2014 Team Canada
By Adam Vickers, Sports Editor
A couple of weeks ago, the roster for Team Canada was announced for the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. There are a large number of names that were not included on the roster as well as a few that some may argue should not be on the Team.
In goal, there was little doubt that Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, and Mike Smith would be named to the Team. Luongo will likely start coming into the Olympics, but whether he will stay there is up to Coach Babcock and the performance of Luongo during the early parts of the tournament.
Up front are offensive powerhouses Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, and Jonathan Teows. Stamkos is arguably the best goal scorer in the NHL, rivalled only by Alex Ovechkin of Russia. Stamkos is questionable leading up to the Olympics because of his broken leg, but, if healthy, Stamkos could be a huge part of Team Canada. Sidney Crosby needs no introduction as he will captain Team Canada and most likely be their best player. Crosby is a consistent play-maker who can break a game wide open with his offence finesse and talent. With Crosby and Stamkos playing together, we could possibly see one of the best one-two punches in the history of hockey. Crosby is likely to set up Stamkos throughout the tournament.
On defence, Team Canada features some Norris Trophy winners in PK Subban and Duncan Keith, Subban is always a threat offensively when he gets the puck, so look for him to play a big role in the power play. Keith is an all around threat, able to shut down the best players in the world as well as put points on the board. He has won a Stanley Cup and a gold medal already, which makes him an important veteran to the team. Needless to say, this team has players that can all make plays; a few notables not mentioned are Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, and John Tavares who rival the best players on both Team Canada and in the world.
Canada is the clear favourite on paper, heading into Sochi with an unrivalled record throughout the world. A few names left off the list that could be on the team would easily make it on international teams; this list includes Claude Giroux and Martin St.Louis. Claude Giroux has been one of the top scorers in the league for the past three years, rivalling players like Crosby, Stamkos, Ovechkin, and the Sedins. Both Giroux and St.Louis are great Canadian players, but could not find a fit on Team Canada, but in the event of a player being injured or unable to play these two would likely be the first people Yzerman and company turn to.
Canada expects nothing less than gold at the next Olympics. Canada is a 2-1 favourite; to win gold at Sochi will be the only thing Team Canada will be happy with.