Olympic hockey team announced

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Team Canada announced yesterday its 23-man roster for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=eric+staal&iid=7436505″ src=”2/d/1/b/Hurricanes_v_Capitals_52ac.JPG?adImageId=8741687&imageId=7436505″ width=”234″ height=”304″ /]

Before I criticize too much, here is the complete list.

Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Dany Heatley, Jarome Iginla, Patrick Marleau, Brenden Morrow, Rich Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton, Jonathan Toews.

Defence: Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber.

Goalies: Martin Brodeur, Marc-Andre Fleury, Roberto Luongo.

Players left off the roster include Ryan Smyth, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Mike Green, Jeff Carter, Shane Doan, Mike Fisher, Dion Phaneuf and Jay Bouwmeester.

Last month I made my predictions on who would make the team. I figured Mike Green wouldn’t make it (sure, he may be offensive, but it’s not just offence that will win the gold). Even if Steven Stamkos didn’t make it, I thought Martin St. Louis would.

But the biggest surprise was Eric Staal. After eliminating the Boston Bruins last year in the playoffs, Staal hasn’t done much. He didn’t do much in the semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he had just played back-to-back seven-game series, so he may have been exhausted.

But he has been brutal so far this year (except for a four-point game the other night). He did score 100 points … five years ago. His points have declined. He’s battled injuries this year. He hasn’t played well this season.

I really don’t understand how he made the team. Can someone explain it to me?



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2 responses to “Olympic hockey team announced

  1. M@

    Staal had a FIVE point night the other night. Not four. That extra point into the empty net put him over the top, I guess.

  2. Dave

    Staal does have 26 points in 29 games, but I definitely wouldn’t have picked him. He was recently shifted from centre to the wing in Carolina, which he will be playing in Vancouver.

    My biggest beef with the team is how 2006-esque it is. Very rigid predefined roles, no sense for natural positions, and WAY too much reliance on some ridiculous notion of “chemistry.” Too many centres going to be playing wing, which I never understand why its always assumed that that is a seamless and pain-free transition.

    Throw off Marleau from Thornton and Heatley’s line and put me there and I’ll be scoring a bunch of points too. Marleau was closing in on his 467th (approximate) consecutive underachieving season until Thornton arrived in San Jose. Even if they weren’t always on the same line, opposing teams had to shift their best defensive players to play against Thornton and Marleau benefited. How many points would Stamkos have if he had Thornton and Heatley as his linemates?

    Is Brendan Morrow better than Martin St. Louis at anything, including the all important “grit??” Didn’t our massive export of Good Ol’ Don Cherry Canadian Grit get us whatever metal 7th place medals are made from in Turino?

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