Team Canada’s management team and coaching staff emphasized a variety of factors from dealing with a larger ice surface and learning from struggles in 2006. If there was one factor that towered over the rest, it was this: it’s about the present, not the past … even if it means leaving behind guys who were on that gold medal-winning team in 2010.
“What happened in 2010 … that’s over with. This is a new opportunity,” Head coach Mike Babcock said, via TSN’s Mark Masters. “We’ll be a younger group.”
Babcock noted the obvious on Sunday: that guys like Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger won’t be around this time. Even so, he (also somewhat obviously) expects the team to be loaded with championship-level players.
He did note that, like his Detroit Red Wings teams, he has no issues playing centers at the wing. Babcock insisted that he wants to get the best players out there.
One tie-breaker could very well be speed, however, as everyone from Babcock to Kevin Lowe and Ken Hitchcock emphasized how important it was to compile a team with a lot of skating ability.
Still, GM Steve Yzerman said that isn’t the only factor, as the team won’t just consist of the “14 fastest forwards and eight fastest defensemen,” as the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno reports.
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.