Thursday, February 18, 2010

I've said it before....

I will say it again, Joe Thornton should never be involved in any game that's important. He doesn't have it in him to raise his game, or even maintain it. It's something when a player like Glen Metropolit or Travis Moen whiffs on a basically empty net, they're not 1st-line superstars, they're 4th-line grinders for the most part. Joe Thornton's supposed to be one of the great sensations of the NHL, but has failed to be a force in International Play or the Stanley Cup Playoffs in his entire career.

What really bothered me about Team Canada's PP?: They had Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, all San Jose players, all who have done many power plays together this season and most of the time they couldn't execute. 4 regular teammates, the Olympics and besides the Marleau goal, a whole lot of nothing.

Sidney Crosby took until the the Shootout to justify himself as a top player for Canada, most of the game he did not exactly put on a show against a Swiss team that should have been easy considering he plays in the NHL and is in a race with Alexander Ovechkin for the Rocket Richard Trophy and has an Art Ross trophy on his shelf. Rick Nash had some strong play but he was often by himself it seemed and made some mental mistakes.

Ryan Getzlaf, what he showed against Edmonton before he shipped out for the Olympics was quite absent for the most part and he showed little chemistry with fellow Duck Corey Perry, despite the two being teammates of Jonas Hiller and should very well know after many team practices how to beat him. Eric Staal seemed to be in a fog the entire night.

Chris Pronger showed why he shouldn't be on the team, old and a very angry player, he was completely out of position for 2nd Swiss goal when he went for a retaliation hit rather than play his position. Niedermayer showed his age as well, no glaring bad plays but age has taken a toll on him and prevents him from playing as well as he used to.

Patrice Bergeron must have some relatives at Hockey Canada as besides being a good faceoff man, failed to demonstrate why he was selected ahead of Steven Stamkos, Jeff Carter, Martin St. Louis and other notable Canadian forwards.

Mike Green should have made this team, the combined efforts of Weber, Pronger, Niedermayer, Doughty and Boyle on the PP produced exactly one goal when Weber's rebound became a Marleau goal. Most of the time, they missed the net completely when taking point shots and these are supposed to be elite NHL defencemen with PP qualities? Irritating as hell.

Okay I'm angry, but this is a team Canada should have pounded with little effort, lack of energy and focus from many players and reliance upon 3 players on the San Jose line that are notoriously unreliable in big pressure games would have been disastrous against Russia, Sweden or Finland.

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have to be 1st unit penalty kill from now, they know how to play it and they are natural partners from Chicago, they know where the other is going to be almost like the Sedins do and have been the lynchpin of Chicago's defensive success all season. They need to be used where they will be most effective and a coordinated penalty kill is going to be massive in an unforgiving Olympic Tournament.

I sound mad but when you have this kind of talent on your team, you really should get better results. They're not missing half of their best scorers due to injury and even if they were, that still puts them head and shoulders above most of the competition. It was a lack of will to win that made this so close and nearly a disaster.

The Americans are next and they are vulnerable, their depth is not strong and their defence is ripe for picking by an aggressive squad of elite talents, Canada should be able to steamroll them and if they can't, they only have themselves to blame.

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