With both the Canadian and Finnish roster’s being announced today, it was a big day for several Flames Olympic hopefuls. Flames captain Jarome Iginla was a lock for the Canadian team, but Jay Bouwmeester appeared to be a "bubble" player and fellow defencemen Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regher appeared to be longshots at best. On the Finnish side, big center Olli Jokinen and goalie Miikka Kiprusoff appeared shoe-ins, but with Kipper’s statement earlier this year about only going if he was named the starter, there was some doubt.
Well, the Finn’s announced their team first and both Jokinen and Kiprusoff were on it. Kipper’s play this season left little doubt, as he’s been one of the top 5 goalies. For the rest of the Finnish roster click here.
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR THE D
With the three defencemen all vying for what was considered to be 1-2 spots, someone was going to be left disappointed. We just didn’t know it would be all three. I had Bouwmeester on my roster, but Steve Yzerman and company went with Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith, Scott Niedermeyer "C", Chris Pronger "A", Brent Seabrook and Shea Weber, leaving Jay-Bo off the team.
As expected, Jarome Iginla was named to the team. He was also named one of three alternate captains. With so many different "right" options at this point in time, it’s hard to question any of the remaining 12 forwards – Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby "A", former Calgary Himen Ryan Getzlaf, Calgary native Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Brendan Morrow, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton and Jonathan Toews.
The two surprises up front to me were the inclusion of Patrice Bergeron, who flew in under the radar having been the only player named that was not invited to Canada’s summer evaluation camp. Given recent projections from the likes of Bob McKenzie et al, his inclusion really shouldn’t be a surprise, I guess. Mike Richards was the other given his play in the second quarter of the season. However, he was virtually a lock prior to this season’s start, and Head Coach Mike Babcock is said to love the versatile center. He stood out as Canada’s best player in the summer evaluation, so again I really shouldn’t be that surprised.
No surprises in goal, as Canada went with Martin Brodeur, Marc-Andre Fleury and Canucks captain *snicker* Roberto Luongo.
DID THEY GET IT RIGHT?
So did the Canadian braintrust get it right? No matter what roster they picked, plenty of second guessing would commence. It’s hard to argue against this squad and only time will tell.
Flame fan – Did they make a mistake in not including any of the Calgary defence? Should Bouwmeester have been there? Phaneuf? Regher? Drew Doughty is a hell of a player, but I would’ve taken Jay-Bo’s experience over him for these Olympics. Maybe that’s why I’m writing this and not announcing the team myself.
If any good can come of this, hopefully it has lit a fire under the vaunted ‘D’. Then again, one would think a pretty big fire should’ve been lit all season considering the announcement planned for today.
The LA Kings visit "The ‘Dome" tonight, as the Flames see if they can win two in a row and start a bit of a winning streak. A win tonight would set the table for a three game winning streak to round out the year as the Edmonton Oilers will visit on New Year’s Eve.