Friday, December 12, 2008

Team Canada... according to TPS

Dean and I have assembled our pre-selection camp rosters for the Canadian entry at the 2009 World Junior Championships and after going through plenty of erasers sheets of paper, we're ready to reveal our predictions.

First off, 2 caveats: no injuries and no help from the NHL... so if Colton Gillies does indeed get loaned to the cause by the Minnesota Wild, well you'll have to excuse us for not taking that into account for now. We made our picks based on the 38 names invited by Hockey Canada to try out for the team and that's it.

Millard's Team Canada and Flaming's Team Canada

Starter: Pickard - Tokarski
Back Up: Allen - Pickard

1. Ellis - Ellis
2. Hickey - Hickey
3. Myers - Myers
4. Pietrangelo -Pietrangelo
5. Subban - Subban

6. Teubert - Cuma
7. Wiercioch - Smith

1. Benn - Benn
2. Boychuk - Boychuck
3. Della Rovere - Didomenico
4. Duchene - Duchene
5. Eberle - Eberle
6. Ennis - Ennis
7. Hodgson - Hodgson
8. Tavares - Tavares
9. Tyrell - Tyrell
10. Schenn - Schenn
11. Nash - Nash
12. Sonne - Hall
13. Kane - Kane

Flaming's forward combinations:

Boychuk - Hodgson - Tavares
Benn - Duchene - Eberle
Tyrell - Nash - Kane
Schenn - Ennis - Didomenico

All in all, Dean and I have pretty similar teams; in hindsight I like his choices on the blueline better than mine. I had a hard time cutting both Teubert and Wiercioch but I think the latter will have his time next year and with the big bruising Pats rearguard... it might sound hypocritical coming from a guy who wanted Kyle Beach on the team but Teubert's 72 PIM's were a concern for me.

Up front I chose Didomenico over Della Rovere but can't say I'd be surprised if I was wrong. I took young Taylor Hall over Brett Sonne, the leading scorer in the WHL which looks really odd to me now. However, Hall is the OHL leading scorer so it's a trade off for me. Hall has the experience with Hockey Canada and for me, starts the tournaemnt much like Sam Gagner in 2007... as the extra.

Step up and "Pipe Up!"... put your 20 skaters and 2 goalies in the comments and we'll see how smart everybody is.


Anonymous said...

You are missing the value of Sonne big time. Leads the WHL in scoring, tremendous penalty killer, helped carry the hitmen to first, can play any foward position

Guy Flaming said...

Agreed. He can do a lot of things but has no history with Hockey Canada and that will work against him. Like I said, it's very reasonable to expect him to make the team though, that's why Dean has him on his list.

BTW... Where is YOUR list?

doritogrande said...

Okay, I'll bite.




No surprises in goal here, Pickard's the best of the lot, and Allan has International experience. I was tempted to go with Tokarski because of his Memorial Cup play, but like the other two too much.

Defense needed some size to keep up with the disgusting amount of size and talent the Americans are bringing. Ellis is going to be important to this team, but his size is going to hurt the team at even strength. He'll be a powerplay specialist much like Kris Russell was. Hickey-Pietrangelo will have the tough assignments that Doughty-Alzner had last year.

Notable exception in my forwards list is Kadri, who I think doesn't make this team due to injury. This team's going to run three scoring lines and one shut-down line, so I think Esposito makes the team after being cut so many times.

Major players on the powerplay will be Tavares, Schenn, Eberle, Benn, Esposito and Ennis. Primary PKers will be Hodgson and the 4th line.

doritogrande said...

Edit to add:

Eberle plays with Cody Hodgson and Zak Boychuk tonight in the first intrasquad game. I love seeing Eberle being put in a position to showcase his skills, and he can't have landed better here.

Guy Flaming said...

Boychuk and Hodgson had a ton of chemistry in the Top Prospects game last year (with Josh Bailey). Just one game but would be nice to see them click again, that's why I had them together on my line combos.

I could see Eberle there for sure, makes sense too. I kept picturing Eberle and Benn on the same line for some reason and went with that.

Nice team Dorito!

doritogrande said...

Thanks Guy.

I did notice however, that I'm having a bit of an off day, as I meant to keep Kadri off the roster, yet he's my third line winger. That should be Duschene on the 3-line wing.

doritogrande said...

Write-up on the first intrasquad game is up on Among the highlights in a 6-3 white win:

Brett Sonne (white) with two goals

Eberle, Ennis (white) with a goal and an assist

Tavares (Red) with a hat-trick

Vik said...

Vik's Picks...
Boychuk - Tavares - Benn
Duchene - Hodgson - Eberle
Tyrell - Nash - Sonne
Cormier - Schenn - Della Rovere

Hickey - Teubert
Subban - Pietrangelo
Marshall - Myers


At least that was the team I originally had. Apparently Cuma got hurt now so I'll go with Brendan Smith as his replacement.

The one thing I'll note about my line up is that I'm not as high on Teubert as my lines may suggest. But I figure with how well Hickey and Schenn did last year, he made sense on that pairing.

doritogrande said...

Team's been announced, and I can't believe they cut Riley Nash! Cormier, Della Rovere and Didomenico must have played out of their minds in practice to outshine three assists in three games. Braydon Schenn getting cut is also a huge surprise to me.

I don't like this 8 on defense situation. Seems like a bit of overkill.