If you don't want to read the article, here's an image of the their predicted roster for Team Canada in Sochi:
First, lets talk about goalies, whom I have no problem with the trio of goalies selected by the panel. Robertro Luongo previously led Team Canada to a Gold Medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, posting 34 saves in the 3-2 victory against Team USA in overtime.
The 34-year old is still an elite NHL goalie. What's going for Carey Price is that he just came off one of the seasons in his career for the Montreal Canadiens in the lockout shortened season, posting a stat line of 21 wins, 13 losses with a 2.59 GAA and .905 save percentage. He's definitely the team's backup goalie and deservedly so. Mike Smith won the 3rd and final goalie spot for Canada over Marc Andre-Fleury, Corey Crawford and Braden Holtby with his stellar 2.4 GAA and .920 save percentage and 13 total shutouts for the Coyotes who don't get him as many wins as he could. The 31-year old won't get much playing time in the 2014 Sochi Olympics but if Luongo and/or Price get injured, they won't be in trouble. As far as the goalie position goes, Team Canada is set.
Defence is another area in which Team Canada excels in with the likes of Shea Weber, Alex Pietrangelo, Dan Boyle and many more. All 4 defensive pairings that the panel of TSN has chosen for the Winter Olympics are amazing but I could only imagine that it was hard leaving Kris Letang off the team.
Jay Bouwmeester and Marc Staal must've impressed the panel a lot to get a spot on the olympic team over Letang. Bouwmeester came off a good comeback campaign, posting 22 points in 47 games in the lockout shortened season while playing good defence as well. One fourth of the Staal brothers, Marc had 11 points in his injured shortened 21-game season with him missing a huge chunk of the season because of a horrific eye injury from a puck to the face,
but the main part of his game that shone was his amazing defence. Even without Letang, these 8 defensemen are good enough to win a gold medal with.
Canada has the best group of forwards in hockey by a long shot and the ones that the panel of TSN chose for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics could easily win the gold medal even though they're not the best overall set that they could pick. First let me see that I love the Kunitz-Crosby pairing on the first line, making Crosby more comfortable will only help Team Canada along with Stamkos on the line, expect the biggest goal contributions to come from their first line. Sidney Crosby is the best player in the NHL and he did score the famous "Golden Goal", prevailing Canada to win the Gold Medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, against Team USA.
As far as their second and third lines go, they are just as how I would've done them. Logan Couture is an up and comer who Steve Yzerman really likes and I do too. Couture will only bolster Team Canada's set of forwards. The 4th line is where I would make a change or two. I'm a fan of Patrick Sharp and his all-around game and I'm 80-85% sure he will make the Team Canada roster, on the fourth line. Jeff Carter is an iffy-selection. He's a proven elite-goal scorer and that's about all he does; score goals. Instead of Carter, I would put Brad Marchand in his spot, who is someone Team Canada's executives immensely like.
However, with Carter out, Martin St. Louis would take the fourth line RW spot and Brad Marchand would take a bench/reserve spot with his Bruin teammate, Patrice Bergeron. It just seems wrong to keep Bergeron from not getting a starting Centre spot but their are just so many great Canadian Centres in hockey, that's their's no choice but to keep Patrice as a reserve. If anyone on Team Canada may be injured before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, I would put Jeff Carter back on the roster. It may be hard to keep Joe Thornton and/or Jarome Iginla off of Team Canada's roster but you've got to remember that the ice is international making it bigger than the NHL's, which means that faster skaters are better to have.
Joe Thornton is more of a graceful skater and Iginla may be more of an intense skater, but he's lost some of his speed from previous years.
Team Canada is in prime position to repeat again and win their 2nd straight Gold Medal as they are once again the favourite. The Russians are going to playing on the top of their like Canada was in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, as Russia is defending their home ice in Sochi. I will definitely be going for my home county Canada but whoever wins, it will be entertaining and intense as usual.