Article written by Jordan Leclair - Community Contributor
Team Canada comes in as the tournament favourites yet again. This team doesn’t just have depth, it has super star quality up and down the line-up. From Sidney Crosby to Roberto Luongo this team is built to be incredibly elite. Though that’s not to say this tournament will be a cakewalk, the United States, Russia and Sweden are all incredibly talented teams as well. Though let’s take a look at this team from the net out.
This team’s goalie depth is incredible. The starter will likely be Carey Price from the Montreal Canadiens. His stats as of late have been deceiving due to the lack of defence in front of him. Price is an elite goalie and steals games more often than not. He’s a key piece to the puzzle for Team Canada. His back-up will be the gold medal winner from Vancouver, Roberto Luongo. Luongo could play a huge role in helping Price out with his experience on the international sized ice.
I almost sound like a broken record with talking about depth over and over but if anyone has it, it’s Team Canada. Their defensive corps consisting of the huge offensive players like Shea Weber, Drew Doughty and PK Subban will help Canada put up huge points from the blue line, a luxury most teams won’t have in Sochi. They also have some excellent defensive defenders coming out in Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. These guys will be able to keep wingers to the outside and are rarely the cause of bad turnovers or odd-man rushes.
On top of all the defensive aspects this team brings to the ice, they’ll be able to pile on goals left and right as well. Their centres are so deep they’ll be playing some on the wings so with most of these players having face off percentages between 45-55, they’ll be retaining the puck most games causing their opponents to chase. They have a ton of experience in their forwards as well with nine of the fourteen forwards have won Stanley Cups they know how to play in a “win or go home” scenario and expect that experience to be reflected in their play.
Canada has an incredible chance to medal yet again. Though Team USA is looking for revenge for 2010 where they lost in the gold medal game against a very similar Team Canada. Sweden and Russia are both looking to end medal droughts. Russia hasn’t medaled since 2002 where they won bronze. Sweden surprisingly finished in 5th in 2010 and is now looking for come back. Canada has the ability to win it all, but they can’t tread lightly on the competition.