Canada v. Norway: Six In Twelve

I've been immersed in the Winter Olympics since Friday night and if you haven't been then you're from a warm country or a horrible human being. THE glamour event (no, not one of the figure skatings) starts tonight as the pursuit of the one gold medal that Canada cannot live without begins with a matchup with Norway. While every Canadian team at every level always goes in with the pressure of expectations these Olympics will be an entirely different animal. If the Canadians are going to win a gold medal they will have to win six games in twelve days. There are other iterations that involve draws and losses but they do not exist until they have to.

As much as Steve Yzerman has tried to deflect pressure onto the Russians (# 1 ranked in the world) and Swedes (defending Olympic Champions) the truth is that a major factor in declaring these Olympics a success will be whether the men's team brings home the gold. It's just the nature of the beast. It's no surprise that the sport that brings the most pressure in this country also brings the best results in international competition. Here is Canada's full roster and as much as people talk about the Russians having a good squad I think it's hard to argue that Canada isn't better top to bottom at every position.

Wan Ihite's fanpost has some information on the lines that the team was using at its one and only practice before tonight's opener. Bob McKenzie has the powerplay units:

PP1: Mike Richards - Sidney Crosby - Rick Nash
Chris Pronger - Drew Doughty

PP2: Corey Perry - Ryan Getzlaf - Eric Staal
Dan Boyle - Shea Weber

The Canadians will also have a secret power play weapon in one of the top two lines in the NHL: Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Dany Heatley. I believe that line will have some success tonight. Tonight is about getting the kinks out and figuring out some chemistry issues. Canada will whomp the Norweigians and repay them for their curling team's disrepespect from earlier in the day.

For a spectacular preview of the Olympic hockey tournament I suggest reading the following:

Group A - A Is For Awesome

Group B - B Is For Brutal

Group C - C Is For Cushy

And to get in the mood, watch this video if you haven't already and get PUMPED (Bloge Salming/Down Goes Brown/Lyrics):

 

Full Team Canada roster after the jump. 

# Name S/C HT WT Born Hometown NHL Team
No Nom T/C Gr. Pds. Ville d'origine Équipe LNH
Goaltenders/Gardiens de but
1 Roberto Luongo L/G 6'3" 205 04/04/79 Montreal, Que./QC Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
29 Marc-André Fleury L/G 6'2" 180 11/28/84 Sorel, Que./QC Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
30 Martin Brodeur L/G 6'2" 210 05/06/72 Montreal, Que./QC New Jersey Devils (NHL)
Defence/Défenseurs
2 Duncan Keith L/G 6'1" 194 07/16/83 Penticton, B.C./C.-B. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
6 Shea Weber R/D 6'4" 230 08/14/85 Sicamous, B.C./C.-B. Nashville Predators (NHL)
7 Brent Seabrook R/D 6'3" 220 04/20/85 Tsawwassen, B.C./C.-B. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
8 Drew Doughty R/D 6'1" 203 12/08/89 London, Ont. Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
20 Chris Pronger L/G 6'6" 213 10/10/74 Dryden, Ont. Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
22 Dan Boyle R/D 5'11" 190 07/12/76 Ottawa, Ont. San Jose Sharks (NHL)
27 Scott Niedermayer L/G 6'1" 200 08/31/73 Cranbrook, B.C./C.-B. Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
Forwards/Avants
10 Brenden Morrow L/G 5'11" 205 01/16/79 Carlyle, Sask. Dallas Stars (NHL)
11 Patrick Marleau L/G 6'2" 220 09//15/79 Aneroid, Sask. San Jose Sharks (NHL)
12 Jarome Iginla R/D 6'1" 203 07/01/77 St. Albert, Alta./Alb. Calgary Flames (NHL)
15 Dany Heatley L/G 6'3" 216 01/21/81 Calgary, Alta./Alb. San Jose Sharks (NHL)
16 Jonathan Toews L/G 6'2" 209 04/29/88 Winnipeg, Man. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
18 Michael Richards L/G 5'11" 195 02/11/85 Kenora, Ont. Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
19 Joe Thornton L/G 6'4" 235 07/02/79 St. Thomas, Ont. San Jose Sharks (NHL)
21 Eric Staal L/G 6'4" 205 10/29/84 Thunder Bay, Ont. Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
24 Corey Perry R/D 6'3" 209 03/16/85 Peterborough, Ont. Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
37 Patrice Bergeron R/D 6'2" 194 07/24/85 Sillery, Que./QC Boston Bruins (NHL)
51 Ryan Getzlaf R/D 6'4" 221 05/10/85 Regina, Sask. Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
61 Rick Nash L/G 6'4" 218 06/16/84 Brampton, Ont. Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
87 Sidney Crosby L/G 5'11" 200 08/07/87 Cole Harbour, N.S./N.-É. Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
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