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 Kmp
February 21 2014, 11:41AM
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Canada is absolutely dominating, Still like U.S. Chances with Price in net.

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#2 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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#3 prendrefeu
February 21 2014, 11:57AM
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PP time. Please put PK in!!

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#4 Baalzamon
February 21 2014, 02:24PM
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You know, the American team will be pretty frightening in a few years.. Eichel (maybe?) and Galchenyuk centering the top two lines, Trouba and Jones anchoring the D. John Gibson in net?

Who boy.

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#5 mk
February 21 2014, 10:55AM
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prendrefeu wrote:

So any chance Babcock will throw in PK Subban on the next PP ?

None. It would make too much sense.

CBC's count was 8-4 Canada in scoring chances in the first period.

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#6 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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#7 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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#8 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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#9 Peter
February 21 2014, 09:58PM
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@beloch

No plain and simple no. Kunitz has no place on team canada period end of story. 15 times out of 10 you take Neal or giroux. Kunitz should make Canada's b team

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#10 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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#11 Colin.S
February 21 2014, 10:51AM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

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?)

You're about the 1 millionth person to make that joke.

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

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#13 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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#14 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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#15 Baalzamon
February 21 2014, 09:37AM
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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

will do!

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

doesnt make it any less funny ;)

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#18 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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#19 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 12:10PM
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WOOOOHOOO!

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#20 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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#21 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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#22 Baalzamon
February 22 2014, 04:53PM
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@beloch

Judging from the trashes there is a fair bit of irrational hatred for Kunitz.

Wrong. No one disputes that Kunitz is a good player. But there are a lot of good players who have no place on the Canadian Olympic team.

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#23 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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#24 Teamsupreme
February 21 2014, 09:27AM
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Doughty will carry us to glory... hopefully...

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#25 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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#26 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 09:34AM
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@Teamsupreme

I work for satan.

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#27 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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#28 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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#29 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 09:48AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

That sucks man. Our entire office was watching the Canada game on multiple TVs yesterday!

actually for the womens game I had it sweet...was sitting in the Whalen media lounge at the Dome watching the comeback while waiting to suit up for a game of shinny with Warrener and BMo.. Guess im paying that back today. ;(

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#30 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 09:49AM
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@mk

couldnt agree more!

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#31 Johnny Be Gaudreau
February 21 2014, 09:57AM
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Where is Lambert at? Dare he show his face here? or will he only show up IF and that's a big IF MURICA wins to gloat? ;)

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#32 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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#33 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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#34 mk
February 21 2014, 10:28AM
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@icedawg_42

Well, Canada and the US have looked much more exciting and even than past games in the Olympics. Carter just drew a slashing call by breaking up the middle of the ice between 2 defenders - we're going to the PP.

The game is WAY more open than with all the Euro teams.

PP update: Crosby had a beautiful chance and almost put it it. Canada has decent pressure, if a bit to the outside. Several pucks off of refs/linesmen so far. PP is over, no score yet.

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#35 mk
February 21 2014, 10:33AM
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Kunitz REALLY needs to start shooting and not looking for the pass. He had one partial breakaway and one open lane, but he passed off. Maybe he's been reading too much about how he doesn't deserve to be on the team?

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#36 mattyc
February 21 2014, 10:37AM
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@mk

unreal how reluctant they are to just fire it on net.

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#37 mk
February 21 2014, 10:38AM
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American PP hasn't looked too sharp, they just iced the puck. Kessel and Kane have looked FAST this game. Canada is attacking short-handed (not a dangerous chance though - long shot). The US can't seem to set up an attack through the neutral zone right now. PP is over, no score.

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#38 icedawg_42
February 21 2014, 10:39AM
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mattyc wrote:

unreal how reluctant they are to just fire it on net.

This seems to be a chronic problem with the team this time around!

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#39 mk
February 21 2014, 10:39AM
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Kunitz FINALLY took a shot and it went high by about 3 inches - real close. Canada looks like the better team, if only by a bit.

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#40 mattyc
February 21 2014, 10:40AM
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Man, Babcock really likes him some Bergeron. I've also been pleasantly surprised with Kunitz and Carter.

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#41 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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#42 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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#43 mk
February 21 2014, 10:58AM
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SCORE! Shot by Bouwmeester and deflection by Benn!

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

(and the most reserved response from J Bow)

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

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#46 mk
February 21 2014, 11:05AM
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The US is on the PP now and have actually setup in the Canadian zone (unlike their last PP), but are completely to the outside. They have some consistent pressure here but nothing dangerous. The puck is cleared down the ice. US regroups and rushes - they set up again, but lots of passes around the outside still.

Price made a great save and the PP is over. Still 1-0 Canada.

Crosby and Kunitz have actually looked decent together in this game.

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#47 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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#48 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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#49 mk
February 21 2014, 11:12AM
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prendrefeu wrote:

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.

The US looks like they're trying to beat the Canadians 1-on-1 on every break. Every time they've been passing down low, they've had great chances. Pacioretty had an open side of the net but put it across the crease (possibly a bit of a stick lift by the defense).

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#50 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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