this year (but never gets mentioned for Team Canada) vs. Bergeron, who'll give the Bruins 20 fewer points but Selke caliber play. We'll take Bergeron any day of the week. So while he's a "role player", in the context of Team Canada, a 4th line center who'll take key faceoffs and kill penalties, he's a damned good player and if we get hit with injuries he could easily skate alongside Crosby or Stamkos.

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02-27-2013, 07:59 PM
  #884
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I would pick Couture over Schenn, except that Schenn is having a much better season than Couture this year. Schenn 17 points, starting in his own defensive zone most of the time, while Couture has only 13.
I'm not willing to give Schenn too much credit until he plays well for at least a whole season. Couture is only one of several who do what Schenn does, and can do it at a higher level.

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It also worked well for the US Olympic hockey team in 2010. They took players like Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan over players like Jason Pominville or Tim Connolly. The US still scored 3.33 goals per game. Having role players who know and accept their positions isn't just a junior thing.
USA picked the proper roster given the available players. Pominville (particularly in 2010) and Connolly were nothing special. The option to roll out all kinds of scoring threats just wasn't there. Schenn or Simmonds come at the expense of far superior players. Canada has a history of taking far inferior players due to over thinking things, and it usually leads to trouble. 2010 is one of the few times that they just picked the best team, with only slight tweaks due to ice size.

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02-28-2013, 04:14 AM
  #885
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I gotta agree with you. I wouldn't want either player on the team if I were Canadian other than the fact that 3 minutes and all ye are fallen may be the greatest line ever.


I've got

Nash----Stamkos----Tavares
Neal------Crosby------Giroux
Sharp-----Toews-------E Staal
Marchand--Bergeron--Simmonds
B. Schenn


Stamkos, Crosby and Giroux are basically obvious picks. Elite playemakers and scorers, the only question I have is whether Stamkos or Tavares play wing? I like Stamkos' skating so I'm keeping him there. I like Nash, Neal and Staal because they are big bodies who skate well and can score. Even though Neal doesn't play with Crosby on a line, as teammates you can hope to replace some of that chemistry that Canada used well in 2010 with Marleau-Thornton, Perry/Getzlaf line combos.

With Sharp, Toews, Marchand and Bergeron you get the two top penalty killing cores in the NHL right now, plus offensively talented players. Brayden Schenn probably seems like an odd choice but the guy can play wing or center, he can score, he can kill penalties and he seems like the perfect final forward. Wayne Simmonds probably makes some people go but I like his game. He can skate, he plays hard ever shift and has some underrated skill.
In the words of the great Sheldon Cooper "I hope you are being deliberately provocative!" I got to give you a C- for that attempt in explaining string theory as it applies to the universe of Team Canada.

Some of your line combinations are questionable as well, but not a big deal. I haven't really fixed on a 4th.line LW just yet, it goes back and forth from a few players depending on who's hot and who's not. But I have Bergeron in the middle and Seguin on RW. I put the front runners as Sharp, great skater and responsible, Benn or J.Staal. as my 3rd line is E. Staal-Towes -Nash a sort of redoing of the 2010 Richards Towes Nash line and if E Staal doesn't do it on that line, then he moves down w Bergeron and Seguin and Sharp moves up to play with Towes. That was my idea.

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02-28-2013, 08:17 AM
  #886
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Originally Posted by Xokkeu View Post
Not in 2010. Connolly was the 5th leading American scorer in the NHL that season. He had 65 points that year. Drury had 32 points and there was genuine outrage that he was on the team.

Anyway, I'm not going to argue anymore about those two guys for Canada. I knew they would be controversial picks and there's no need to go on for five pages about them.
This. There was a huge uproar about Drury too as that was the year of the colossal criticism he received in regards to his contract. Burke did a good job of taking those factors out of it and just build the right team as evidence of Jamie Langebrunner and Brian Rafalski being integral pieces and the truth is all three of them played well.

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02-28-2013, 10:20 AM
  #887
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Lol, calgary radio talking about jaybo making the team. Get real.

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02-28-2013, 11:09 AM
  #888
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Lol, calgary radio talking about jaybo making the team. Get real.
I'm not a big fan of Bouwmeester, but he has shown himself effective on the European ice surface at past WHC because of his skating. In Torino 2006, Bouwmeester wasn't the problem on defense, whereas less mobile defensemen like McCabe, Foote, and even Pronger struggled. He is also having a quietly solid season in Calgary from all accounts.

Should he continue his strong play, I would have no problem with Bouwmeester as 6th/7th defenseman.

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02-28-2013, 11:23 AM
  #889
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Thank you. I expected disagreement and appreciate discussing the merits of alternatives. I'd like to hear your better options.

I also disagree these players aren't valuable in international play. The US junior team beat Canada because Canada played like a disorganized all star team while the US team had players who knew their roles and fit the place. I will gladly hear your better options.
discussing the merits of having schenn or simmonds on team canada is the same as discussing the merits of me being on the team. it ain't never ever going to happen for a good reason. They aren't not even close. They will never be ever considered for a training camp spot.

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02-28-2013, 11:45 AM
  #890
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In the words of the great Sheldon Cooper "I hope you are being deliberately provocative!" I got to give you a C- for that attempt in explaining string theory as it applies to the universe of Team Canada.

Some of your line combinations are questionable as well, but not a big deal. I haven't really fixed on a 4th.line LW just yet, it goes back and forth from a few players depending on who's hot and who's not. But I have Bergeron in the middle and Seguin on RW. I put the front runners as Sharp, great skater and responsible, Benn or J.Staal. as my 3rd line is E. Staal-Towes -Nash a sort of redoing of the 2010 Richards Towes Nash line and if E Staal doesn't do it on that line, then he moves down w Bergeron and Seguin and Sharp moves up to play with Towes. That was my idea.


Perhaps I'm too conditioned being a US fan to look to build a team with players fitting specific roles.

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02-28-2013, 12:11 PM
  #891
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I'm not a big fan of Bouwmeester, but he has shown himself effective on the European ice surface at past WHC because of his skating. In Torino 2006, Bouwmeester wasn't the problem on defense, whereas less mobile defensemen like McCabe, Foote, and even Pronger struggled. He is also having a quietly solid season in Calgary from all accounts.

Should he continue his strong play, I would have no problem with Bouwmeester as 6th/7th defenseman.
On international ice Bouwmeester is a decent option. Great skater, good size (though not physical) and some quality international experience. Also, being a left handed shot is valuable for Canada. His recent lack of offence isn't really an issue since he would likely be paired with someone like Letang.

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02-28-2013, 12:41 PM
  #892
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Perhaps I'm too conditioned being a US fan to look to build a team with players fitting specific roles.
Perhaps, but I tend to stick to Stevie Y's philosophy in that you shouldn't have too many players playing outside their positions especially if they are not experienced at doing it on the highest levels. For example, in my book, E Staal is a center who can play LW. That's it. E. Staal with his revived play is a good fit on the left side with Bergeron and a good 2nd face-off man for d-zone draws should Bergeron get tossed from the circle. He's a much better option there on that line now than other options out there as some suggest Richards Towes and Nash just because they were awesome in 2010. That argument always drives me bonkers.

Where I had Bergeron on the 3rd. line I meant Towes. (I think you understood what I meant, but just for the sake of clarification.) Bergeron is my 4th line center.


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02-28-2013, 12:51 PM
  #893
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Perhaps I'm too conditioned being a US fan to look to build a team with players fitting specific roles.
well it looks like either you're a flyers fan and only watch that team play and have an elevated sense of how good schenn and simmonds are, or worse, you watch the rest of the league play and still think schenn and simmonds are good enough to be on team Canada.

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02-28-2013, 12:58 PM
  #894
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Perhaps, but I tend to stick to Stevie Y's philosophy in that you shouldn't have too many players playing outside their positions especially if they are not experienced at doing it on the highest levels. For example, in my book, E Staal is a center who can play LW. That's it. E. Staal with his revived play is a good fit on the left side with Bergeron and a good 2nd face-off man for d-zone draws should Bergeron get tossed from the circle. He's a much better option there on that line now than other options out there as some suggest Richards Towes and Nash just because they were awesome in 2010. That argument always drives me bonkers.
I seem to remember Eric Staal being a right winger in spurts for Carolina last season or two no?

I completely agree that you don't want to move players out of roles they are comfortable with. That's why I wouldn't take guys like Ribeiro, who is an offense only type guy, because he wouldn't fit on the bottom lines and you have better guys like Stamkos and Crosby to fill those roles.

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02-28-2013, 01:04 PM
  #895
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Perhaps I'm too conditioned being a US fan to look to build a team with players fitting specific roles.
Yeah, you just summed up 2 pages of discussion right there, LOL. We Canadians used to see the exact same thing happen (i.e., Zamuner in '98, Draper/Doan in '06), but I believe we turned a corner in 2010.

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02-28-2013, 01:06 PM
  #896
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I seem to remember Eric Staal being a right winger in spurts for Carolina last season or two no?

I completely agree that you don't want to move players out of roles they are comfortable with. That's why I wouldn't take guys like Ribeiro, who is an offense only type guy, because he wouldn't fit on the bottom lines and you have better guys like Stamkos and Crosby to fill those roles.
In spurts, he can switch off with the RW as he shoots left. I wasn't aware of him lining up in Carolina anywhere but C or LW except for set plays on a PP. And for the record I'm a big Staal family fan. I hope all 3 brothers make the team, because I think that would be cool. But Jordan and Marc are in tough.


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02-28-2013, 01:14 PM
  #897
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Perhaps, but I tend to stick to Stevie Y's philosophy in that you shouldn't have too many players playing outside their positions especially if they are not experienced at doing it on the highest levels. For example, in my book, E Staal is a center who can play LW. That's it. E. Staal with his revived play is a good fit on the left side with Bergeron and a good 2nd face-off man for d-zone draws should Bergeron get tossed from the circle. He's a much better option there on that line now than other options out there as some suggest Richards Towes and Nash just because they were awesome in 2010. That argument always drives me bonkers.
Richards is a question for sure. But he's the type of player I definitely want to be on team Canada. I'm not saying he should be on the team right now, but if not, then you should give the spot to a similiar player - Sharp might be a good fit, since he's a pretty solid two-way player, he is a versatile player and also familiar with Toews. Or you can go with Taylor Hall, J.Staal... you know, someone who can play hard, an energy player. I would consider even Hartnell, Iginla, Burrows or E. Kane for that role. Right now, I'd probably go with Hall or Sharp.

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02-28-2013, 01:16 PM
  #898
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Richards is a question for sure. But he's the type of player I definitely want to be on team Canada. I'm not saying he should be on the team right now, but if not, then you should give the spot to a similiar player - Sharp might be a good fit, since he's a pretty solid two-way player, he is a versatile player and also familiar with Toews. Or you can go with Taylor Hall, J.Staal... you know, someone who can play hard, an energy player. I would consider even Hartnell, Iginla, Burrows or E. Kane for that role. Right now, I'd probably go with Hall or Sharp.
Ah man, you're killing me with Borrows and Iginla... killing me.

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02-28-2013, 01:41 PM
  #899
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Richards is a question for sure. But he's the type of player I definitely want to be on team Canada. I'm not saying he should be on the team right now, but if not, then you should give the spot to a similiar player - Sharp might be a good fit, since he's a pretty solid two-way player, he is a versatile player and also familiar with Toews. Or you can go with Taylor Hall, J.Staal... you know, someone who can play hard, an energy player. I would consider even Hartnell, Iginla, Burrows or E. Kane for that role. Right now, I'd probably go with Hall or Sharp.
What made Richards and Nash flanking Toews effective in 2010 was their dogged puck pursuit and ability to win puck battles on the back check. That line tore apart the vaunted Ovechkin-Malkin-Semin line. Those Russian stars tended to start moving laterally as they his the neutral zone and the Toews line pressured Ovy and Malkin specifically right as the Canadian defense stood them up near the blue line, creating turnover after turnover. Two key goals, Canada-Russia (3-0) and Canada-USA (1-0), were created solely by Toews and Richards ability to strip opponents of the puck.

Speed and puck pursuit on the back check will be just as critical in Sochi 2014. Toews and Nash remain world class players in that regard, and if Richards still has it a year from now (I don't watch him much these days) then put him on that line. If not, go with a player that can enable them to replicate their Olympic performance from 2010.

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02-28-2013, 03:06 PM
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In spurts, he can switch off with the RW as he shoots left. I wasn't aware of him lining up in Carolina anywhere but C or LW except for set plays on a PP. And for the record I'm a big Staal family fan. I hope all 3 brothers make the team, because I think that would be cool. But Jordan and Marc are in tough.
I could have sworn he was playing right wing, but if I'm honest I didn't pay super close attention as I was usually watching Faulk and McBain.

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