Well, i was sitting here, thinking about what i could write for a blog, and this came to mind. So here goes.
Well, when we take a look at the potential 2010 olympics team, I have to put 4 centres in there right now. Sidney Crosby, Vincent Lecailvier, Jarome Iginla, and Joe Sakic. Now, the first 3 are basic guarantees, and if Sakic can stay healthy, he will be the "Mario Lemieux" of the 2002 Olympics for 2010. A few others that I would have to put in there right now would be: Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Simon Gagne, Ryan Smyth and Brad Richards. That leaves 1 spot for the last starting forward. Here are a couple names I threw in there for that final spot. Kris Draper, Eric Staal, Shane Doan, Jordan Staal, Marc Savard, Todd Bertuzzi, Johnathon Toews, Patrick Kane and Mike Cammelieri. Now, i personally would take 2 more, and have one extra. I would take Eric Staal and Shane Doan to fill those spots. Doan has played and captained for Canada before in World Championships and such, while Staal was a reserve on the 2006 team, so he should be poised to make it this time around. So, with these 13 forwards, these are some lines that I, as the coaching staff might consider:
Crosby, Heatley, Nash
Thornton (A), St. Louis, Gagne
Sakic (C), Smyth, Lecaivlier (A)
Iginla (A), Richards, Doan / Staal
* (C) - Captain, (A) - Assistant
I believe that that top line would be able to score with any line any other team could make, and would create chances every time they are on the ice. I think that the second line is also a scoring line, with two pure goal scorers with St. Louis and Gagne, and a playmaker in Joe Thornton who is among some of the best puck movers in the world. The third line I would call my "checking" line, as it is the grittiest on the team. But don't get me wrong, that line would also be able to score with a veteran who has been there, done that in Sakic and a premier point getter in the NHL with Lecailvier. Also, Smyth causes alot of havic for goalies and creates alot of scoring chances. The fourth line would also be somewhat of a gritty line who can also score with big shots from Iginla, the playmaking ability of Richards, scoring ability of Staal, and hard-work and tenacity of Doan.
On to defensemen, I again think that there are some I would put in as locks to make the team. Dion Phaneuf, Chris Pronger, Dan Boyle and Brian Campbell are the 4 that I put in for sure. I would then look for 3 more solid defencemen, and I again would take an extra. Names like Wade Redden, Jay Boumeester, Chris Phillips, Eric Brewer, Robyn Regher, Brian McCabe, Ed Jovanoski. Now, I would then probably take Boumeester, Redden and Regher. This is mainly due to experience, as Boumeester, being on a Panthers team that hasen't made the playoffs in 8 years, as played on many World Championship teams. Redden and Regher also have experience, and Redden provides some offense, along side a solid defensive defensemen in Regher. Here is what my pairings would look like:
Pronger (A), Boyle
Redden, Regher, Bouwmeester
The top pair, provides a balance between grit and offense as both can score and Phaneuf is known as one of the best hitters in the game. The second pairing is somewhat of the same thing, with Boyle bringing some offensive punch and Pronger bringing the physical punch. The third pair is "veterans" of Team Canada who know what its like to be there, and will be ready
Now, goalies. Again, i got a couple lock in's for the 1 and 2 spots on the team. Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo have to be there, they are over and beyond the best two goaltenders in the world. Who I would start would be a tough decision. I would give them both time, but ultimately go with Brodeur most likely, because he has been too and won an Olympic and is one of the best of All-Time. Now, for the third goaltender, I somewhat narrowed it down to 2 choices. Marty Turco or J.S Giguere. This would be basically a coin toss, but I'd go with Turco for the same reason I've been going with other players. EXPERIENCE, i think that that it is crucial for any team that wants to win, and he could help in the locker room and at practice. So here is how my goaltender depth chart would look:
Now, on to reserves. I would get 1 forward, 1 defensemen and 1 goalie. Well, the goalie is obvious, as i would take J.S. Giguere without a question. For the defensemen, i would acually probably have 2 ready in Jovanoski and McCabe as they both can be an asset to the team. For forwards, my spare would be, without a doubt, Kris Draper. EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, GRIT, FACEOFFS, EXPERIENCE!
On too powerplays and such. I would probably make somewhat of balanced lines. The first line would look like this:
Crosby, Heatley, Nash
So this is basically just the first line. They offensive prowess is unconceivable and the defensemen back there can really shoot the puck and get it in the net. I also think that Campbell is huge on a powerplay because of his hands and just general offensive hockey sense. Now, on to my second line, this is what it would look like
Lecaivlier, St.Louis, Smyth
Now, I put Lecailvier and St. Louis together due to there obvious chemistry together in Tampa Bay, and there ability to score at any time. Smyth is put in there for one reason, and one reason only, and thats to create hell for there goaltender. He sits in front of the net and doesn't move and is a very valuable asset on any powerplay. On the point, I have Boyle for his "offensesive defencemen" skills, and Iginla is back there for that cannon of a shot.
Another thing that i would have to do is the penalty kill. Well, to start things off, here would be my top penalty-killing unit.
Doan, St. Louis
Doan is one of the most hardest working players I have ever watched, and is perfect for the penatly-kill and would be huge to have on it. St. Louis is put on there because of his obvious speed and quickness, and his lack of fear to get in those corners with the bigger guys and come out with the puck, On defense, I came up with the hardest hitting, must punishing pair I could find and that was Phaneuf and Pronger. Here is unit 2:
Well, Smyth is here because of his fearlessness and his grit and tenacity. Thornton is here because of the fact I feel he is one of the best thinkers, and smartest players in the NHL and is great at anticipating plays as there happening. Bouwmeester has been known as a penalty-killing specialist, and Campbell is quick on his feet and smart, two assets that really help a penalty kill.
One more thing that I am going to think about is my shootout lineup. Here it is:
1. Dany Heatley
2. Sidney Crosby
3. Martin St. Louis
4. Joe Sakic
5. Rick Nash
Sakic is here mainly for his quick release, and his wrist shot is among the best in the game. Heatley and St. Louis are just pure goal scorers and I think they would thrive in this situation. Crosby and Nash are where they are just for there creativity and ability to think about what there going to do, and execute it as its happening