THE TEAM....

Jason Gregor
January 07 2014 10:34AM

Canada finally announced their 2014 roster for the Sochi Olympics, and without a doubt the biggest surprise is Claude Giroux not making the team.

There are eleven returning players on the 25-man roster, but in my eyes Rick Nash continues to be the most overrated player in the NHL. Nash has had one 70-point season, and since the 2010 Olympics he has scored 185 points in 228 games, 25th most amongst Canadian-born players. In that same time span Marty St.Louis has scored the most points, 271, while Giroux is third with 255.

Nash has only two goals in 16 NHL playoff games, but Hockey Canada seems to put more onus on the fact he has played well at the water-downed World Championships.

Nash did play okay at the last Olympics, but how much of that was because he was on Toews line, and Toews was the best player in the tournament.

Nash has 18 points in 27 games this year. No one can say he is playing well, or close to the level of Claude Giroux, but Hockey Canada choose him because he's played for them before. I guess Giroux should not play crappier in the NHL so his team could miss the playoffs and he can pad his stats at the World Championships.

Here is the roster, returning players have **.

Goalies:

  • Roberto Luongo**
  • Carey Price
  • Mike Smith

Defence:

  • Jay Bouwmeester
  • Drew Doughty**
  • Dan Hamuis
  • Duncan Keith**
  • Alex Pietrangelo
  • PK Subban
  • Marc-Edouard Vlasic
  • Shea Weber**

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
  • John Tavares
  • Jonathan Toews**

I still believe Canada is the favourite, because of the blueline and their top-six forwards; Crosby, Tavares, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Perry and Toews.

It will be an awesome tournament and I can't wait to watch, but picking Nash over Giroux makes little sense. Essentially they are basing it on seven good games that happened four years ago. Horrible decision.

Which decision surpised you?

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Rockmorton65
January 07 2014, 10:37AM
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What? None of the Oiler's "gods" made the team? Must be an oversight. Lol.

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#2 piscera.infada
January 07 2014, 10:39AM
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I agree with you on Nash. I don't get it. At all. That said, I think if Couture doesn't break his hand (or whatever), he probably takes that spot on the team, not Giroux - just my opinion though.

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#3 Rockmorton65
January 07 2014, 10:43AM
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Seriously, looks like a solid team. Canada always seems to get the right mix of players who have been there before, and first timers. My surprises include no Giroux and Jeff Carter. I haven't seen much of Carter the past couple years, I just remember a while ago when he was supposedly untradeable. I really like our D.

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#4 piscera.infada
January 07 2014, 10:47AM
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@Rockmorton65

I like the D too. Although, I don't feel the love for Vlasic - maybe someone could open my eyes, he's just never a guy I really notice.

I don't mind Carter, straight to the net kind of player with an amazing shot. He's fairly quick, and solid on his skates.

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#5 Vancityleaffan
January 07 2014, 10:48AM
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I also think picking Nash was very strange. I also get that they wanted to keep an equal amount of right and left Dmen, but taking Hamuis is silly. He's not event the best Canadian on the Nucks, never mind the NHL

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#6 Bertly83
January 07 2014, 10:53AM
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#canadianbacon

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#7 Unknown Comic
January 07 2014, 10:57AM
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Seeing Kevin Lowe amongst that management team was like seeing Kate Upton with a jagged scar across her face.

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#8 leafer2013
January 07 2014, 11:02AM
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Phaneuf should have made this team. The guys gets punished for playing on a crap team and terrible coach.

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#9 Colin.S
January 07 2014, 11:10AM
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Was Crosby not gonna go if Kunitz didn't get to go or something? I don't get it, I'd take Giroux 10/10 times before Kunitz.

Agreed on the Rick Nash front as well, you don't get to go to the Olympics cause you played some world Championships sometimes, or you were good this one time 4 years ago.

As well lastly, why is Hamuis there?

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#10 Kurt
January 07 2014, 11:11AM
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@Rockmorton65

Exactly zero players the age of the Oilers "gods" made it, so don't get too excited.

Remember when we traded JBo for spare parts. Good riddance JFeaster.

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#11 Dave
January 07 2014, 11:16AM
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Nash really surprises me. Carter is also a surprise however I don't mind that pick. I love Marleau on the team.

I predict that Jamie Benn will have an outstanding Olympics.

I'm mostly curious what our special teams looks like. I'm not concerned about Power play but Penalty Kill will be interesting. Which of these forwards play a lot of PK on their NHL teams?

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#12 SmellOfVictory
January 07 2014, 11:25AM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

What? None of the Oiler's "gods" made the team? Must be an oversight. Lol.

Honestly, I think Hall should've made the team. I think he's better than Marleau, and Kunitz is only there because Crosby is. He might not be a defensive stalwart, but he's Olympic calibre.

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#13 Kevin R
January 07 2014, 11:45AM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Honestly, I think Hall should've made the team. I think he's better than Marleau, and Kunitz is only there because Crosby is. He might not be a defensive stalwart, but he's Olympic calibre.

I agree, I think Hall should have been there as well. Mind blowing Hudler didn't get picked.

Too bad we couldn't enter 2 teams. Like have a pre Olympic round robin for Countries wanting to place 2 teams & have these 2nd teams go at it & allow the top 2 to be eligible. Would love to see Canada win Gold & Silver :)

Yeah I know, dream on.

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#14 jeremywilhelm
January 07 2014, 11:48AM
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No Hall and no St. Louis. Fail.

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#15 Colin.S
January 07 2014, 11:50AM
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Dave wrote:

Nash really surprises me. Carter is also a surprise however I don't mind that pick. I love Marleau on the team.

I predict that Jamie Benn will have an outstanding Olympics.

I'm mostly curious what our special teams looks like. I'm not concerned about Power play but Penalty Kill will be interesting. Which of these forwards play a lot of PK on their NHL teams?

I think Getzlaf, Toews, Nash, Carter and Bergeron will be the forwards that get the most PK time on this team. You MIGHT see Perry get a bit as well if they are running very short PK shifts and such. But our PK will be fine mostly because of our D.

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#16 Colin.S
January 07 2014, 11:52AM
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Kevin R wrote:

I agree, I think Hall should have been there as well. Mind blowing Hudler didn't get picked.

Too bad we couldn't enter 2 teams. Like have a pre Olympic round robin for Countries wanting to place 2 teams & have these 2nd teams go at it & allow the top 2 to be eligible. Would love to see Canada win Gold & Silver :)

Yeah I know, dream on.

A line of Couture - J. Thorton - St. Louis is pretty close to first line on any other team in the tournament. I as well would like to see Canada's B team in this tournament, they'd probably have a good chance at bronze.

You could have a second line of Hall - Seguin - Giroux, a third line of Eberle - Staal - Steen as well.

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#17 piscera.infada
January 07 2014, 11:53AM
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@SmellOfVictory

I agree with you that Hall is Olympic calibre in terms of offensive prowess, but I would argue Marleau brings more to the team than Hall does just in terms of all-around play and experience. I mean, short tournament, you err on the side of caution. Marleau is, after all, having a pretty damn good year - in addition to having a pretty damn good year last year.

I'm not sold on the Kunitz thing either, but I prepared myself for that one a long time ago.

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#18 Baalzamon
January 07 2014, 11:55AM
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piscera.infada wrote:

I like the D too. Although, I don't feel the love for Vlasic - maybe someone could open my eyes, he's just never a guy I really notice.

I don't mind Carter, straight to the net kind of player with an amazing shot. He's fairly quick, and solid on his skates.

Vlasic is one of the more underrated players in the league. He's like Oliver Ekman-Larsson with just slightly less wow factor.

To put it another way, Vlasic is the 3rd best possession player on the Sharks, and he does that with 47% zone starts and playing against the second toughest comp among defensemen (behind Justin Braun, who I'm assuming must be his defense partner since their underlyings are so close).

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#19 Baalzamon
January 07 2014, 11:58AM
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Interesting side-note about Vlasic--he was drafted in the 2nd round, with the pick the Sharks acquired from Calgary for Miikka Kiprusoff (who was, at the time, their third string goalie). Pretty good trade for both teams, no?

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#20 GeezMoney
January 07 2014, 12:05PM
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LOL. Crying over spilled Hall.

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#21 piscera.infada
January 07 2014, 12:06PM
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@Baalzamon

Right on, good to know. All I've heard about Vlasic are the painfully obvious and overused pickle references.

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#22 Rockmorton65
January 07 2014, 12:10PM
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Unknown Comic wrote:

Seeing Kevin Lowe amongst that management team was like seeing Kate Upton with a jagged scar across her face.

Kate Upton has a face?!?...oh wait, there it is...lol.

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#23 Baalzamon
January 07 2014, 12:13PM
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@piscera.infada

Ugh I know, aren't they terrible? I feel like there should be a player named Gherkin just to balance it out.

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#24 G_R_R
January 07 2014, 12:33PM
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I'd prefer to see St Louis and Giroux over Nash and Marleau....

I'm not a fan of Bouwmeester either, Though I understand why he's on the team. But I'd prefer Seabrook.

On paper they look like favourites. But honestly, given Canada's track ecord on international ice, a Bronze medal would be a victory.

I think Sweden are the heavy favourites. Russia is stacked offensively and super-motivated, but have holes in the back-end and in goal ( not to mention lack depth). The US is always dangerous, and Finland always seems to find a way.

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#25 Cam Thornton
January 07 2014, 12:39PM
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"Chris Kunitz is only there because of Crosby"

That seriously has to be the most overused comment I've seen when deciding whether he should go or not. Kunitz actually had his greatest season (excluding this year) when Crosby was injured and was playing along Malkin and Neal. That year, both players had 50/41 goals, respectively. He was the glue to that line, and being from Pittsburgh and watching every game, he was the key to that lines success. Kunitz also played with the Ducks before he came to Pittsburgh, in which he put up 50/60 point seasons.

In many interviews with Crosby, when he mentions Kunitz, he says he knows where he's gonna be, which is why some of Crosby's amazing passes that he didn't even look before he made at that much better. He knows where Kunitz is gonna be which is the whole "chemistry" thing that people through around.

Sure, you could make a line of Stamkos-Crosby-Duchene or whatever, but that gives them so little time to actually get to know how each other plays and where they tend to be. Just putting all the best players on a line is a recipe for success in the long hall, but not in such a short time that the Olympics is

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#26 Baalzamon
January 07 2014, 12:42PM
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@Colin.S

Steen is Swedish...

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#27 Willi P
January 07 2014, 12:42PM
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leafer2013 wrote:

Phaneuf should have made this team. The guys gets punished for playing on a crap team and terrible coach.

Dion wouldn't have made a Canada "B" team if they picked one. He has been declining ever since his second year in the league.

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#28 Willi P
January 07 2014, 12:48PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

I agree with you that Hall is Olympic calibre in terms of offensive prowess, but I would argue Marleau brings more to the team than Hall does just in terms of all-around play and experience. I mean, short tournament, you err on the side of caution. Marleau is, after all, having a pretty damn good year - in addition to having a pretty damn good year last year.

I'm not sold on the Kunitz thing either, but I prepared myself for that one a long time ago.

This^^^

Also Taylor is a little too immature when things don't go his way and too much of a puck Hallg at times.

Kunitz, and Hamuis are questionable. The Nash thing is a complete and utter joke.

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#29 prendrefeu
January 07 2014, 01:17PM
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PK made the cut. I'm stoked on that, he's a beast of a defender, and I look forward to watching him adjust his energy for the international game.

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#30 prendrefeu
January 07 2014, 01:18PM
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@Willi P

I believe it's "The Dion" not "Dion"

Reference source: The Dion Phaneuf

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#31 the-wolf
January 07 2014, 01:37PM
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Nash on there is a joke. Hockey Canada blows it again. Same with Carter. I'll take Joe Thornton over Carter.

No St. Louis - what else does the guy have to do? And on the big ice too, just plain stupid, no other way to put it. Completely idiotic. Hockey Canada - morons, all of them.

Replace Carter and Nash with Giroux and St. Louis.....but wait! Why would you want the NHL leading point-getter from last season or 4 seasons combined who can skate like the wind and has more heart and desire than almost anyone?

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#32 Back in Black
January 07 2014, 01:58PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Honestly, I think Hall should've made the team. I think he's better than Marleau, and Kunitz is only there because Crosby is. He might not be a defensive stalwart, but he's Olympic calibre.

Hall gets left off because last time they left Stamkos off and won.

And yes, I know that makes no sense.

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#33 negrilcowboy
January 07 2014, 02:05PM
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its pretty hard to argue against this braintrusts decision. the fringe picks such as carter,nash and marleau upfront all have impressive resumes, on the backend vlasic and hamhuis are solid solid nhlers. the goalies are sound as well. sure seguin,couture, and seabrook made great bar room discussion. and lastly how can any hockey fan argue that dion or the dion should be on this club.

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#34 CutterMcAwesome
January 07 2014, 02:28PM
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It's all good. This is an absolutely lights out team. Sure we can whine and moan all we want that this guy should have made it over this guy. Whatever, it speaks to the overall strength of canadian hockey, and to be honest with you, thats our first win. Now lets take this home with the Gold.

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#35 Bean-counting cowboy
January 07 2014, 02:30PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Nash on there is a joke. Hockey Canada blows it again. Same with Carter. I'll take Joe Thornton over Carter.

No St. Louis - what else does the guy have to do? And on the big ice too, just plain stupid, no other way to put it. Completely idiotic. Hockey Canada - morons, all of them.

Replace Carter and Nash with Giroux and St. Louis.....but wait! Why would you want the NHL leading point-getter from last season or 4 seasons combined who can skate like the wind and has more heart and desire than almost anyone?

Not to mention the fact that St. Louis would have instant chemistry with Stamkos (who will be ready, mark my words)

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#36 negrilcowboy
January 07 2014, 02:34PM
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@Bean-counting cowboy

stammer and johnny t have messed in the past. my nephew attended a summer tryout camp years ago that featured stamkos,taveres, pietro and doughty . from what i was told the 2 together were amazing to watch.

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#37 Cam Thornton
January 07 2014, 02:41PM
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@Bean-counting cowboy

Do you believe they would play Stamkos "with" St. Louis though? It seems pretty solid that Stamkos is gonna be with Crosby, which leaves open that last wing spot. If it came down to MSL and Kunitz, they're gonna give it to Kunitz based on his success with Crosby. Having a line with MSL-Crosby-Stamkos, you'd be feeding more off the chemistry between Stamkos and MSL, where I really think they'd want Crosby to be setting the passes (if that makes sense, it does in my mind, but I may be wrong)

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#38 Bean-counting cowboy
January 07 2014, 03:14PM
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@Cam Thornton

That's true. I suppose it would have given them a different option to mix things up if they weren't working. If Stamkos isn't meshing with Crosby & Kunitz, put him on a line with St. Louis.

Or maybe put them out on the power play together as a 2nd unit. I Just really don't like Nash on this team.

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#39 Purple Hazze
January 07 2014, 03:15PM
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@G_R_R

After their top 4 fwds the Russian team looks horrible. They have an aging Markov on D followed by no one, and their bottom 6 is filled with KHL players who could never crack the NHL.

Sweden is definitely the team to beat, they're just too good on the bigger ice.

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#40 Chad
January 07 2014, 03:40PM
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Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash and Jeff Carter are the surprises to me. Looks like they went for a size/speed combination for the last few spots as Carter and Nash at 6'4 are just bigger than Richards, Giroux and St. Louis.

I do like taking team mates instead of just an All Star Team hope we do better this time on international ice than we did in Turin.

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#41 Flames15
January 07 2014, 04:02PM
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Really don't like the fact St.Louis did not make this team. Had a stellar season last year, and has still kept it up this year. IMO, I would prefer seeing St. Louis rather than Benn. Regardless, Crosby will win us gold again. GO CANADA GO!

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#42 Joey Congi
January 07 2014, 04:51PM
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Why is Vlasic and Hamhuis on the team instead of Seabrook and shall i say Phaneuf. Vlasic has 4 goals, 16 pts and a +12 rating, Hamhuis has 4 goals, 13 pts and a +12 rating, Seabrook has 5 goals 31 pts and a +22 rating, Phaneuf has 4 goals, 17 pts and a +12 rating, how do they take Vlasic and Hamhuis over Seabrook and Phaneuf?

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#43 Lemming
January 07 2014, 05:19PM
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@Chad

At the end of the day, I agree with the sentiment that I'm more worried about their ability to play on the big ice, like in Turin, than about the team.

Sure, Nash is an oversight, and it should probably be a spot given to Giroux or St. Louis, especially since their speed will be better for the larger and more open ice anyway.

But I don't think the team will win or lose based on taking Nash.

As for the defense, anyone who has a problem with Vlasic or Hamhuis has never seen or followed either player in their life.

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#44 SVENSANITY
January 07 2014, 05:24PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Honestly, I think Hall should've made the team. I think he's better than Marleau, and Kunitz is only there because Crosby is. He might not be a defensive stalwart, but he's Olympic calibre.

Are you trolling?

Seriously, Marleau plays the toughest competition out of anyone on Canada and I bet out of almost anyone in the NHL. He also has one of the lower OZONE starts even lower than Bergeron against tougher competition than Bergeron and he scores more points than Bergeron. That's a huge tell of what Marleau brings to this team. He deserves to be there probably more than a lot of the selections (Cough Nash Cough). To have an inexperienced, reckless player like Hall on that team no thanks.

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#45 prendrefeu
January 07 2014, 05:29PM
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I think Vlasic's defense is crisp and salty, there's a certain dill to it.

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#46 Lemming
January 07 2014, 05:38PM
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@prendrefeu

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

...I don't get it.

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#47 prendrefeu
January 07 2014, 05:40PM
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(http://www.vlasic.com)

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#48 Lemming
January 07 2014, 05:56PM
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@prendrefeu

I actually did get it, I was joking.

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#49 RKD
January 07 2014, 07:12PM
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Nash is an enigma, he's probably not the same player he was 4 years ago. I guess Hockey Canada wants a big guy to stand in front of the net and be hard to knock off the puck. Even though Gregor points out Nash only had one 70 point season. Last season, during the lockout he was nearly a point per game producer, and was a ppg guy in 05/06. This season on the Rangers he looks like a very marginal player plus the injury this year didn't help. Carter may have a great offensive flair but you need some guys like Richards to kill penalties and play that shutdown role. Also, if Kunitz didn't have the chemistry with Crosby he did this year I don't think he would be on the team. Even if he has won two Stanley Cup. What would happen if Crosby got injured? Could Kunitz do the same?

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#50 Greg
January 07 2014, 08:25PM
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Joey Congi wrote:

Why is Vlasic and Hamhuis on the team instead of Seabrook and shall i say Phaneuf. Vlasic has 4 goals, 16 pts and a +12 rating, Hamhuis has 4 goals, 13 pts and a +12 rating, Seabrook has 5 goals 31 pts and a +22 rating, Phaneuf has 4 goals, 17 pts and a +12 rating, how do they take Vlasic and Hamhuis over Seabrook and Phaneuf?

Hamuis is there because he's a left D. Seabrook is a right D so taking him would have left Canada with 5RD and only 3LD.

He does make me a bit nervous though. I would have preferred Giordano. He's not a "sexy" pick but if something goes wrong with the D pairings during the tournament, I would trust him to capably plug any hole they needed. Not sure Hamuis is as dependable that way.

But hey, at least they didn't take Dion. Cause Dion sucks! (I noticed that's all you have to say to get props :)

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