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The winner of Group A will be decided in tonight’s game between Canada and the United States, and for the first time in the tournament (sorry, Switzerland) each team will be playing against a gold medal contender.  Both teams escaped with narrow victories against the Swiss, and both teams hammered on Norway.  The winner gets a bye to the semi-finals, while the loser plays a quarterfinal game against one of the tournament’s lower seeded teams.

We noted yesterday that Martin Brodeur will be between the pipes for Canada, and that’s the safe choice for Mike Babcock.  There’s also been a bit of line juggling, as Philadelphia Flyers forward Mike Richards will play left wing on the first line, joining Sidney Crosby and Rick Nash, who moves to the right side.  On defence, once again Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will not be playing together, and according to Babcock Shea Weber – who leads Canada in time on ice with an average of 23:12 per game – will likely continue as the team’s number one defenceman.  I like Weber as much as the next guy, but I’ll admit I didn’t see him as the best defenceman on the team.

On the American side, Ron Wilson says he doesn’t plan to match any particular unit against Sidney Crosby, though it’s entirely possible that he’s being disingenuous.  On the other hand, when the opposition’s top three centres are Crosby, Thronton and Getzlaf, line matching almost becomes a moot point.  Wilson already has his shootout guys picked, based on who has had the most success against Brodeur.

Don’t forget to check out Steve Kouleas’ pre-game take:

Comments (8)

  1. Winner gets a bye to the *quarterfinals*, loser plays a pre-QF, play-in game.

  2. Can’t wait for this game. Should be a very close and exciting match. My guess is 3-2 Canada, with Iginla stepping up as Yankee slayer again with two goals.

  3. 4-1 Canada

  4. i say canada mens hockey sunday it will be 4=3 for canada.

    I also will say i love the womans hockey its very exciteing, i wish i could watch it
    everyday of the year. it is the best and im not a woman.

  5. Iginla is looking like Maxim Afinigenov out there- Pure Perimeter.
    How much do you think Yzerman is regretting passing on Bouwmeester and Green? This defense has been terrible.

  6. Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Canada sandbagged in the ealry part of the game and the U.S. killed them for it. But what can I expect from anyone in this country lately?

    I Am Canadian, but am really ashamed how all of us can be expected to cheer the key athletes who do NOTHING BUT SANDBAG on the world stage. It really speaks volumes of us when we can go around as a nation and say were proud of choke-artists like this Team Canada who are lazy, wishy-washy, and incompetent. Yeah, I said it. They’re incompetent and deserve nothing but a semi-final loss now. TEAM CANADA DOES NOT DESERVE TO PLAY FOR GOLD NEXT WEEK AT ALL, AND THEIR PRESENCE THERE IS A GODDAMN FLUKE IF THEY MAKE IT SOMEHOW, WHICH THEY WON’T! They failed being up 7-0 after 2 against the U.S. and paid for it dearly.

    But then, I suppose most of that has to do with our global ‘nice guy’ image, which has made our country totally irrelevant on the larger and most important global competitive stage, where all the glory and money lies. That is what we should greedily and selfishly go after, and give the rest of the world a big Fuck You! Because, to be honest, we are greedy pricks. Yeah…we are greedy. And as a result of putting up this False Front of ‘nice guy’, we are getting our asses handed to us in short order, when we here in Canada should be selfishly throwing our weight around.

    I mean, when other countries view us, they say ‘Aww…how cute.’ when they really think of us as idiots and morons who WILL NOT go out there in the world and just take success ruthlessly. And yeah…we here in this country are not ruthless. We’re more like gutless, spineless cowards who bungle things up at the MOST IMPORTANT, GOLD-MEDAL / CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING times, not only in sports, but in life in general. We frankly deserve no respect from any other nation until we realize that going on a blunt-force, kill em’ all attack with intense rage is the only way to succeed at things. That ditching our ‘good guy / babyface’ image is the route to getting lots of good things, such as on-field dominace of and higher political control over sports and industries.

    I don’t think anyone out there in Canada realizes how far back we truly are when it comes to positive advancements in the world at large. Other nations have already passed us by because we refused to say ‘No’ to them. Avro Arrow anyone?

    Let’s face it…Canada is complacent, incompetent, clueless, gutless, and spinelessly cowardly. How the hell can we expect anyone to take us seriously when we aren’t choosing to drop the Front and become openly ruthless, vicious, and ticked off? And enough to the point where we want to take someone’s head off for laughing at us? Why do you also think that the 6 Canadian NHL teams haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 17 years, and won’t win it this year either?

    Canada, GROW A SPINE AND GROW THE FUCK UP, AND FACE THE FUCKING TRUTH!!!!!!

  7. Ragin’ Ronic– You’re an idiot

  8. Had Brodeur actually played a good game this could have been a totally different game. A game like this was needed just like the one against the Swedes in 2002. Only this time it’ll be time for Luongo to take over. Beyond that they need to look at their Defense to many of those few shots were dangerous because the States clogged up the crease. Again this has most to do with Brodeur being out played by Miller. And in this tournament that’s all it comes down is being outplayed by the other guy and you lose. Brodeur has not looked good from the start so it’s time for Luongo to take over and see what happens.

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