Step One Done
For 20 minutes all of the troubles that saw Canada finish seventh in Turin were on display. The forwards were having troubles creating openings when confronted with a determined trapping team and the defenders were over passing when Canada got powerplays. Yes, it was just the first 20 minutes but when you're looking for indications that this team is going to push past all comers it wasn't entirely encouraging.
Then I imagine that Canada heard that Norway's curling team didn't roll over for Kevin Martin and they proceeded to teach those kipper eaters a lesson:
Dany Heatley and Jarome Iginla led the scoring for the Canadians with two goals a piece while Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Rick Nash all scored one goal a piece. Sidney Crosby led all players with three points, all assists.
The San Jose trio of Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, and Dany Heatley had chemistry from the off but a nice find might be the line of Rick Nash, Sidney Crosby, and Jarome Iginla who scored the nicest goal of the night on a four way passing play with Duncan Keith. The Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Eric Staal used their size and speed to dominate. On the back end, they were certainly not challenged but the defence did a great job of moving the puck. The Goalie Guild has some notes on Luongo but basically they should consist of: Stayed awake, should never play the puck, "Luuuuuu" on dump-ins gets annoying
At the end of the day, this was a powder puff team but you can only beat the team in front of you. Paul Hunter cautions against being too happy with this start based on the last Olympics:
While there was a sense of inevitability about the Canucks’ outburst, nothing is ever certain in Olympic hockey. Just ask any of the players who were on the Canadian team in Turin when that team got shut out 2-0 by the Swiss in 2006. The Canadians started that Turin tourney, one in which they finished seventh, with a 7-2 win over Italy so don’t read too much into this whitewash.
I definitely agree that this was just step one but a team like Norway, with a hot goalie with a history of stifling Canadian shooters, was the kind of team that could have proved fairly tricky. At the end of the day, the 2005 World Juniors and Friends overcame their slow start and wiped the floor with Norway. One down, five to go. Up next: the Swiss.