With the preliminary round behind them, here's a look at how the six Blue Jacket players who are particpating in the Olympics are doing:
With the exception of Nash, our guys don't seem to be crucial members of their respective squads. Jurcina is second last in terms of icetime for the Slovaks, while Sammy and Freddy are third and dead last respectively in forward ice time for the Swedes. Granted, Sammy missed one of the games with the stomach flu. Hejda has been paired with Blues
defender Roman Polak
in a shutdown role, but he is second to last in icetime himself. Tyutin has played in various situations with the Russians, but isn't a go-to blueliner. Rick Nash was on the top line for Canada for the first three games of the tournament, but has been bumped to the second line with Ryan Getzlaf
and Corey Perry
The Canadians have shuffled their forward lines for tonight's second round game against Germany, and are going with Roberto Luongo
in net, rather than Martin Brodeur
, who started the previous two games for Canada. Here are tonight's forward lines for Canada:
Staal - Crosby - Iginla
Nash - Getzlaf - Perry
Marleau - Thornton - Heatley
Morrow - Toews - Richards
The tournament has been an interesting one so far, the main storyline being the defeat of Canada by the Americans this past Sunday. The Czechs and Slovaks have been a bit of a surprise, nobody gave them any credit going in to the Olympics, but they are playing at a very high level, with the Slovaks even upsetting Russia.
Being a Canadian, I am a bit worried about Canada. All i need to do is think back to Salt Lake City in 2002 however, where Canada started 1-1-1, the record they have now. The path to gold is a bit longer now, but we can still pull it off. I'm not a fan of Nash moving off of the Crosby line, mainly because those two have been great together in the offensive zone. The were unable to click with a third linemate however, hence the blowup of the top six. The biggest issue that i have noticed is the transition game from the defense to the forwards has been brutal. The forwards aren't consistently getting the puck on breakouts. Last game, Marty made two ill-advised mistakes with his stick, one a baseball swing that turned the puck over, and the other a diving poke-check that was about to be cleared by a Canadian defenseman. We'll have to wait and see tonight against Germany if the changes are for the better!