Friday, January 27, 2006

 

Friday Big Prediction

I'm calling it now: Dion Phaneuf is going to the Olympics.

McCabe is probably out as the 1st replacement because of his groin. Special Ed is probably off the roster because of his groin. And Niedermayer is probably out because of his knee.

If all three skip the big roadtrip to Italy to rest and rehab, Canada needs to name two new defencemen to the roster, as well as (likely) one to the taxi squad in case of injury during the Games.

Already on the roster, assuming they stay healthy: Pronger, Regehr, Blake, Foote, Redden

The 2 or 3 new guys need to come off of the List of 81; the fellows who have been peeing in a cup for WADA for months, and are thus eligible for the Games. Here's who is left among the defencemen:
Adrian Aucoin, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle, Nick Boynton, Eric Brewer, Eric Desjardins, Scott Hannan, Barret Jackman, Kyle McLaren, Derek Morris, Dion Phaneuf, Chris Phillips, Sheldon Souray, Steve Staios, Brad Stuart

That's 15 names. Desjardins has a dislocated shoulder and is out. Morris has a sprained ankle and is out. Brewer has a separated shoulder and is out. Aucoin has a recurring groin problem, and is in and out (groin in and out - heh heh).

That leaves 11. Boynton and Souray can't be considered even remotely seriously based on their play this season. That leaves 9.

Going back to the five guys who are on the roster, you'll notice that only 3 of them have any business playing on the PP in a major international tournament; Regehr has only 6 points on the PP this season, and Foote has only 3. Here's the 9 potential additions on D, with their PP production (G/A/Pts):
It's certainly possible that Pat Quinn will play a forward on the PP point at times, but it's unthinkable that they'll head to Turin without 4 qualified PP D-men. Phaneuf is clearly the huge favourite to fill this role, based on production: only Boyle and Stuart could even be considered.

In fact, Phaneuf and Pronger would probably be on the #1 unit. Pronger's the only (healthy) Canadian defenseman with more PP points than Phaneuf (6/21/27); you may also note that Phaneuf plays the same side and role does M-A Bergeron (with Pronger) on the PP, albeit a lot more productively.

A few other miscellaneous points in Farnsworth's favour: the Flames have only allowed 2 SH goals all season, and if you saw last night's highlights, I think you'll agree that the 2nd can be blamed pretty much 100% on Hamrlik. Also, he's only a year out of junior, and certainly fit for the 6-games-in-8-days schedule.

I think Phaneuf is the 1st addition, and Hannan is the 2nd. I hope Jovo and Niedermayer get well, but I think Canada is in good shape regardless. Make it so, Gretzky.

Comments:

My guess is that Bouwmeester and Hannan are the 2 they pick up. I have no problem with Phaneuf going though. He certainly has played well enough. Plus, he is a Russian killer.
 


You may be right; I don't actually know anything. But if you are, someone will have to answer the question, "What has Jay-B accomplished, or what attributes has he demonstrated, in his 2-1/2 year career, that makes him superior to Phaneuf?"

Phaneuf has more goals (11) in his 50-game career than Jay-B (6) in his 194-game career. And yeah, his team sucks, but he's a lifetime -54.
 


Well, Bouwmeester has played at a World Championships, which always goes over well with management. Sure, Phaneuf did the Juniors, but it isn't the same thing.
 


Yeah, it isn't the same thing. The Juniors are way more intense (and Phaneuf was a much bigger relative star on that stage).
 


I think Hanna will be the first call up for sure. Given his World Cup experience and All-Star level play I think that is a no brainer. I haven't seen Jay-B play yet this year so I don't know what he brings to the table. I think team Canada should list Dion as the second call up or at the very least put him on the taxi squad since four years from now he should be the top D-Man Canada will have.

Matt, it's Mr. Gretzky to you.
 

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