Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Russian Bear is coming

Team Canada, the home team for the Olympic hockey tournament next year, at least in my opinion is in very deep trouble when the Russians come knocking next year. In the three units of a team as it stands right now, the Russians are better in 2 out of the 3 areas:

1) Forwards:
When it comes to scoring forwards there is no team with more talent in the coming tournament then the Russians. They have 3 of the top 5 forwards in the league with Ovechkin, Malkin and Datsyuk and behind them Kovalchuk, Semin, Kovalev, Frolov, Slava Kozlov, Nikita Filatov along with Alexei Morozov and Alexander Radulov who are playing in the KHL. Canada has 2 of the top 5 with Crosby and Iginla but the support staff, while good and with more depth, isn't as good as the Russians. Rick Nash, Vinny Lecavalier, Dany Heatley, Eric Staal, Jeff Carter, Marc Savard and Jonathan Toews. However the Russians don`t have a semblance of a checking line while the Canadians will have a superb one with Brendan Morrow, Mike Richards and Shane Doan.

2) Defenseman:
Well Canada has a definite advantage in this department because beyond Andrei Markov the Russians have a bunch of no names and old broken down past their prime guys like Sergei Zubov. Canada is obviously hoping that Scott Niedermayer is going to be there as he is still our country`s best defenseman. However they also have Chris Pronger, Dion Pheneuf, Brent Burns, Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regher, Dan Boyle, Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell, Brent Seabrook and Mike Green are there to be chosen from.

3) Goaltending
Before this season I would`ve said Canada without a doubt, but after Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo choked hard in the playoffs I`m going to give the edge to Russia. Ilya Bryzgalov, Nik Khabibulan and Evgeni Nabakov are a better threesome of goalies then Canada can come up with. After the former two, Cam Ward, Marc-Andre Fleury, Steve Mason, Marty Turco and possibly Carey Price if he has a bounce back season will all vie for the #3 position.

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