The Province’s Jason Botchford wieighs in with his Olympic post-game Provies:
MOST UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENT
That didn’t happen until after the game, when Friedman essentially asked Crosby the question which will become one of the main narratives for the next two days.
Essentially, it was a variation of: Why can’t you play with anyone?
The actual Q was:
“You’re the world’s best player, they’ve struggled finding you linemates in this event, and even in 2010.
“Do you have any explanation why that is?”
Tough one for the world’s greatest player, isn’t it?
Tough for Team Canada too, because this group has been chasing its tail trying to get Crosby going for four years now, and all they’ve accomplished is more biting.
Kunitz is in Russia to get Crosby going. Didn’t work.
Tavares, Bergeron and Benn, which was an actual, live working line, was dismantled to get Crosby going.
People expect big things from No. 87, and even if his line has the puck for 75% of the time in games against Norway and Austria, those big things have to include goals, and offensive impact.
It’s now three games for Crosby, against three cupcakes, while playing on the world’s best team, and he has 5 shots on net total.
Crosby went on to explain his rotating linemates are a question for the coach, not the player.
“As players we know what our role is, no matter what line we have.”
Now Team Canada has a couple of days off, and this Crosby thing is going to be one of bigger story lines.
What line is he on?
Who can play with him?
Why is Kunitz here ?
What Team Canada has to get a handle on is that if Crosby really is tough to play with, they’ve F’d it up again by going with new linemates every game.
Same thing happened in 2010.
At the beginning of this tournament, why not pick a player whether it’s Tavares, Carter or St. Louis (no, not Kunitz) and have him play with Crosby for the three games.
By the time the single elimination rolls around, Crosby and at least one winger have had three full games to get acclimatized.
It is true that Crosby is a great player.
At some point that’s probably going to show.
It’s probably going to be in some huge moment too, which will make all of this seem really stupid.
Either way, Babcock and Yzerman haven’t done Sid any favours, including bringing Kunitz along.
It isn’t just Crosby. Nash 0 points. Tavares 0 points. Toews 1 point. Pretty much, if you’re not an LA King, you’re not scoring.
Nothing beat Selanne giving it to Crosby for diving.
Team Canada gets accreditation for Kevin Lowe but doesn’t bring a goalie coach?
“We’re going to make lineup changes for sure” – Babcock
What are the chances they’ll be the right ones, Babs?
BEST OLD MAN
Sami Salo doesn’t get the run the other “old guys” do, but he’s looked 29, not 39
— Jason Botchford (@botchford) February 16, 2014
That was one helluva game from Salo and Maata who were the Finns top defensive pairing.
Not only was Salo a beast in his own end, he nearly won the game. His shot forced Price to make his best save of the tournament.
BEST WOULD YOU RATHER
It’s July 2012, and you can have Sami Salo for two years, $7.5 million or Jason Garrison for six years $27.6 million?
The game that seems destined in the quarters is Canada v Swiss (who play Latvia first)
And that game is not going to be any fun at all.
@bradyfan590 Switzerland creamed Czech with the score tied, out-chanced Sweden too. I think they’re very much legitimate.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) February 16, 2014
Hilarious to hear Cherry say he wanted Canada to have a line of plumbers and have Crosby playing 23 minutes a game.
Uh, the whole advantage Canada has in these tournaments is depth and that depth advantage is best exploited with a killer bottom six.
Why the hell would you dumb down your roster to give more minutes to Crosby?
Canada got shutout three times in Italy, and was in tough to score twice today against a tattered Finnish team.
The likely next opponent is the Swiss who have played three games, which all ended 1-0.
In other words, in these tournaments, it’s often hard to score.
Ya, I’ll take a fourth line that can rather than one that can’t, thanks.
Yup, Cherry would prefer Zamuner, Draper, Primeau when a goal is needed. “@botchford: If only Canada had a line of plumbers for the third”
— Craig Zamzow (@CraigZamzow) February 16, 2014
Focus will be on Doughty but that was a bad goal on Rask, don’t care what it hit on way, puck should never go through/under goalie like that
— Kevin Woodley (@KevinisInGoal) February 16, 2014
BEST CALL BACK
I hope Luongo just told Rask “We’d have won the Cup with you in net”
— BrowntoBure (@BrowntoBure) February 16, 2014
I was surprised to see Babcock hand the ball to Price.
Luongo has won six straight Olympic games with a 1.50 GAA.
If that was the plan all along, why not give Price the Friday start against the more offensively gifted Austrian team?
If it is Price from here on out, and why would he start today if it wasn’t, by the time the Semis roll around with Kessel and the boys, Price will have likely faced Norway, an injury ravaged Finland team and the Swiss.
None of which have any offensive firepower.
As an aside, it is funny to see everyone point to Price’s save percentage this year in the NHL as the reason he’s starting.
Because it never worked the other way when Luongo was playing behind Brodeur.
@botchford …..apparently 6 straight wins sparkling numbers and a gold medal still isn enough to earn Luongo the Finland game…….ouch!
— Jamey Zornow (@JameyZornow) February 16, 2014
Price is from my home province, but Luongo has a better attitude and demeanor than him, plus more olympic experience and a cooler mask
— Mr. CANADA (@MrNuxfan1) February 16, 2014
“This is how Jari Kurri played!” – Healy, talking about an extremely low-event 1-1 game
— Rhys J (@Thats_Offside) February 16, 2014
BEST TOURNAMENT TRACKER
BEST REACTION TO A WIN
— Quentin Schroeder (@Quentown) February 16, 2014