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*** CANADA VS. NORWAY: GAME THREAD ***, Thursday February 13th, 2014, 12:00PM - CBC


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#1 ToddLeafsFan

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:01 PM

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hockey_canada_logo_small5.png   VS  NorwayHockeyFederation.jpg

 

Thursday February 13th, 2014 12:00PM - CBC

 

Canada's men's hockey team 'ready to play' as they prepare to take on Norway

Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press

Published Wednesday, February 12, 2014 11:08AM EST 

 

SOCHI, Russia -- Months of preparation boiled down to 56 minutes.

 

That's how long Team Canada practised Wednesday in its final full workout before starting the Olympic hockey tournament. Coach Mike Babcock wouldn't traditionally want his players on the ice that long, but with Thursday's opener against Norway approaching, every minute was precious.

 

"I don't like to waste their time, but we have to get organized," Babcock said. "Our game plan is really simple. We've got to get everyone to get on a simple (mind-set) so they don't think. We don't want players thinking, we want them playing."

 

"It's been a long time waiting since the team got named," defenceman Drew Doughty said. "We're ready to play. There's no excuses now."Finally Team Canada and its roster full of all-stars will play a game, and not a moment too soon for the players.

 

There actually could be plenty of excuses, given that flights from North America only landed Monday. Players from each of Canada's first three opponents -- Norway, Austria and Finland -- began practising in Sochi well before that and are already adjusted to the time zone.

 

Hockey Canada has advised players how to handle it. Chicago Blackhawks teammates and athletes village roommates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp have been listening.

 

"(Monday) was a long day, stayed up for I'm not sure how many hours but almost a full day and a half, two days," Sharp said. "That was the recommendation. ... I'm anticipating by the time we play Thursday, we'll be all feeling pretty good."

 

But will they be playing well? Babcock has said on numerous occasions that his team will be a "work in progress" at these Olympics, a product of throwing together players from 16 different NHL teams and hoping they jell right away.

 

One way Babcock hoped to ease the adjustment was by keeping teammates together. Sidney Crosby is with Chris Kunitz at even strength and on the power play, while Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and Toews and Patrick Sharp are linemates and Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo defensive partners.

 

Babcock also reunited Toews and Rick Nash, who enjoyed success together four years ago when Canada won gold at the Vancouver Olympics.

 

"It's very comfort zone, but we've got to go out there and do something with that experience," Toews said.

 

That's the point Team Canada was at on the eve of facing Norway: enough with the talk because from now on everyone will be measured by results. The debate about who will start in goal is over, as Carey Price gets the opener and Roberto Luongo is set to face Austria on Friday, and that's just one of countless story lines that developed.

 

But Babcock isn't fazed by the hype.

 

"In the media this is what you do, you get paid to build it up," he said. "I get paid to get ready."

So that's what Babcock did this week, from a light nighttime skate several hours after arriving in Sochi through Wednesday's energetic, up-tempo session. He has noticed his team progress, even over these few days.

 

"I've seen organizational improvements," Babcock said. "I don't know if you know, those players are pretty good. The puck sails around pretty good."

 

In order to win at this level, Team Canada must do more than sail the puck around the wider, international-sized ice. So the coaching staff drilled them on five-on-five play, neutral zone machinations and special teams.

 

"We've gone through a lot of technical, a lot of systems stuff in the last few days and I think we're just excited to make it work and go out there and play and just let things happen," Toews said. "It doesn't matter who we play, we need to be ready to bring our best game."

 

The best way to bring that game, in Babcock's eyes, is to be detail-oriented in practice. With Claude Julien, Ken Hitchcock, Lindy Ruff and Ralph Krueger splitting up responsibilities, things on the ice happen precisely and they happen quickly.

 

That's exactly how these stars like it.

 

"The closer you can get to the game, I think the best it is just to try and feel what those legs are going to feel like," Toews said. "I think everyone's going to have that adrenaline pumping, a little energy that'll take care of that. But it's good to get out there and moving at a fast pace because we know it's going to be a fast game out there."

 

Especially against Norway, a strong skating team that has just one NHL player in Mats Zuccarello. Krueger, a consultant to the coaching staff, has watched the Norwegian national team play and passed that information along to Babcock and Co.

 

"They're an aggressive team, they play real well and real hard," Babcock said. "They're going to give us a handful. They're used to this ice, we're not. We'll get adjusted over time. But we have to grow our game, and it's not about them, it's about us. I'd be saying that no matter who we play."

 

That, more than anything, sums up Team Canada's approach this week. Studying Norway is all well and good, but it has to take a backseat to players getting to know each other.

 

"It's mostly just us right now," Doughty said. "We haven't been practising together, obviously, all year."

 

How this group will be remembered will be determined a lot by how quickly the players become a functional team. A few practices only represent the beginning of that process, which will continue throughout the tournament.

 

Because of that, Babcock's work in shaping Team Canada is, indeed, a work in progress and will be over the coming days.

 

"Let's just get better each and every day and let's be the best we can every shift on the ice, and you never know what shift's going to turn the game, so the one you're in's the most important, so play," Babcock said. "Let's get playing, let's find out if we're any good."

 


syimeq296j3vkqm9g28t.jpeg

 

 

 

Team Canada's expected lineup for Feb. 13 game vs. Norway:

 

Forward lines

 

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Jeff Carter

 

Patrick Sharp - Jonathan Toews - Rick Nash

 

Patrick Marleau - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

 

Jamie Benn - John Tavares - Patrice Bergeron

 

Thirteenth forward: Marty St. Louis

 

Defensive pairs

 

Duncan Keith - Shea Weber

 

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Drew Doughty

 

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

 

Seventh defenceman: Dan Hamhuis

 

Goalies

 

Carey Price - Roberto Luongo

 

 

Scratches: Matt Duchene, P.K. Subban

 

1gocanada2014_jpg.jpg



#2 ToddLeafsFan

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:15 PM

Mods, please pin and place in "Hockey Universe" when the thread is finished...

 

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#3 Russell_23

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:25 PM

Now thats a line up that would look pretty good in Leafs Jerseys!!!

 

But its still a Maple Leaf on the chest.....

 

GOLD for mens and womens Hockey!!!!!

 

 

Good idea doing a GDT for the Olympic Hockey.....

 

Nicely done TODD



#4 ToddLeafsFan

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:29 PM

Now thats a line up that would look pretty good in Leafs Jerseys!!!

 

But its still a Maple Leaf on the chest.....

 

GOLD for mens and womens Hockey!!!!!

 

 

Good idea doing a GDT for the Olympic Hockey.....

 

Nicely done TODD

Thanks for the support Russ!



#5 AceAndThenSome

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:35 PM

Nicely done TODD

 

Agreed! Nice work Todd!

 

Feel like doing one for team USA too? :P


"I'm from Toronto originally, but everywhere I went people were terrified by my disfigurement. I have to wear this bag on my head because I'm hideously ugly. Had to move here to the United States. Here, people don't think I look ugly! They just think I look Canadian!"- Ugly Bob


#6 jamason

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:41 PM

Now thats a line up that would look pretty good in Leafs Jerseys!!!

 

True, but I think the $165M is just a bit over the cap. :(

 

And they aren't all from Ontario! :lol:



#7 Maplers

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:51 PM

Duchesne not in the lineup? awww that kind of sucks..  was hoping he'd get in there.. wonder what the Habs fans think of Subban not in the lineup...



#8 Maplers

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:51 PM

ha ha ha An Art Ross Trophy winner is the thirteenth forward and a Norris Trophy winner is sitting in the press box... only in Canada.



#9 ToddLeafsFan

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:53 PM

ha ha ha An Art Ross Trophy winner is the thirteenth forward and a Norris Trophy winner is sitting in the press box... only in Canada.

Makes you wonder just how deep our talent pool really is... ;)



#10 ToddLeafsFan

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:54 PM

Agreed! Nice work Todd!

 

Feel like doing one for team USA too? :P

Leafs or no Leafs, they're not my team in this tournament.  Sorry... ;)



#11 Maplers

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:56 PM

Makes you wonder just how deep our talent pool really is... ;)

well I think a lot of it has to do with coach preference.  It strikes me that none of the coaching staff is enamoured with St. Louis or Subban which kind of surprises me.  St. Louis is the kind of player you want on the ice when you are down by a goal and need a score in the dying minutes of the game and I'm sure a lot of coaches would have put Subban in their top 6... Looks like the team is preaching defense first, which isn't a bad thing.



#12 AceAndThenSome

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:59 PM

Leafs or no Leafs, they're not my team in this tournament.  Sorry... ;)

 

Sure me either, Canada for gold definitely.

 

I am curious to see how Kessel and JVR get on though! I can't not watch the games as a result xD


"I'm from Toronto originally, but everywhere I went people were terrified by my disfigurement. I have to wear this bag on my head because I'm hideously ugly. Had to move here to the United States. Here, people don't think I look ugly! They just think I look Canadian!"- Ugly Bob


#13 ToddLeafsFan

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:00 PM

well I think a lot of it has to do with coach preference.  It strikes me that none of the coaching staff is enamoured with St. Louis or Subban which kind of surprises me.  St. Louis is the kind of player you want on the ice when you are down by a goal and need a score in the dying minutes of the game and I'm sure a lot of coaches would have put Subban in their top 6... Looks like the team is preaching defense first, which isn't a bad thing.

Not at all considering the ice surface.  Nice to have them there though to sub in if needed.

 

They are dressing St. Louis which is a good thing.



#14 ToddLeafsFan

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:01 PM

Sure me either, Canada for gold definitely.

 

I am curious to see how Kessel and JVR get on though! I can't not watch the games as a result xD

Oh I'll be watching when I can too, for sure!



#15 Maplers

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:02 PM

Not at all considering the ice surface.  Nice to have them there though to sub in if needed.

 

They are dressing St. Louis which is a good thing.

How good of a skater is Subban?  Cause we know St. Louis and Duchesne are fast.... and we saw how speed kills on that ice from the game today with Canada and the USA... Canada won but they had stretches there where they had a hard time containing the US..



#16 HiDef

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:06 PM

How good of a skater is Subban?  Cause we know St. Louis and Duchesne are fast.... and we saw how speed kills on that ice from the game today with Canada and the USA... Canada won but they had stretches there where they had a hard time containing the US..

 

Just another example of how all of us will never all agree with a coaches decision.



#17 Seer

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:07 PM

norway-hockey-590x429.jpg

 

Norway's "Possible" Lines  

 

Skroder - Thoresen - Zuccarello (*only present NHL player)

M. Olimb - Bastiansen - K.A. Olimb
Roymark - Forsberg - Holtet
Dahlstrom - Hansen - Olsen

 

Tollefsen - Trygg
Bonsaksen - Holos
Solberg - Odegaard

 

Haugen

Volden

 

*FULL NORWAY ROSTER --> http://www.nhl.com/ice/olympicroster.htm?team=NOR

 


SPEED IS YOUR FRIEND, MAPLE LEAFS..! USE IT IN EVERY GAME..!!


#18 Seer

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:13 PM


SPEED IS YOUR FRIEND, MAPLE LEAFS..! USE IT IN EVERY GAME..!!


#19 Maplers

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:17 PM

Just another example of how all of us will never all agree with a coaches decision.

Meh.. it's hard to question the coaches decision in this light.. when he's got so many players to choose from... I don't think not playing those guys will lose them the Olympics.. but it's funny that a guy who was voted the best d-man in the league can't crack this lineup.  Norris trophy winners used to be good two-way guys.. seems to be going to more offensive guys these days



#20 ToddLeafsFan

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:21 PM

Meh.. it's hard to question the coaches decision in this light.. when he's got so many players to choose from... I don't think not playing those guys will lose them the Olympics.. but it's funny that a guy who was voted the best d-man in the league can't crack this lineup.  Norris trophy winners used to be good two-way guys.. seems to be going to more offensive guys these days

Its all about the bling-bling, flash and pizzazz. ;)  






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