TCGD: More like American’t

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Today is the round robin match that everyone has been waiting for. Team Canada vs. Team Our Parents Immigrated from Canada. As a child of the 80s it seems odd to consider the US as Canada’s chief hockey rival, but I can no longer trap myself in 1987 and continue to believe that the Russians are the greatest test for Canada.

This game preview could take the high road and talk about how great the US National Team Development Program is, and how I wish that Hockey Canada had something resembling anything close to that. We could talk about how this game could be a gold medal preview and features the two undefeated teams from Group A and a victory has the high stakes of a much easier path to the medal round, though losing to the Swiss or the Czechs would be unlikely for either of these teams.

Or we could take the low road, and make this a jingoist preview that accuses the USNTDP as being nothing more than a federal agency that forges American birth certificates for Canadians so they can play in the World Juniors when they aren’t good enough to make Team Canada. Ahhh, low road, you’re so much more fun. We get to watch Americans try to portray their country as an underdog in this tournament solely because of before Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews the best hockey player their country was able to produce was Mike Modano (please note that Pat LaFontaine is actually the greatest American player). We can reminisce about how Team USA didn’t show up in Sochi or Ryan Miller’s performance in Vancouver. Of course, this isn’t the Olympics so it’s not as easy to dismiss the U.S., but I’d keep their hotel’s security on high alert nonetheless.

Team Canada

So far so good for Team Canada. Clearly it was the uniforms that were holding them back for the past few seasons. Not a whole lot to complain about if you have a Nick Ritchie sized blindspot. The race is on between Ritchie and Leafs prospect, blue chip faceoff specialist Frederick Gauthier to see who will be the last Canadian forward with a point. 

Forwards (Check out Top six usage here)

Max Domi – Sam Reinhart – Anthony Duclair

Nick Ritchie – Connor McDavid – Curtis Lazar

Nick Paul – Nic Petan – Robby Fabbri

Lawson Crouse – Frederik Gauthier – Jake Virtanen

Brayden Point

Defence (Defence Usage)

Josh Morrissey – Madison Bowey

Darnell Nurse – Shea Theodore

Sam Morin – Joe Hicketts

Dillon Heatherington

Team U.S.A

This game will provide Edmonton fans with an opportunity to see future Oiler Jack Eichel outmatched by Connor McDavid. For the rest of us, we can enjoy seeing a team that has a great blend of size, speed, and skill that most Canadian hockey fans would admire in a non-international tournament setting. Instead they are poor sportsmen who are clearly playing dirty. 

Motte – Eichel – Tuch 

Wood – Matthews – Schmaltz

Milano – Larkin – Fasching

Louis – Compher – Hayden

De Leo

Butcher – Carlo

Hanifin – McCoshen

Werenski – DeAngelo

Collins

Starting Goaltenders

Eric Comrie

VS

Thatcher Demko

What to watch for

  • Hockey talk quickly devolving into jingoism on twitter
  • Guaranteed accusations of poor officiating
  • Nick Ritchie point watch
  • Chase De Leo, hockey’s most indie-rock name ever
  • Way too many jackasses in the stands with “It’s Our Game” signs
  • If you’re an Oilers fan, probably the best hockey game you’ve watched this season and you’ll probably attribute it to Darnell Nurse being the greatest shutdown defenseman of all-time.
  • At some point you’ll come to terms with the fact the Jets have a lot of really good prospects
  • Plenty of Leafs fans who still want to talk about how great William Nylander is
  • I think a couple of these kids might get drafted this year. I wonder if TSN will mention it or try making a rivalry out of two players who’ve never met?
  • mk

    1. Canada
    2. Sweden
    3. USA
    4. Russia
    5. Finland

    We have a bigger rivalry with the US, but the reality is that on balance Sweden is the bigger threat.

    Also Darnel Nurse is like a classy Pronger.

    • mk

      Not that Nurse doesn’t share some similarities, but I think people forget how great Pronger actually was. There is a reason he took 3 different teams to the Cup Finals in 5 years (and that those teams sucked once he left).

      If Nurse is that good, the Oilers will be the top dog in the west for a long time.

    • TDM

      Does the drug king aka oiler owner poison the water in edmonton with hallucinogens?? Is it any wonder Lowe still has a job when fans are comparing Nurse to Pronger?

      • YFC Prez

        Nurse also reminds me of The Human Rake but without the nastiness.

        He’s comparing him to a young Pronger. A lot of his game echoes that of Pronger when he was around Nurses age.

          • YFC Prez

            Good grief.

            He reminds me of Pronger without the mean streak. I’m not saying he is going to be at the same level as Pronger. That’s a lofty expectation for any prospect.

            Can’t say anything here without someone twisting your words around. Or switching context.

            No where did I say nurse was “generational”. ( I hate this overused description of prospect talent )

            Saying he shares some of the same elements in his game is not calling him the ” next Pronger”

        • YFC Prez

          Whatever you say. I guess when you’re starving a carrot looks like a steak.

          At Nurse’s age pronger was in his second year in the NHL. In his first 2 years of the OHL He scored 139pts in 124 games. But his “nastiness” is what made him who he was. Saying Nurse is like pronger without the nastiness is kinda like saying yakupov is like Bure without his speed.

          Nurse is a quality prospect but not in the same stratosphere as pronger. The only similarity is they’re both somewhat tall and lanky. But I guess if Jultz can win a Norris than Nurse can be Pronger

  • YFC Prez

    Happy New Year FN!

    Just a quick note re: USA’s 3rd defense pairing noted above.

    Craig Button in a recent post makes Mr. Werenski a likely candidate for the Flames defensive prospect corps via the 2015 draft.

    Clearly the Flames need help via their 3rd pairing so I am assuming that they will draft the best available d-man at the draft …. this I suppose barring a wonderful trade or 2 that BT might be able to pull off in the interim for that D-help. (And wouldn’t Yandle look good with the flamin’ “C” jersey on?)

    I know zip about Mr. Werenski … comments? … thus I will be watching intently this evening his every move.

    All the best FN, what a second half of the season it should be!

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    I am hoping Canada loses today. I see a Canada/USA final and the loser of todays game wins the final. I think I may be getting way too juju about all this

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Shouldn’t caps shield have broken. Two unbreakable metals I guess, but wolverine is BA, so that should count for something. Also Deadpool is Canadian. Give me a couple beers and I can give you a solid reason for putting Deadpool in place of the maple leaf.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    WRANK

    Thatcher Demko? Chase de Leo? Can someone check to make sure these guys with the made up names aren’t 25 year olds with fake birth certificates?

    • TDM

      Boy, you guys win 2 games in 22 and there’s no shutting you up. That’s ok, new losing streak starts tonight for you guys. Out of curiousity, which one of Eichel or McDavid are you going to force to not report when you finish 30th again?

      • SmellOfVictory

        First class Flames fan aren’t you? Well seeing as both of these players have actual class they have both reported they would play for any team that drafted them. Whether that’s Carolina, Buffalo, Edmonton, whoever. Let’s not get too upset over these generational players.

        • KiLLKiND

          Actually McDavid already said he won’t play for a team that tanks for him…… Edmonton what are you doing this year, if it’s not tanking that that’s just sad.

          • SmellOfVictory

            It’s tanking if management allows you to go into a season with glaring deficiencies and knowing who the top picks are and does absolutely ZERO to improve the team both before and during the season.

            Mac T washing his hands in November and saying oh well guess we need a new coach again and than kicks back to the draft doesn’t cut it. 2 nhl centers and 2 backup goalies? Yeah bro that’s tanking

          • BubbaZanetti

            You’re right, and no Oilers fan will disagree with you in fact most of them were commenting on how MacT needs to shore up the middle and find a legitimate C to protect Draisaitl.

            He took a gamble on the goaltenders no doubt but before the season started no one would have predicted the goaltending to be this bad and I think it was a fair bet to see if Fasth and Scrivens were capable #1 goalies.

            As far as tanking goes, I highly doubt that was the plan. No one including the entire staff of this website projected the Oilers to make the playoffs however no one also projected them to finish 30th.

            As someone already commented, the Oilers are simply a bad team. And as far as fans of the team are concerned they want management gone in the off season.

            No one beats up the Oilers more then the fans. We’re all just hoping Katz is listening.

  • A-Mc

    The U.S. will go after our captain and try to run him throught the boards. We will retaliate in the right manner and beat the us on the scoreboard. The U.S. will then blame North Korea.

  • YFC Prez

    Ahhhh this is more like it. Flames and oilers fans taking the opportunity to trash talk each on a Canada national game where we should be “friends”.

    Flames suck, oilers suck and the tank job is undoubtedly on. But we can discuss this further on the BOA GDB.

    Until then Go Canada and you Godless flames are going down tonight!