Team Canada takes the ice for first practice in Sochi

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:

Jeff Carter will replace the injured Steven Stamkos on Canada’s top line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Canada’s other lines appear as follows:

Canada’s fourth, or other line, is not yet determined. Here is who’s left:

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:

Team Canada’s defence pairings are not too surprising:

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: