Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Olympic Hockey Pick 'em

Well, we (I) have been talking around this enough: we might as well give everyone a clear shot. Can you pick the Canadian Olympic Men's Hockey Roster?

For starters, the following players are consensus picks. Everyone who has weighed in says they're going, they deserve to go, etc.:

Forward: Iginla, Gagne, Sakic, Lecavalier, Heatley, Thornton, & Brad Richards (7 of 13)
Defense: Pronger, Blake, Redden, Regehr, Niedermayer (5 of 7)
Goal: Marty Brodeur (1 of 3)

Your job, if you feel like it in the slightest, is to pick the remaining 10 players on the team: 6 forwards, 2 defensemen, and 2 goalies. Drop your selections in the comments. We're looking for predictions, not preferences, but feel absolutely free to indulge in wishful thinking; I am a bit. Explanations are associated ramblings are also welcome.

If you pick the most correct players, you will receive an extremely valuable prize: a post acknowledging your superiority titled, "[John Doe] Is The Smartest Person In The World". This is particularly nice when friends Google your name.

Matt's picks:
Forward: Crosby, Doan, Draper, Nash, Shanahan, Smyth
Defense: Foote, Special Ed
Goalie: CuJo, Turco

Have at 'er.


Predictions eh?

The remaining 6 forwards :
Smyth (him or Doan, Smyth has the experience. I know Doan has Wayne on his side, but Smyth has Lowe)
Crosby (Mario's request)
Shannahan (with no Mario or Stevey Y, they'll want more leadership)
Bertuzzi (I don't really want it, but Gretz likes him)
St. Louis

Defense :


Phanuef would go if they weren't already taking Crosby and Spezza

In net :

Luongo (I think he'll improve enough by Feb. to justify his inclusion)
Joseph (Gretzky, plus he's the hottest goalie in the league so far).

Marleau, Bertuzzi, St. Louis, Crosby, Spezza, Smyth

Jovanovski & Foote

Luongo & Joseph

I'm guessing here that Gretzky will be vulnerable to the argument that Heatley should have his sideman with him, and it's a good argument. Spezza is more than qualified. I don't think 99 will be afraid to pull the trigger on Doan's candidacy in favour of "Captain Canada," any more than he was afraid to throw Brett Hull under a bus. And Crosby is, simply, a lock--you'd better believe the damn Russians are going to bring Ovechkin along.

The defence picks, with apologies to Phaneuf, seem easy. Luongo has proven enough over four years not to be excluded for a bad month. And Josieve's improvement, if the Hockey News can be believed, is predicated on a genuine Tiger Woods-style reinvention of his game.

And surely Marleau would be on the team even if he weren't completely on fire right now (which he is)?

I'm glad you put Pronger in the "lock" category, given that John Buccigross left him off the team entirely.

My picks:
Crosby - Supermario gets his prodigy protege on the team
Smyth - deny the mullet at your peril
Spezza - see Cosh's comment
Marleau - how can you deny him?
Staal - that's right, all three youngsters are going.
Shanahan - just keep him out of the shootout.

Note: If there is some rule I don't know about that you can bring someone on the team, but then pick up an alternate later for injuries, then obviously Nash is on the team in place of Staal.

While the Great One loves to give guys a second shot, I don't even he can justify putting on Bertuzzi.

Jovo - but I don't like him.

Luongo - Turco gets screwed so they can bring a younger Luongo despite not playing as well.

Ah, hell. That's crazy. Gretzky isn't taking Staal or Marleau.

-St. Louis. Short people are good, too.

-Smyth. Wayne said players didn't have to cut their hair, so obviously...

-Doan. Draper. No wait... Doan, definately Doan.

-Shanny. He's the old AND new NHL.

-Tanguay. The best player in Colorado.

-Marleau. For no other reason than nobody wants to pick between Staal, Sid, & Spezza, and that Bertuzzi is a fucking Jekyll & Hyde psycho.

-Jovo. He's pretty good, I guess.

-Phillips or Boyle. Maybe Phillips. But probably Boyle.

-Louongo. Bad choice, but recent world experience is a huge factor.

-Cujo or Turco. Either one should be starting for Canada. I pick Cujo, and I think Wayne will, too.

St. Louis, Smyth, Doan, Draper, Marleau, Crosby.

Foote and Jovo.

Joseph and Turco.

Rationale, (if you care), Draper goes to sit, its easier to not take Staal or Spezza, then to take all 3 and then get grief over which one sits.

The defence was decided a loong time ago, with Regher replacing Brewer. Nothing changed.

Luongo doesn't go at all. Brodeur is the risky pick, so Gretzky takes 2 goalies who are playing very well right now just in case Canada has another 2002 experience and get blown away in their first game. (remember the Swedish torpedo?)

These picks are nothing special, which is why I believe they will be the same as Gretzky's.

I'm just going to run Paul Kariya up the flag pole here if you don't mind.

None of you mentioned him, and many of you probably didn't even consider him. Thats my only pick because i think all of you are mostly correct, i think Kariya replaces Doan or Crosby on most of your lists. Besides, when Kariya does make it, I want you all to remember who said it first.

Forward: Crosby, Spezza, Staal, Doan, Smyth, St. Louis

Defense: Jovo, McCabe

Goalies: Fernandez, Joseph

There are the guys I'd pick, anyway (at least, after I failed to convince Messier to come out of retirement) - Gretzky and Lowe should hit the youth hard. You don't have to be old to provide leadership, and I think this team will get plenty of it from guys like Smyth, Iginla, Sakic, Pronger, and Blake.

Also, bear in mind that I didn't even bother who was on the preliminary list, so if any of my picks aren't on it. . . well, I'm a moron.

I was watching the grease stains play jersey and the commentors kept repeating how it was all such a done deal the Brodeur would be in net for team Canada.

"They will be in tough against the canadian olympic team goaltender"....or some such nonsense.

Cujo deserves to be there, and you can't deny he'll be motivated in his last kick at the olympic can. He's a new man.

Throw in Turco and go with Cujo.

Mirtle's picks:
Forward: Crosby, Doan, Draper, Nash, Spezza, Smyth
Defense: Foote, Special Ed
Goalie: CuJo, Turco

normie predicts...
6F: Nash, Smyth, Doan, St Louis, Marleau, Tanguay (as #13)
2D: Foote, Jovanovski
2G: Luongo, Turco

Forwards: Smyth, Morrison, Shanahan, Draper, Staal, Marleau

Defense: Jovocop and Foote

Goal: Turco and Belfour

My rationale: the third goalie never plays anyway, but in Salt Lake several comments were made about the Eagle's ability to get players ready for games, to simulate the style of the goalies they were facing etc. Apparently he was a really good teammate who accepted his role and was happy to be there. You take Cujo and you don't get that. You get a guy who posted a terrible game and sat sulking on the bench while Brodeur played well.

Also, I went through Carman MB earlier in the year, and that town really needs something to rally around. The place hasn't been the same since they banned smoking at the bar.

Hey, Mirtle's sending Doan and Draper AND Smyth and leaving the reigning MVP at home. You have to admit, only Gretzky could handle the consequent uproar with ease.

It's conceivable that Kariya could be chosen; he retains the esteem of hockey insiders for his personality, but I think we all have the suspicion he'd get some bad polenta or trip over a skate lace before Game One and leave us a man short.

Is it possible that Spezza, Bertuzzi, and Turco have a hidden advantage in qualifying for an Italian Winter Olympics? I hadn't considered it, but you can make a case.

A little Karma maybe? Win over the home fans perhaps? I mean, unless Team Italy is more than anyone has barganed for.

I was thinking more along the lines of the players in question (a) having knowledge of Italian culture, (b) knowing the actual Italian language, (c) being able to locate even-more-awesome-than-usual cafes and bars, or (d) simply being able to make a humanitarian plea that it's an extra-special experience for someone with a name like Gianluca Jabroni to play for gold in Turin. (D) and (B) seem most plausible; even in the polyglot Olympic Village, and definitely outside of it, there could be a useful role for an Italian-Canadian go-between.

Ok, after seeing guys play last week I'm making some changes to my picks . . . that's allowed right?

Staal is out and Bertuzi is in.

Wait, I meant Spezza is out, not Staal.


May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,





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