Today, the highly anticipated Canadian Olympic national team took to Russian ice for its first practice, after arriving in Sochi less than 24-hours prior.
Quick news and notes:
Canada’s other lines appear as follows:
Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Rick Nash on a line at Team Canada's practice.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 10, 2014
If Tavares-Getzlaf-Perry stay together, they will be Canada's best line. Hands down.
— Michael Grossi (@mgrossiTFP) February 10, 2014
Canada’s fourth, or other line, is not yet determined. Here is who’s left:
Fs not on a line: Bergeron, Duchene, Benn, St. Louis, Marleau. What a bunch of bums! http://t.co/zI2i4l39dC
— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) February 10, 2014
UPDATE: Despite practicing together, the Tavares, Getzlaf, Perry line will reportedly not play together in Sochi. After practice was over a new line combination was announced:
Canada lines: Kunitz-Crosby-Carter, Sharp-Toews-Nash, Marleau-Getzlaf-Perry, Benn-Tavares-Bergeron. St. Louis/Duchene rotate.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) February 10, 2014
Team Canada’s defence pairings are not too surprising:
Canadian D pairs look to me like this: Keith-Weber; Vlasic-Doughty; Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo; Hamhuis-Subban
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) February 10, 2014
Canadian head coach Mike Babcock has split up Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty despite the pairing’s great performance for Team Canada at the 2010 Winters in Vancouver. Unlike four years ago, however, Canada’s 2014 blueline isn’t as stacked with elite puck-movers; Yzerman and Co. decided to ice a lineup with a predominantly stay-at-home group on the left side. Defencemen Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Hamhuis and M-A Vlasic slot in as the second, third and fourth options on Canada’s weak side, behind two-time Cup champion and this season’s favourite to win the Norris trophy, Duncan Keith.
Team Canada’s goaltending situation is not as clear as its forward and defence pairings. Wide speculation has Roberto Luongo and Carey Price splitting the first two games, then one man will be chosen to run with the ball if he performs well in Canada’s third and most difficult opening round match against Team Finland next Sunday. At this point there is no word as to who will start Game One this coming Thursday against Norway.
Reports out of Sochi claim that all three of Canada’s goaltenders will be rooming together in Russia. Roberto Luongo had a humorous comment about the goalie sleeping arrangements:
"Roberto Luongo on Sochi beds: 'Carey and I are going to push ours together'" http://t.co/tK3Or27x5x
— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) February 9, 2014