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 Canada's Olympic Journey: next up, Russia! Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4603 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  04:57:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, the Canadians beat Germany 8-2, and now they will face the first real test on a very tough road to the gold medal - the vaunted Russians.

Please give me your analysis of the German game, who you thought played well (and who didn't); what areas Canada needs to improve or concentrate on to beat the Russians (or conversely, what Russia would need to do to beat Canada); and what are the odds/chances of either team winning.

I will post my thoughts below.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug

Edited by - slozo on 02/24/2010 04:58:28

slozo
Moderator



Canada
4603 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  06:26:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First, my analysis of the Canada/Germany game, the first time I have seen Canada play these Olympics:

Good, but not great.
Overall Canada had a many good chances, but until about halfway through the game, many if not most were as a result of individual efforts, or one good pass or deke. It was a team of superstars not playing that well together frankly, and unfortunately the opposition in my opinion made them look a lot better than they were.

Being specific about the players, I will start from the goalie out.
Luongo - played good, made a few great saves, but had the occasional sloppy moment, one of them resulting in a goal, the first one that was a wrap-around goal. If Luongo is to be in top form and stone the Russians, he will have to position himself better than that and be quicker to cover the opposite post, because it might be a highly skilled player like Ovechkin, Kovalchuk or Semin, and they will be even quicker. I understand this was a bit like being thrown into the fire, but it wasn't an overly hot one, so colour me not very impressed. Hopefully, that was just a warm-up for Luongo and he can push it up a couple of levels.

The Defence
Well, after all the talk and controversy about Pronger being terrible and Doughty either being great or terrible . . . I was not impressed by anyone, frankly. No one really stood out, especially in moments when the Germans had a rare counter-attack and applied pressure without much of a physical presence coming from Canada. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it was the forwards who continually helped out in their own end to gain back control.

Niedermeyer - undisciplined play defensively, and I noticed a few sloppy errors. Hopefully this is just because of the opponent, and he clearly can play a lot better than this. He was lauded for his goal, but he won't be allowed one man efforts like that against a superior defence (see: Russia, Sweden, USA).

Pronger - thought I saw him on the ice a couple of times that the Germans were allowed to have a bit of pressure, and he didn't play much going into the second and third periods.

Weber - looked terrible on a few plays in a defensive role . . . nice shot though. Needs to play better defensively.

Boyle - pedestrian effort, largely invisible. Where is the physical play?

Those were the guys I noticed . . . didn't really have Doughty or the others catch my eye. At any rate, the defence needs to REALLY tighten up, and I doubt they can do it against an offensive juggernaut like the Russians.

The Forwards
Very good for the most part, as chemistry is starting to build. As mentioned - first half of the game, a lot of individual efforts, and even later, like on the Nash goal, no real chemistry there for the scoring chance, just a great individual effort. But Staal has clearly gotten it going with Crosby and Iginla, and the Sharks line is solid, and it appears that the checking line also has it going, which is very important. Morrow is really playing well in that regard, and Richards is back to form it seems.

Nash is the only one that stood out for me as needing to play a better team game, as he will not be allowed these lone man rushes against tougher opponents. Staal, Iginla, Crosby, Morrow, Heatley, Thornton, Richards, all played a very good game. My player of the game is Staal, who was continually creating chances and dishing out pucks nicely to his linemates. In a game like this it's hard to fault Crosby, but we know he can and will bring it up a notch for Russia.

We will need a better performance from Lou, and I expect it. We need a much better performance from our D, and they can do it, although there will still be many times when the Russians will cycle mercilessly and they will get their chances. Our forwards are really starting to gel, and can still take it up a level, which I expect. Crosby is a big game guy as we know, and I expect the game of his life against his rival Ovechkin.



"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Guest8144
( )

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  07:29:41  Reply with Quote
they win 8-2 and yet everyone played like s***...... riiiiight
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4603 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  07:40:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank-you for that inciteful comment, guest 8144. It's too bad you didn't take the time to read my long comment, it is a bit long I know.

So - you really think that the same effort and level of play will beat Russia? You are satisfied with Canada's defensive play? Do tell.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Alex
PickupHockey All-Star



Canada
2816 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  08:15:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slozo

Thank-you for that inciteful comment, guest 8144. It's too bad you didn't take the time to read my long comment, it is a bit long I know.

So - you really think that the same effort and level of play will beat Russia? You are satisfied with Canada's defensive play? Do tell.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug



If this wasn't a typo, it's a very masterful play on homophones.
"Insightful" - adding insight
"Inciteful" - though not officially an English word, logical adjective of the verb "incite" meaning to provoke or stir up

What can I say, I love the English language!

In any case, back to the topic at hand -
Canada can beat the Russians, but there's some work to do. It all comes down to playing like a team without diminishing their individual abilities. If Rick Nash has the chance to start a rush and crash the net, it may take that spark to make a play. He's a big bodied, soft handed kind of guy that has the ability to be a game breaker.

Pretty passes don't always work, and sometimes it takes pure will to gain the blue line and make some plays. Carrying it over or dumping and chasing with speed isn't a bad play. It's about making all your plays count. The "swagger" in this game is up for grabs for any team willing to put the other on its heels. The Russians are more confident and play with a touch of reckless abandon that makes me worry they'll take it from the first puck drop.

For Canada to win this game, they need to convince themselves that they need the first goal. That means firing pucks on net, getting big bodies in front, throwing their weight around, a strong cycle on the boards, puck possession... playoff hockey, in a nutshell.
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JOSHUACANADA
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1905 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  09:05:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While I agree the key to this game will be to score first, I think Canada would be best to avoid a "who can score the most type of game". Although this team hasn't proved it, on paper Canada is only better defensively than Russia. I'd say Bobbie Lou and Nabokov pretty evenly matched, both can win a game and both rarely lose a game due to bad play. Defensively on paper at least Canada's back end knows how to play both ends of the ice better, but the forwards in Russia know how to win in a gunfight while Canada has proven they can turn their own offense "off" at will. I'd say play sound positional hockey, trap if they have to, dump and chase and try to build a lead while forchecking hard. This is the one clear advantage that Canada has, tight defensive physical hockey. No more of this one man show.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5800 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  09:33:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JOSHUACANADA

While I agree the key to this game will be to score first, I think Canada would be best to avoid a "who can score the most type of game". Although this team hasn't proved it, on paper Canada is only better defensively than Russia. I'd say Bobbie Lou and Nabokov pretty evenly matched, both can win a game and both rarely lose a game due to bad play. Defensively on paper at least Canada's back end knows how to play both ends of the ice better, but the forwards in Russia know how to win in a gunfight while Canada has proven they can turn their own offense "off" at will. I'd say play sound positional hockey, trap if they have to, dump and chase and try to build a lead while forchecking hard. This is the one clear advantage that Canada has, tight defensive physical hockey. No more of this one man show.



Joshua.....totally agree. While the international game always scares me in regard to the way they're officiated, i too think we need to come out and be physical, especially on the forecheck in an effort to wear down the Russian D. Although the Russian PP hasn't exploded yet, it could at any point so stupid penalties will be a major obstacle to avoid. Clean, physical play is what's gonna help wear these guys down. Hopefully nobody crosses the line and starts handing them PP's cuz these guys have an abundance of offensive talent. Playing them shorthanded would not be wise!
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Russia
Top Prospect



8 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  09:35:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
battle will
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Russia
Top Prospect



8 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  09:41:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GO Russia GO!!!
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8186 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  10:22:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is my one and only concern with the Canadian game at this point. In each game I have watched, Canada has looked sloppy and unorganized in their own end. From their blue line to the oppositions zone, Canada has played awesome and the good thing is that most of the time in the games has been outside of the Canadian zone.

However, this is Russia and we have yet to see the best this team has to offer to this point in the tourney.

This game will come down to one thing and that is the forecheck. Which ever team sustains the play in the other teams end the longest will win. If Russia plays it in Canada's zone, there will be penalties and punishment from the Russian PP(although only 2-18 to this point). However, if Canada keeps the puck in Russia's end, Nabokov will splinter and the Russian will be the one's in the box.

(Hopefully, there are few grammatical errors and the statements are general enough to not offend anyone, anything, any animal, any ghost, or an other entity which may have the ability to feel offended.)

Edited by - Beans15 on 02/24/2010 11:33:56
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Guest9836
( )

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  10:41:29  Reply with Quote
First off the Russians are not the first real test (they are the first elimination game that will test them). The first test was the Swiss and Canada barely got a passing grade, the second test was the US, and by the scoreboard they failed (No Miller and it would have been a pass).

To beat the Russian I think a few things are necessary.

1) Like people have said Canada has to play heavy, hard hockey. Ovechkin's hits can't be the story of these Olympics when it comes to physical play. One line has to take it upon themselves to relentlessly pound the Russians into the dust. While we likely won't be able to push around Ovie and maybe Malkin, we can take it to Kovalchuk, Semin, Radulov, Fedorov, etc... take the edge away from that secondary scoring, the guys who aren't known for their toughness. Lay out their less physical defence.

2) Neutralize Ovie's chances. This one's obvious. Keep this guy off the scoresheet period. He is probably a catalyst for this team's energy. For Russia the plan is likely identical for Crosby.

3) Defence Defence Defence. Limit the pinching of our defensemen. Our D has to play aggressive but responsible hockey and they have to be willing to get down and block shots if they have too. We don't need 7 offensive defensemen. The all-star forward cast also has to lay down for the cause.

4) Luongo needs to make no mistakes. Let in a good goal, of course that's going to happen, it's Russia, but he cannot let in a softee.

Probably a ton more little things too... but they basically have to leave it all on the ice.
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Leafs81
PickupHockey Pro



716 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  11:04:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Slozo, I know you're back from a trip, but is it the first game you comfortably watch????

Because it was their best. I know there was some sloppy plays. But they were out battled badly against the Swiss and the Americans. I'm not saying out played, just out battled...

For once yesterday they seemed to be a team ready to play and wanting to win. They came out and battled. Also on the first goal Luongo let in I thought he was interfered by the player and that's why he fell. Maybe somebody push the other guy into Luongo but really a german player bump him and Luongo fell out of position.

And to answer your question, to beat Russia we need to stay out of the penalty box and don't give any 2 on 0.

Other then that we have to work really hard and come out of the corners with the puck in our own zone especially.
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JOSHUACANADA
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1905 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  11:09:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is the game I wish we had Regher and Phaneuf. One to hold the fort while the other punished the body. Dont think mobility challenged Pronger and jump in the offensive play Scott N, look as opposing as those 2 would have. If Ovie had to stare down Phaneuf while he was bringing the highlight reel checking, you might see the Russian's hanging back and playing a different style. As it sits right now I forsee Russia being the more physical and outshooting the Canadian's. I for one hope Bobby Lou has saved his best for now.
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Leafs81
PickupHockey Pro



716 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  11:11:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lots of interesting points.

I believe... 5-2 Canada
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polishexpress
PickupHockey Pro



525 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  11:15:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I couldn't help but cringe every time I saw our D-men pinching. I know they were aware of what they were doing, but I couldn't help think that Boyle was pinching a bit too much.

I didn't watch enough of the game to comment on Niedermayer or Doughty, but in the first period, I kept thinking that if Canada were playing a better opponent than Germany, our D would have been caught multiple times on odd-man rushes. In fact, I remember seeing one time where Boyle was the last man back, if my memory serves me correctly.

Am I overreacting, or are our D activating too much? After all, Niedermayer did score a break-away goal.
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8186 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  11:36:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it's a little over-reacting when talking about the D. Sure, they are jumping up in the play alot, but is it causing many if any odd man rushes the other way??

I don't think it is. However, that is the one and only danger. I personally thought that Neidermayer smartly played that game yesterday and was far more active and involved. He produced! What more does a guy want??
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Guest0854
( )

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  19:57:04  Reply with Quote
Slozo,

Great minds think alike.

This is what I posted on the shootout topic. Pretty much in line with what you said. Apparently one of us is a parrot.

---
Still not happy with the performance of the game. Yeah we won. But I'm not happy until we play a perfect game. Guess that makes me one to the 35M+ coaches on the team.

Still not happy with Seabrook and Pronger. Nieds is playing like a forward - who does he think he is Paul Coffey? Luckily he is pinching against the Germans and not the Russians. Our defensive strength hasn't shown itself. This I find most surprising.

Still not happy with Getzlaf. Can't believe he blew that one on one against the goalie. He is still not performing like I expected. Perry looks lost. Umm Corey, the bench where you belong is over there. Getzlaf and Perry should be buried in the 4th line and get only 2 minutes of playing time. This pairing is playing well below my expectations (maybe I had too high of an expectation from them). Iggy if only you can score against quality opponents. Hopefully this means you are feeling better from that check in the Norway game. Why is Bergeron on this team if you are only going to give him 13 seconds of playing time in the 1st? That defensive coverage, by all players on the ice, on the first goal was complete and utter garbage. Yes that means the altar boy, Crosby.

What I was happy with in this game.

Those who question why Morrow is on the team, he is the one of the most consistent forward on the team. His game doesn't show up well in the stats sheet, but I'm so glad he is on the team. Eric Staal has played well the last two games. Toews is a much better player than I expected. McGuire coming to his senses and agreeing with pickuphockey posters.

The defence needs to pick it up a notch, Getzlaf and Perry benched and Iggy scoring for Canada (hey we have a 100% winning percentage when he scores) if we are going to go for gold.
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Axey
PickupHockey Pro



Canada
877 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2010 :  23:50:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest0854

Slozo,

Great minds think alike.

This is what I posted on the shootout topic. Pretty much in line with what you said. Apparently one of us is a parrot.

---
Still not happy with the performance of the game. Yeah we won. But I'm not happy until we play a perfect game. Guess that makes me one to the 35M+ coaches on the team.

Still not happy with Seabrook and Pronger. Nieds is playing like a forward - who does he think he is Paul Coffey? Luckily he is pinching against the Germans and not the Russians. Our defensive strength hasn't shown itself. This I find most surprising.

Still not happy with Getzlaf. Can't believe he blew that one on one against the goalie. He is still not performing like I expected. Perry looks lost. Umm Corey, the bench where you belong is over there. Getzlaf and Perry should be buried in the 4th line and get only 2 minutes of playing time. This pairing is playing well below my expectations (maybe I had too high of an expectation from them). Iggy if only you can score against quality opponents. Hopefully this means you are feeling better from that check in the Norway game. Why is Bergeron on this team if you are only going to give him 13 seconds of playing time in the 1st? That defensive coverage, by all players on the ice, on the first goal was complete and utter garbage. Yes that means the altar boy, Crosby.

What I was happy with in this game.

Those who question why Morrow is on the team, he is the one of the most consistent forward on the team. His game doesn't show up well in the stats sheet, but I'm so glad he is on the team. Eric Staal has played well the last two games. Toews is a much better player than I expected. McGuire coming to his senses and agreeing with pickuphockey posters.

The defence needs to pick it up a notch, Getzlaf and Perry benched and Iggy scoring for Canada (hey we have a 100% winning percentage when he scores) if we are going to go for gold.



Lemme guess your back on the Getzlaf & Perry bandwagon?
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Guest9836
( )

Posted - 02/25/2010 :  06:21:43  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest9836

First off the Russians are not the first real test (they are the first elimination game that will test them). The first test was the Swiss and Canada barely got a passing grade, the second test was the US, and by the scoreboard they failed (No Miller and it would have been a pass).

To beat the Russian I think a few things are necessary.

1) Like people have said Canada has to play heavy, hard hockey. Ovechkin's hits can't be the story of these Olympics when it comes to physical play. One line has to take it upon themselves to relentlessly pound the Russians into the dust. While we likely won't be able to push around Ovie and maybe Malkin, we can take it to Kovalchuk, Semin, Radulov, Fedorov, etc... take the edge away from that secondary scoring, the guys who aren't known for their toughness. Lay out their less physical defence.

2) Neutralize Ovie's chances. This one's obvious. Keep this guy off the scoresheet period. He is probably a catalyst for this team's energy. For Russia the plan is likely identical for Crosby.

3) Defence Defence Defence. Limit the pinching of our defensemen. Our D has to play aggressive but responsible hockey and they have to be willing to get down and block shots if they have too. We don't need 7 offensive defensemen. The all-star forward cast also has to lay down for the cause.

4) Luongo needs to make no mistakes. Let in a good goal, of course that's going to happen, it's Russia, but he cannot let in a softee.

Probably a ton more little things too... but they basically have to leave it all on the ice.



1) CHECK - Canadians dominated physically
2) CHECK - Ovie, 0pts -2, zero impact (though Crosby was also neutralized in this game)
3) check - possibly some room for improvement here, but I thought it was a much tighter game defensively
4) CHECK - Luongo wasn't perfect, but he made the saves he had to make.

Next up, Slovakia.
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Guest0854
( )

Posted - 02/25/2010 :  18:31:07  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Axey
Lemme guess your back on the Getzlaf & Perry bandwagon?

Nope. One good game. I was more impressed with Morrow on that line than the Duckers.

Staal, Toews and Morrow in my mind are playing well beyond what I expected. These two Ducks have been the most underwhelming and have had just one good game. Show me some more and I'll jump on the bandwagon.

I feel for Bergeron, 4 minutes of total ice time in the game. Ouch! and it is not that he is playing bad or great, he just happens to be the odd man out.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5800 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2010 :  19:11:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:


I feel for Bergeron, 4 minutes of total ice time in the game. Ouch! and it is not that he is playing bad or great, he just happens to be the odd man out.



I don't feel bad for him at all. He knows his role and if it's small, i'm sure he likes that roll much better than Jeff Carter or Mike Green like theirs? If he's a team player, he'll make the most of his opportunity! Someone's gotta be the 13th forward? It could be worse, they could dress 12 and leave him in the press box in a suit and tie?
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