Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Is that the best you could come up with?

It seems that the cool thing to do leading into the game tonight is to criticize Team Canada about how they needed the shoot-out to beat the Swiss and then fell apart against the Americans, with Martin Brodeur taking the brunt of that...

I'm not exactly going to deviate from that, but I'm not going to stick everything on Brodeur's shoulders either...

As a goaltender myself, I know there are some times when you feel it might help out your team by taking a little chance and it ends up biting you in the ass. I have no idea how many times I've tried to do a fancy little move only to have the puck end up in my own net, but one season my team was actually counting on it happening about once a game (I'm not horrible, I make some fantastic saves, but sometimes I would try things that bordered on complete lunacy if we were up by a bunch)...

So I'm going to give Brodeur a bit of a break on this one...

Although I still wouldn't start him tonight or against the Russians tomorrow night...

Actually, I'd probably play Luongo for the first tonight and then stick Marty in when we have a nice little lead...

Or maybe a nice big lead...

No, my biggest problem is with Stevie Y's insistence on grabbing certain guys just because they play (or played) on the same team as certain other guys...

And Scotty and Chris aren't the only pair I'm talking about here...

Actually, I'm going to list the connections (only by position, as in I'm not listing Richards and Pronger together, or Fleury and Crosby) and give them a grade and a blurb explaining it...

Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger (Anaheim and formerly with Anaheim) ~ D+
- These guys played together for years and I'm not sure if that was a part of the reason that Stevie Y and his management team decided to put them both on the roster, but it really shouldn't have been. As I mentioned last post, Scotty looks like he's lost a bit and I really don't think he can play at this level any more (NHL for sure, Olympics, not so much). I don't think I really have to say much about Pronger at all. Sure he's big and plays with an edge, but he might be the only other guy on the ice that's as slow as Joe Thornton...

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook (Chicago) ~ B+
- I was originally against this one, as it was widely reported that one of the biggest things going for Seabrook was that he played with Keith. But Seabrook has been one of the only good surprises on this Canadian team. It would have been an A, but they aren't even being paired with one another in the tournament, so the whole reason they got put on the team together goes right out the window...

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry (Anaheim) ~ B-
- The Corey Perry selection was also one that I was originally a little confused by, but again, there was the connection with a linemate to push him over the edge. And speaking of edge, that's exactly why I'm not too uncomfortable with this pairing selection. Perry has always been an aggressive forechecker, which is one of the reasons I've always kind of hated the guy when he wasn't playing for my team. I just wish the team management had more defined roles for all the players heading into the games, as I think putting these two on a checking line with Bergeron or Richards might be fairly effective. And could really piss off the other team...

Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, and Joe Thornton (San Jose) ~ C
- I know what some of you may be thinking right now, and yes, they have scored a solid chunk of our goals. In the first period. Which is where my biggest problem comes in, and its not really entirely their fault, but they really should not have been getting the lion's share of the ice time late in the game against Switzerland, nor should they when the games are close. When I look at that line, all I see is choker - choker - choker. Just think of every playoff series you've seen these guys play. Or not play, when you think about it, as they tend to disappear. You'd think that Mike Babcock would know this, although, in all fairness, his Red Wings didn't get a chance to put them out last year, as Anaheim did that as an 8 seed (and yes, I know that Heatley didn't play for San Jose last year, but he has a reputation for stinking it up when it counts too)...

Oh yeah, and Joe Thornton is really, really slow...

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