Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pretending to be an Olympic GM

Since everyone has been doing these now that an agreement for NHLers to go to the 2014 Olympics has been reached, I figured I'd have a go, too.


13 F: Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Claude Giroux, Taylor Hall, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Jordan Staal, Corey Perry, Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Matt Duchene

Skill isn't an issue. I wanted speed, which is why Marleau and Duchene are here over Ryan Getzlaf, and I wanted Jordan Staal's superior two-way ability instead of Eric Staal (thereby freeing up Toews for offense). I also considered Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, but decided there are better players. I also think Joe Thornton took a step back this season (couldn't play power on power and come out ahead anymore), so I took his teammate Couture instead.

Edit: @b1rky points out that I forgot John Tavares. Whoops. Get rid of Duchene (who is not as good) or Corey Perry (who shares the skating issues), I guess.

8D: Drew Doughty, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Weber, Kris Letang, P.K. Subban, Duncan Keith, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis

Most of these guys are easy choices. I added Bouwmeester and Hamhuis as lefties (leaving off Seabrook). I considered leaving off Letang because he's not that big, but his agility gives him the edge over, say Mike Green (who is not as fast as he once was).

3G: Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, Cam Ward

For once, Canada is a little weak in net (relatively speaking). But Ward I think is slighty better than Marc-Andre Fleury, and Price is the only other goalie (aside from Luongo) who has had a stellar season recently.

Edit: I should have James Reimer there instead of Ward. Ward is probably an average starter; Reimer is average or a little better on over 3000 shots against, even though a decent chunk of those came after he rushed back from a concussion. Plus, the dude doesn't get nearly enough credit for recognition what he did this season.


13F: Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Kesler, Joe Pavelski, T.J. Oshie, Phil Kessel, Patrick Kane, Derek Stepan, Blake Wheeler, Max Pacioretty, Ryan Callahan, David Backes, Dustin Brown

Stepan and Wheeler have developed really nicely into top-line forwards. The rest of the choices shouldn't be controversial. The team will really be banking on Kessel, Kane, Ryan, and Parise to provide the Canada-level scoring, but there's plenty of depth in case that doesn't work out.

8D: Ryan Suter, Ryan McDonagh, Matt Carle, John Carlson, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Dustin Byfuglien, Paul Martin

Carle should be a lock—he's a very solid even-strength defenseman. (In Philly, he wasn't as good as Kimmo Timonen, but more than held his own while having to carry 6/7/8 D types with him.) I considered leaving off Brooks Orpik, but he and Martin were an effective pairing this year in Pittsburgh, so I left him on (even though Orpik was a disaster with anyone else).

I wanted Tom Gilbert, who is another solid ES D, but instead I picked Carlson (who I think is better) and two guys who, unlike the rest of the blueliners, can help the power play in Shattenkirk and Byfuglien. Byfuglien can also add size up front if need be, and is really able to get shots through from the point. He and Shattenkirk are also right shots on a blueline that figures to have lefties Suter, McDonagh, Martin, and Carle be lineup staples. (That's why I left off the lefty Yandle.)

By the way, I'm not comfortable with this guy being on the team, and I'm not too confident in this guy. I also considered Ryan Whitney, who had developed nicely into a 1D in Edmonton, but he's lost a lot of skating ability after ankle injuries.

3G: Cory Schneider, Jimmy Howard, Jonathan Quick


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