Hockey – Canada vs Austria: the Good and the Bad

After a quick, team building win versus Norway, Canada faced Austria next. In 1956, Canada beat Austria 23-0. No one was expecting that before this game, but they were expecting a big win. Canada showed they were (more) in sync and delivered a solid 6-0 win.

For this game, Roberto Luongo started in goal, while PK Subban got in for Dan Hamhuis on defense, and Matt Duchene replaced Patrick Sharp.

Let’s get to it:

Good: Canada was more business-like. Passes hitting tape instead of skates. They got more shots and traffic to the front of the net.

Good: Canada was never really in trouble during this one. Doughty opened the scoring with an assist from Toews 5:24 into the game.

Good: Weber’s goal. Wow, what a shot. Corey Perry knocked down a saucer pass in the neutral zone and set up Shea Weber with a one timer in his wheelhouse. It was so fast that no one knew it went in.

Good: Spoiler alert – not a lot was bad in this game. Canada outshot Austria 16-7 in the first period and completed dominated the period.

Bad: the one Luongo mistake in this game was the Michael Grabner shot that hit the post. More on Luongo later.

Good: After Jeff Carter stepped out of the box and caused a turnover, Crosby took the puck and fed Marleau, who hit the post on a wide open net. Jeff Carter cleaned up the mess like a diligent hotel maid. He wasn’t done there.

Good: After the Austrian goalie Starkbaum coughed the puck up, Jeff Carter stole the puck and tucked it in like the sheets on a hotel bed. Don’t know why there’s a hotel theme happening. Let’s roll with it.

Good: Carter completed the natural hat trick with a quick shot after the puck bounced around in front. The line of Carter-Toews-Marleau played really well in this game, and you wonder how much it changed Babcock’s mind about playing Carter with Crosby.

Bad: Corey Perry’s penalty shot was something out of a video game. The goalie, Bernhard Starkbaum, didn’t even move and made an easy looking glove save on one of the best shooters in the game.

Good: I was actually in favour of Craig Simpson’s suggestion of taking a penalty on purpose when already on a 4 minute penalty kill, in order to get some practice 3 on 5. Too bad it didn’t happen.

Good: Ryan Getzlaf’s shorthanded goal was the mint on the pillow. A defensive faceoff win, a rush up the ice, a toe drag and a quick backhand made it 6-0 Canada with a period left.

Good: Crosby may be the captain, but Toews drives this team. He is to team Canada what Ryan Kesler is to the Canucks

Good: Canada cruises to victory in this one, outshooting Austria 46-23.

Bad: I’m done with Kunitz. I wasn’t particularly against him on the team, but now he’s clearly been outplayed. Also, Martin St Louis needs to sit. He didn’t make the team in the first place, and now he’s taking someones spot. He didn’t replace Stamkos, he took the 14th forward spot. Make him one of the extra forwards and stop feeling bad.

If I’m making lines, they look like this:

Tavares-Crosby-Carter
Perry-Getzlaf-Marleau
Nash-Toews-Sharp
Benn-Bergeron-Duchene

Good: Speaking of starters, there’s no way Price should start. Luongo is more experienced, more mentally stable, has great numbers, and is 6-0 in Olympic play. No question. This needs to be Luongo’s tournament to win or lose.

Good: Onto the (sorta kinda not really) big test. Finland. However, the most anticipated thing for this game won’t be the result; it will be the lineup and goalie.

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