Since tomorrow’s noon announcement is something that a slew of Canadians are anxiously awaiting, I figured I’d throw out my own suggestions for the Canadian roster.
At the goaltending position, there aren’t any surprises here. However, I have noticed a bit of a recurring pizza theme. The Canadian team will not only feature the Sean Avery described fatty and Delissio eating Martin Brodeur but it should also have Roberto Luongo, who met his wife at her family’s Miama located Pizza restaurant and Marc Andre Fleury, a guy who once handed out pizza to Pittsburgh students as part of some Penguins promotional thing. For those Canadians who may have some reservations about Fleury, listen to this testimony from one of the students who received pizza from Fleury, “Awesome dude, free pizza! Marc-Andre Fleury gave it to me over this car. Marc-Andre Fleury kicks butt.”
On the blueline, I think the first five selections of Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Shea Weber, Duncan Keith and Jay Bouwmeester are locks based on their experience and or their ability to play at both ends of the ice. So that leaves the sixth spot and the extra defenceman as vacant spots that need to be filled by some combination from this pool of candidates — Mike Green, Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty and Brent Seabrooke. I would not envision that Yzerman would select two similar defenceman in Green and Boyle to fill the remaining two spots so that means that one of those two is out and that the extra spot will go to either Seabrooke or Doughty. Because of the contrast in style, my money is on Seabrooke and Boyle selections.
At forward, two lines are already set and established: Nash – Crosby – Iginla and Marleau – Thornton – Heatley. With Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry likely occupying the third line center and right-wing positions and Mike Richards likely centering the fourth line, there are four wing positions that need to be filled. By now, I’m sure you have all heard about Team Canada Brass’ infatuation with Martin St. Louis’ energy and enthusiasm. He’s thought to be a sparkplug kind of player so I’ll assume that he’s in. Ditto for Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry because they’re both nails and can be paired up to form the basis an intriguing third line. Now, with a third and a fourth line wing spot are available, this is where things can get a bit dicey. If this were Gretzky managed club, players like Ryan Smyth and Shane Doan would have been selected before Crosby. With Yzerman in control, he may shy away from Team Canada stalwarts who are a little long in the tooth and instead make some unconventional picks. Like selecting Eric Staal for example. He hasn’t exactly had a healthy season, but now he’s a big bodied forward who can play physical and be pretty damn productive. Just last night he had a 5-point effort against the Eastern Conference leading Capitals. If he’s healthy, how do you not take him?
Jonathan Toews, you’re getting my extra forward slot. You’re talented, you’re young, you have the shootout gimmick thing going for you. Enjoy the experience.
So that leaves the final wing spot…who would I take? Do I do the bleeding heart thing and reward Mike Fisher for his ridiculous season thus far? It wouldn’t be the most ridiculous thing that I have ever proposed as a hockey fan. I’m the same guy who wrote his first elementary school speech on how the modern Ottawa Senators came into existence but wasted the bulk of my alotted speech time talking about how Sylvain Turgeon was slighted by the NHL for not being a Senators representative in the 1993 All-Star Game in Montreal.
Sadly for Senators fans, I don’t think Fish will make the cut. Instead, I see one of Brenden Morrow, Jeff Carter, Vinny Lecavalier or Patrick Sharp getting the nod instead. People can laud Fisher’s physical nature and the attributes that he’d bring to the team’s penalty kill but with others like Marleau, Richards, Getzlaf and etc., Canada will be fine.
Even though he started the season slowly, Vincent Lecavalier has played better in recent weeks. If he’s playing like his old self, how do you select an inferior player like Morrow or Carter or Fisher? The answer…you can’t and that’s why he’s in.
Here are my lines:
Nash – Crosby – Iginla
Marleau – Thornton – Heatley
Staal – Getzlaf – Perry
Lecavalier – M. Richards – St. Louis
Niedermayer – Pronger
Bouwmeester – Weber
Keith – Boyle