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Thread: Sidney Crosby and the Olympic

      
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    Default Sidney Crosby and the Olympic

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    CTVOlympics.caPosted Tuesday, December 1, 2009 10:10 AM ET

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    Canada's 2010 men's Olympic hockey team won't be named until late December, but CTVOlympics.ca has a weekly evaluation of many of the players under consideration for roster spots. Each Tuesday, we will consider the statistics of each player in their NHL games up to the previous Sunday and consult our Olympic hockey experts. These are our observations for this week:


    Stock Up - Forwards
    false Brad Richards - 4GP, 1G, 5A, -1
    Just a few short years ago, many pundits were labeling Richards as the second coming of Joe Sakic. However a pair of injury plagued seasons seemed to dull his luster somewhat. It is now time to resurrect those comparisons once again as Richards is playing at the level that he was when he captured the Conn Smythe in 2004. It's going to be very tough to keep him off this team.

    Sidney Crosby - 4GP, 5G, 3A, +3
    There really isn't much left to say about Crosby's greatness. Not only is he having a phenomenal season, his sense of timing is impeccable, waiting for free hat night at the Igloo to fire three past Steve Valiquette giving Penguins fans a perfect opportunity to throw them on the ice. His name was written in ink on Team Canada's roster a long time ago.

    Jarome Iginla - 4GP, 1G, 4A, +1
    Much like Crosby, Iginla's name could be tattooed on Steve Yzerman's arm. Instead of resting on his laurels, 'Iggy' has been a one man dynamo for the Flames this season. He is among the league leaders in goals and has led Calgary to the top of the Northwest Division standings. He will likely ride shotgun to Crosby on Team Canada's top line.

    Other forwards on the upswing: Steven Stamkos, Joe Thornton, Brendan Morrow


    Stock Down - Forwards
    false James Neal - 4GP, 0G, 0A, -3
    Neal followed a very strong rookie campaign up by bolting out of the gate this season as he was among the early goal scoring leaders. Unfortunately for Neal the NHL season is a marathon and not a sprint and his fortunes have sagged of late. While he was not invited to orientation camp, he certainly gave Steve Yzerman something to think about over the first month of the season. His recent slump means that Stevie Y likely has one less thing to worry about.

    Milan Lucic - 2GP, 1G, 0A, IR
    Lucic's nightmare continues as he is right back on injured reserve after only four games since returning from a broken finger. The hulking winger appeared to be a dark horse to grab a roster spot as the 13th forward. However two consecutive stints in the sick bay have likely shattered Lucic's Olympic dream.

    Dan Cleary - 4GP, 0G, 1A, -3
    After making a brief bid for a checking line roll with Canada, Cleary's play has fallen off dramatically recently. While he is not the only Red Wing who has struggled, his recent woes have been magnified as he has been skating on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg. If you can't succeed while patrolling a wing with one of the top players in the league, your chances of gravy-training an Olympic roster spot will be difficult.

    Other forwards trending downwards: Jason Spezza, Derek Roy


    Stock Up - Defence
    false Stephane Robidas - 4GP, 2G, 1A, +1
    Although Robidas was one of the more anonymous Olympic orientation camp invites, the Stars' blueliner is making a late push to be included come February. For the past two weeks, Robidas has put his offensive skills on display, and Team Canada brass undoubtedly like what they see. He remains a strong contender for the seventh defenceman role.

    Dan Hamhuis - 4GP, 1G, 2A, +4
    Similar to Robidas, Hamhuis was likely forced to wear a 'Hello my name Is...' sticker at orientation camp in August. Thanks to a recent strong stretch of play, more people are becoming much more acquainted with the Preds' unsung hero. While he will likely be the victim of a numbers game, he has put himself back in the conversation.

    Jay Bouwmeester - 4GP, 0G, 1A, +4
    Bouwmeester is one of those players where statistics don't tell the whole story. The smooth-skating Edmonton native is similar to an innings eating pitcher in baseball. You put him in and you know that he will lead your team in ice-time while playing mistake free hockey. He may not be flashy, but sometimes you need that steadiness from the backend to instill confidence in your team.

    Other defencemen on the upswing: Scott Niedermayer, Duncan Keith


    Stock Down - Defence
    false Brent Burns - Placed on IR
    Due to his size and skating ability, Burns was thought to be a cornerstone of Canada's defence corps for the future, however through the first quarter of the season he has looked anything but a building block. When he hasn't been hurt he has been shockingly poor. His minus-11 rating is among the worst in the league, and the Wild sit in the cellar of the Northwest Divison.

    Chris Pronger 4GP, 0G, 0A, -+
    Have no fear, Pronger will be patrolling the blueline for Canada come February, but his recent stretch of mediocrity just highlights how good he has been thus far this season. Despite his recent stretch of ho-hum play, Pronger remains on target for his second career Norris trophy and a vital piece to a medal contending team in Vancouver.

    Chris Phillips - 4GP, 0G, 1A, -2
    There had been a bit of a groundswell to include the veteran shutdown defender as Canada's seventh defenceman. That seems more and more unlikely as Phillips followed up his best week of the season with one of his worst. He remains a key component of the Senators' surprising Northeast Division title chase, but he will likely be spending February at home rather than trying to lock up opposing forwards.

    Other defencemen trending downwards: Dan Boyle, Drew Doughty, Robyn Regehr


    Stock Up - Goalies
    false Martin Brodeur - 3GP, 3W, 0.97GAA, .963SP
    Team Canada's management has to be smiling after watching Brodeur this week. If there was ever any doubt that he deserves the number one spot for Canada in Vancouver, he has likely erased it with his play this season. He surpassed Patrick Roy for the most minutes ever played by a goaltender this week and Terry Sawchuk's shutout record is in his sights. All in all, it's pretty good to be Martin Brodeur right about now.

    Marc Andre Fleury - 3GP, 3W, 1.97GAA, .908SP
    It's amazing what the return of a couple of key defencemen will do to improve a goaltender's play. In addition when your teammates score eight times, you don't lose too many games. Regardless, Fleury has re-established himself among the elite netminders in the league after a one week blip. He will be among the three goaltenders Canada takes to the Olympics. The question remains if he will be able to push Brodeur for the number one spot.

    JS Giguere - 4GP, 3W, 1.71GAA, .945SP
    'Giggy' was not invited to camp after a poor season last year where he struggled through injuries and personal issues. He even lost his spot as the number one man in the Anaheim nets to Jonas Hiller. Giguere took that slight to heart and recently stated that he would rather retire than serve as a backup. Fortunately for the Ducks instead of hanging up the skates, Giguere has picked up his game and looks like the same guy who captured the Conn Smythe in 2003 and won the Stanley Cup in 2007. He appears to be back, however it is likely too late to make the big impression he needs to crack Canada's roster.

    Other goaltenders on the upswing: Roberto Luongo


    Stock Down - Goalies
    false Steve Mason - 3GP, 3.58GAA, .895 SP
    Every time it appears that Mason has turned the corner and shows flashes of the player that won the Calder trophy last season, he lets in a soft, back-breaking goal and he goes right back to square one. He is particularly poor in the shootout and now stands at 0-4 for the season when the game is not solved following OT.

    Ray Emery - 2GP, 1W, 5.58GAA, .810SP
    The story of the triumphant return of Ray Emery to the NHL might have been written a tad too early. The Flyers have gone into the tank as of late, falling out of a playoff spot in the East, and one of the big reasons has been the not so sweet play of 'Sugar' Ray. When he is on his game, Emery is out early, challenging shooters with his athleticism. However recently he appears to be over committing and battling the puck in net.

    Other goaltenders trending downwards: Carey Price, Marty Turco, Chris Osgood

    HA HA ! Ray Emery - 2GP, 1W, 5.58GAA, .810SP
    The story of the triumphant return of Ray Emery to the NHL might have been written a tad too early. The Flyers have gone into the tank as of late, falling out of a playoff spot in the East, and one of the big reasons has been the not so sweet play of 'Sugar' Ray. When he is on his game, Emery is out early, challenging shooters with his athleticism. However recently he appears to be over committing and battling the puck in net.

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    Default Re: Sidney Crosby and the Olympic

    i wish have tape Fleury for you all to read.......

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