Canada/US Open Thread

Kent Wilson
February 21 2014 09:07AM

Canada is the putative favourite but the Americans have had the best results in the tournament so far. The winner with be showered with praise. The loser with be taunted and booed until my throat is sore!

Add your cheers and/or lamentations below.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 10:43AM
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off topic a bit - but concerning the Women's game yesterday and the puck off the post - Never before has 2 inches made 22 women so happy! (is that offside?)

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#3 Baalzamon
February 21 2014, 12:34PM
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@MontanaMan

Please. the result changes nothing. Kunitz still has no business being on the team, much less on the top line.

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#4 Iggyfan
February 21 2014, 09:24AM
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Go Canada Go! I would feel a lot better with Iggy in the lineup!

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#5 MontanaMan
February 21 2014, 01:13PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Please. the result changes nothing. Kunitz still has no business being on the team, much less on the top line.

Of course. And Babcock shouldn't be coaching. And Price isn't a clutch goaltender and should never have started. Don't try to pick apart a great win and a great team. Enjoy the ride.

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#6 Teamsupreme
February 21 2014, 09:29AM
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@icedawg_42

Do you work for satan?! Or a russian cutting you off from hockey out of spite?

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#7 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 09:34AM
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@Teamsupreme

I work for satan.

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#8 MontanaMan
February 21 2014, 12:28PM
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Where are all of you doubters now? Oh ya, you're the same guys commenting "I knew Canada would win". And the comments about Kunitz? Played a pretty good game and got robbed twice. For all of you who doubted the coaching staff and player selections, this one's for you.

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#9 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 09:27AM
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So - work has decided to block all streaming data today. So feel free to be very verbose in updates

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#10 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 10:52AM
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@Colin.S

doesnt make it any less funny ;)

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#11 mk
February 21 2014, 10:58AM
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SCORE! Shot by Bouwmeester and deflection by Benn!

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#12 beloch
February 21 2014, 12:11PM
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CANADA WINS!!!

That felt like a gold medal match.

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#13 Daves Waves
February 21 2014, 12:11PM
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That's the game! Canada wins 1-0.

It only gave me 3 heart attacks and 2 seizures and 1 almost-broken TV by the remote that I threw.

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#14 Colin.S
February 21 2014, 12:18PM
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I said going into the Olympics that Canada had the best defense of any team. They showed it today, there was some US chances but for the most part Canada controlled play and kept putting pucks on net.

With the big Ice it's important to bring Dmen that can skate and make those crisp breakout passes, instead of Brooks Orpik.

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#15 RKD
February 21 2014, 12:44PM
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Also, Hamhuis played 0:00 minutes of ice time.

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#16 Baalzamon
February 21 2014, 01:30PM
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MontanaMan wrote:

Of course. And Babcock shouldn't be coaching. And Price isn't a clutch goaltender and should never have started. Don't try to pick apart a great win and a great team. Enjoy the ride.

uh. That's not what I'm doing. If Canada lost, I wouldn't be blaming it on the selection of Kunitz. Canada is good and deep enough that one player doesn't cost the win.

But that doesn't change the fact that he shouldn't be on the team. He is in no way one of the 14 best Canadian forwards.

It's sort of like how no matter how many games the Flames win, it doesn't justify Westgarth's position on the roster. Not that Kunitz is as useless as Westgarth.

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#17 Lordmork
February 21 2014, 09:38AM
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I think I care more about beating the Americans than I do about winning gold. I try not to get invested in this sort of thing, but the fact that Americans got #F***Canada trending for a while yesterday irks me, probably more than it should.

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#18 mk
February 21 2014, 10:23AM
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@prendrefeu

To be honest, I really liked the black jerseys. As the lady said, they look intimidating. :)

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#19 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 10:58AM
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YES!!!

(and the most reserved response from J Bow)

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#20 mattyc
February 21 2014, 10:59AM
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JBo nice slap-pass to Benn 1-0

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#21 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 11:10AM
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Canada playing intense, constantly looking dangerous, I absolutely love the game's flow.

The cameraman is probably getting tired compared to the other matches he's had to cover. Someone send that guy a bottle of water.

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#22 beloch
February 21 2014, 11:18AM
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Canada is controlling the puck and outshooting the US nicely. It's still a one goal game though!

-posted from the very freakin' edge of my seat.

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#23 Colin.S
February 21 2014, 11:29AM
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mk wrote:

I think you are correct. This is the Team Canada we were waiting for. Go Canada Go! Keep it up for another 27 mins!

To me it's the same team that has played the rest of the tournament. They are out shooting their opponents, they are controlling the play and are getting the chances. They just can't convert those chances and it's a low scoring game.

Which is why I thought it was silly that people made such a big deal about or lack of offense. We don't need to score 8 goals to win because we are not letting 7 in on the back end.

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#24 Baalzamon
February 21 2014, 12:12PM
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yay. Heckuva game. Canada still can't hit the open net. Nice to see it isn't just the Flames.

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#25 beloch
February 21 2014, 12:13PM
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Half the continent has probably been holding it for the last 20, but now it's time for our bladders to join in the relief!

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#26 EugeneV
February 21 2014, 01:37PM
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Well done Canada. I hate the game on the big ice, makes it as boring as soccer.

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#27 Teamsupreme
February 21 2014, 09:27AM
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Doughty will carry us to glory... hopefully...

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#29 mk
February 21 2014, 09:41AM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

So - work has decided to block all streaming data today. So feel free to be very verbose in updates

That should be illegal in Canada when Olympic hockey is on. Write to the PM! ;)

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#30 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 10:21AM
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The Canada red jersey looks better than the white, but overall it's a game between two 'meh' kits. I liked watching Sweden/Finland. Super stylin'.

(and Go Canada Go!!)

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#31 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 11:53AM
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I would say one more would close off the game, but after seeing the Canadian Women come back yesterday (different opposition, of course)... I'd like to see two more from the boys to seal it off.

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#32 Baalzamon
February 21 2014, 12:00PM
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How long was that stick lying around at center ice?

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#33 mattyc
February 21 2014, 12:16PM
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be still my beating heart

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#34 RKD
February 21 2014, 12:41PM
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Fantastic, defense wins championships. The Americans probably thought they could pot a few. Hell no, they never faced a d like the Canadians and when the going go tough guys like Backes and Kessel got going. I've always been a Price hater because of his playoff record but he's been darn good. Very solid, he's making the big saves when needed.

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#35 beloch
February 21 2014, 09:12PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

uh. That's not what I'm doing. If Canada lost, I wouldn't be blaming it on the selection of Kunitz. Canada is good and deep enough that one player doesn't cost the win.

But that doesn't change the fact that he shouldn't be on the team. He is in no way one of the 14 best Canadian forwards.

It's sort of like how no matter how many games the Flames win, it doesn't justify Westgarth's position on the roster. Not that Kunitz is as useless as Westgarth.

Let's look into this actually, because I think Kunitz was a good selection on his own merits, and not just because he plays with Crosby.

I went to behindthenet, set it to show all left-wingers, sorted, and threw out the non-Canucks to see how Kunitz ranked in a few areas. P/60 is points a player generates per 60 minutes of TOI, which is pretty self-explanatory. Corsi On is an absolute measure of on-ice possession while Corsi Rel gives an idea of how the player improves the possession rates of his team. A guy with great Corsi On but negative Corsi Rel is probably being carried by his team-mates. A guy with low (perhaps even negative) Corsi On and high Corsi Rel is carrying bad team-mates. A guy with both low Corsi On and low Corsi Rel is a crappier than average possession player on a team with crappy possession.

P/60: #5 (#1-#4: Taylor Hall, Kris Newbury*, Jamie Benn, James Neal, Alex Tanguay)
Corsi On: Kunitz: #5 (#1-#4: Dwight King, Bryan Bickell, Matt Fraser**, Pascal Dupuis)
Corsi Rel: Kunitz: #3 (#1-#2: Craig Cunningham*, Chris Terry*)

*Newbury, Terry, and Cunningham are AHL'ers with very small NHL sample sizes and should be ignored.
**Matt Fraser is a sheltered rookie, and should be ignored as well.

Notice how there isn't a lot of overlap in the guys above Kunitz. In terms of point generation combined with posession, he's pretty much tops. In terms of relative Corsi, Kunitz is the best natural LW'er out there. Jamie Benn, for example, does produce significantly more points, but his possession is well below Kunitz's. Taylor Hall's Corsi On and Corsi Rel are both in the negative indicating he's a below average possession player even by the lowly standards of the Oilers, which is no doubt why he was passed over. Now, I'm probably missing a lot of good players that aren't listed by behindthenet as LW's, like two of the guys who actually made the team and are playing LW:

-Patric Marleau generates 2.34 ppg to Kunitz's 2.33. Marleau's Corsi On is slightly higher and his Corsi Rel is substantially lower.
-Matt Duchene generates 2.48 ppg, but his Corsi On and Corsi Rel are both inferior to Kunitz's.

To sum up, Kunitz offers a truly rare complete package of point generation and possession. You might argue that Crosby inflates his numbers, but Kunitz is far from the only forward on this list who plays with excellent line-mates. The stats suggest Kunitz deserves his spot, not just on Team Canada, but in Team Canada's Top 6. Anyone still pining for Taylor Hall is an idiot.

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#36 beloch
February 22 2014, 08:47AM
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I'm watching the US/Finland match. I was planning to root for the US, but these Finns might win me over yet! How great would it be if Selanne got a medal-winning goal?

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#37 beloch
February 22 2014, 10:21AM
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Selanne scored 2 goals in the final, bronze-winning game of his sixth Olympics. Incredible. The Americans, the big offensive juggernaut of the games, have been shut-out for 6 straight periods in the semi-finals and the bronze-medal match. All that remains is Canada vs Sweden!

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#38 Colin.S
February 21 2014, 10:42AM
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The US team is actually making Kunitz look good.

If the game keeps going the way it is, looks like Canada should have this,.

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#39 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 10:43AM
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So any chance Babcock will throw in PK Subban on the next PP ?

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#40 mattyc
February 21 2014, 11:10AM
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Canada doing a great job clearing rebounds out of the front of the net. Almost no 2nd chances for the Americans

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#41 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 11:13AM
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@mk

Yeah, it looks like so far that's either their game plan (faster counters) or what they are defaulting to because Canada has been, for the most part, dominant in actual possession.

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#42 mk
February 21 2014, 11:15AM
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@prendrefeu

I think you are correct. This is the Team Canada we were waiting for. Go Canada Go! Keep it up for another 27 mins!

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#43 mk
February 21 2014, 11:23AM
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Pavelski has now 'almost' celebrated twice. Lol. Both great chances though.

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#44 mattyc
February 21 2014, 11:26AM
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@beloch

frick! Definitely outplaying the Americans, but they've got lots of guys that can make that one shot.

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#45 mattyc
February 21 2014, 11:45AM
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I sense an impending defensive shell. Which doesn't bode well for my nerves...

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#46 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 11:57AM
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PP time. Please put PK in!!

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#47 beloch
February 21 2014, 11:57AM
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It would sure be nice to put one in on this poweplay...

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#48 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 12:09PM
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CANADA WINS!!!

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#49 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 12:10PM
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CANADA WINS!!!

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#50 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 12:11PM
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So much for that high powered US offense. I got trashed a lot in that old thread when I worried I wasn't worried about Canada's chances...

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