Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Team TwentyTen


Niedermayer (C)
Pronger (A)

Crosby (A)
Iginla (A)
M. Richards
E. Staal

Late Edit
This was our 100th post... kind of poetic...

Last post before the announcement...

In a last minute revision of his list, Bob McKenzie has tweeted that he is taking Bouwmeester off his list for Drew Doughty... does he know something early?

We're about to find out...

Trying to steal the thunder

Typical of nations jealous of Canada's hockey dominance, two other nations have attempted to steal the thunder from Team Canada by announcing their Olympic hockey rosters.

The Czechs and Finns have both released their rosters. In anticipation of the Team Canada roster announcement, I have decided to not write anything about these jealous, child-like nations.

2 more hours... WHAMMO!!

'Twas the morn of selection day...

In the spirit of the announcement and the season, I have prepared a short poem...

'Twas the morn of selection day and all through the TwentyTen house,
not a blogger was typing, not touching a mouse;

With Dewey on the couch and Matty in his chair,
contently knowing soon who would be there;

TwentyTeners nation wide still snug in their beds,
with visions of gold medals only thoughts in their heads;

Stevie Y with the list, he checked it again,
hoping, knowing, he'd picked the right men;

Babcock was seated, finalizing his plans,
this team didn't need a base, it was already a nation of fans;

All of a sudden cameras were flashing,
Stevie stepped to the podium, it's time, it was happening;

The silence was deafening, the volume cranked up,
I sipped the beer nervously from my team Canada cup;

He stood for a moment and breathed it all in,
he looked at the list, and then he would begin;

He named off the players from his list with certainty,
these were his players, his twenty skaters and goalies three;

A nation stood in amazed and paid attention closely,
some questioned, some applauded, some simply listened intently;

As quick as he appeared, he was gone just as fast,
media and bloggers nationwide immediately began to put the GM on blast;

Come February in Vancouver, it will be much more than a game,
it will be a our passion, our air, our acclaim;

No matter what now, this was our team, this is our show,
come February we will all cheer, "Go, Canada! Go!"

… really wanted to end that one with "WHAMMO!!"

Remember that the announcement happens today at 1 PM Atlantic (12 Eastern). You can watch live on TSN, as well as at Another good idea would be to follow me on Twitter, and check back to Canada Twenty Ten often for our thoughts on the team!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dewey's Team TwentyTen

With the announcement of Team Canada coming tomorrow afternoon, I thought it would be timely of me to announce MY Team TwentyTen.

I picked my team based on performance, past and present, and also used what I have read and heard over the past few weeks, taking what I believe are good hints on the team. Also, I did my best to NOT put guys on the team who I do not care for (and did a pretty good job of it!).

Without further ado, my list:

Iginla - Crosby - Nash
Heatley - Thornton - Marleau
J. Staal - M. Richards - B. Richards
St. Louis - Getzlaf - Perry

Niedermayer - Weber
Pronger - Boyle
Keith - Seabrook


Why did I pick the players I did? I'll try to explain...

The goalies I think are hands down. Everyone has been picking them, and I am no different. From the start we've said Brodeur and Luongo would be 1 - 2, but we were never sure about who the starter would be. Brodeur has had the better season to this point, so at the moment, he is the starter in my opinion. Things could change, but today, he starts.

The defense was a tough call for me. I had 5 guys as sure bets, those being Nieder, Pronger, Weber, Keith, Seabrook. Then I had a decision to make. I had to make a choice between Dan Boyle and Mike Green. To this point this season, Green is actually having the better season statistically (9G, 29A, +15) than Boyle (7G, 14A, +6), but I kept coming back to a conversation I had with Matty while watching last year's playoffs. He actually had a post about Green's disappearing act during the biggest games of the year, and that's why I put Boyle ahead of Green.

Then I needed to select my seventh defensemen. Originally, I said Bouwmeester, and eventually went with him, but I actually erased his name for Green's twice, and switched it back both times. Bouwmeester has never been on a big stage and I wasn't sure how he might react. I made this decision using the "McCabe" thought process, where bringing a "powerplay specialist" in '06 did not really help the team, and I doubt it would help them this year. They already have enough firepower on the blue line, so I went with the guy I figured would be a steadier defender.

The forwards, obviously, had easy choices and had some very difficult ones. I think the first line has been decided on since the orientation camp this summer. The second line has been absolutely foolish this year in San Jose, so they're there as well.

The fourth line (third scoring line) was one that originally could have been the number 2. I hate putting St. Louis on there (as has been documented), but of the other guys I thought of, I couldn't find a better fit than St. Louis. So Marty, don't let me down.

Perry and Getz are solid and have great chemistry together in Anaheim. I think these guys have to be there, and will be there.

The checking/shut down line was the last I decided on. I hadn't even considered Brad Richards for a spot on the team, but when I read that Stevie had been considering guys NOT at the summer camp, followed by the news on Saturday night that Pierre Lebrun said that he didn't think Stamkos made the cut after speaking with his sources, I put that together with the fact that both he and Grapes had spoken with Stevie Y and both had him on the team in their choices. The stats are there, he has history with the team, and I just have a hunch that in their talks, maybe his name was discussed. There has to be a guy that makes the team who wasn't at the camp, and if it won't be any of the guys we've talked about before, then it might as well be him... and that's only one of the guys on this line...

I took Mike Richards because he's a pest. While still young, he manages to get under the skin and does a pretty good job shutting down other teams stars. He's a guy who you can rely on on the PK, and another guy who's great at faceoffs, just because we need another one.

At the start of the camp, everyone assumed it would be the oldest Staal brother who would make the team. However, tomorrow I believe it will be the youngest who's name is read by Mr. Yzerman. I have heard that Jordan wasn't being considered for a spot, so this may be iffy but I think he's another guy who does a great job shutting down and is a valuable asset on the PK. I actually had thought of putting Toews on this line (not a defensive liability at all with a +18 this season so far), and then putting Stamkos as the 13th forward. This was the toughest choice for me to make, because I love Stamkos on this team. I heard someone make a claim that Team Canada suffered in 2006 by not picking a young sniper by the name of Sidney Crosby in his 2nd NHL season, but just the way Lebrun made his claim on Saturday night about him not making the cut, so close to the decision, it just seems like he knows something, and unfortunately I have to believe it.

So there it is, there's my team. Stevie, let's see what you have.

... almost forgot...


Monday, December 28, 2009


I will be back in two days...and you can bet I'll put an end to this Grapes and Milbury (two lesser minds have never patrolled the Bruins bench) BS about who's who on the twentyten team.

Till we reconnect twentyteners...till we reconnect...


Surströmming und meety bolls forr eveeryvan! Børk børk børk!

No doubt the Swedish team will be a formidable opponent, what with being the defending Olympic champions. Today we know a little more about our meatball making opponents, as they have released the list of players on who will represent their country in Vancouver.

The team is full of veterans, and have some strong players, with Henrik Lundqvist in goal, Nick Lidstrom on the blue line, and the Sedin twins up front. They also have Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Forsberg, but Alfie is out the next 4 - 6 weeks, so who knows if he'll be in game shape in time, and Forsberg is always a wildcard. The recent emergence of a guy like Loui Eriksson certainly helps the Swedes, but I'm not sure they'll have a team that will compete as well as they did in '06. Here is the full list:

Jonas Gustavsson (Toronto Maple Leafs/NHL), Stefan Liv (HV 71), Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers/NHL)

Tobias Enstrom (Atlanta Thrashers/NHL), Magnus Johansson (Linkopings HC), Niklas Kronwall (Detroit Red Wings/NHL), Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit Red Wings/NHL), Douglas Murray (San Jose Sharks/NHL), Johnny Oduya (New Jersey Devils/NHL), Henrik Tallinder (Buffalo Sabres/NHL), Mattias Ohlund (Tampa Bay Lightning/NHL)

Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators/NHL), Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals/NHL), Loui Eriksson (Dallas Stars/NHL), Peter Forsberg (MODO Hockey), Tomas Holmstrom (Detroit Red Wings/NHL), Patric Hornqvist (Nashville Predators/NHL), Fredrik Modin (Columbus Blue Jackets/NHL), Samuel Paahlsson (Columbus Blue Jackets/NHL), Daniel Sedin (Vancouver Canucks/NHL), Henrik Sedin (Vancouver Canucks/NHL), Mattias Weinhandl (Dynamo Moscow/RUS), Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Red Wings/NHL)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Just keeps getting better (Satellite Hotstove edition)

This just in on Hockey Night in Canada's Satellite Hotstove, MIKE MILBURY makes his choices for Team Canada! Matty, I know that you're missing this...

St. Louis
Mike Richards
Jordan Staal

Pronger - Niedermayer
Keith - Weber
Seabrook - Boyle


No doubt old Mikey has been reading our blog...

For good measure, Pierre Lebrun's picks, who with both Smyth and Doan makes his picks the absolute worst I have seen. Terrible. I don't even care about who else he picks (AND ST. LOUIS!! HE REALLY HATES ME!!!)

St. Louis
Brad Richards
Jordan Staal

Niedermayer - Weber
Pronger - Boyle
Keith - Seabrook


Glenn Healy chimed in too... too busy typing to hear what him and Milbury argued about tonight, no doubt it was intellectually stimulating as it always is... Healy was pretty big on David Clarkson, if it had not been for his injury, but I'm not sure he would have been available as I doubt he would have been on the original list.

St. Louis
Brad Richards

Niedermayer - Weber
Pronger - Boyle
Keith - Seabrook


Other notes:
Lebrun said Stevie Y scouted Tampa heavily, probably for Stamkos, who he doesn't think makes the cut.

He also mentioned he told Yzerman that they were picking their own teams, to which Stevie said he was "with Grapes".

Grape pickin'

Because I know Matty is missing Coach's Corner out there in Thailand, I had to post this... Cherry's team that he picked tonight on Hockey Night. Matty, I know you're scrambling to find a TV playing the Corner somewhere in Asia, but fear not, I have you covered...


Pronger - Weber
Niedermayer - Boyle
Robidas - Green

Getzlaf - Crosby - Perry
Marleau - Thornton - Heatley
Jordan Staal - Brad Richards - Nash
Fisher - Toews - Iginla

He admitted that he knows a lot of these guys probably won't be on the team, but these are the guys he thinks should be on the team. If I'm not mistaken, the first time Matty put his board up in the Twenty Ten household, it looked almost the same, just going to prove that great minds think alike...


Say hello to the enemy...

Well, with that first WJC game in the books, a 16 - 0 drubbing of Latvia (who I am beginning to believe don't actually have ice in their home country), there's some news relevant to our beloved Twenty Ten team.

The Russians have announced their Olympic team that will hit the ice in Vancouver in 2010.

A quick look at the team...

Ilya Bryzgalov (Phoenix), Evgeni Nabokov (San Jose), Semyon Varlamov (Washington)

Sergei Gonchar (Pittsburgh), Denis Grebeshkov (Edmonton), Dmitri Kalinin (Salavat Ufa), Konstantin Korneyev (CSKA Moscow), Andrei Markov (Montreal), Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars Kazan), Fedor Tyutin (Columbus), Anton Vonchenkov (Ottawa)

Maxim Afinogenov (Atlanta), Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit), Sergei Fedorov (Metallurg Magnitogorsk), Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta), Viktor Kozlov (Salavat Ufa), Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh), Alexei Morozov (Ak Bars Kazan), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington), Alexander Radulov (Salavat Ufa), Alexander Semin (Washington), Danis Zaripov (Ak Bars Kazan), Sergei Zinoviev (Salavat Ufa)

Surprised by some of the omissions (you can read that on the CTV site, I don't need to parrot who was left off as well as who made the squad), but I'm not too concerned, as they must feel they're giving their team the best chance to win, and there's no shortage of skill with Ovi, Malkin, Datsyuk and Kovalchuk up front.

Turn on and tune out

Howdy Twentyteners!

Hope the jolly fat man found you all well this Christmas! I for one made off like a bandit, but that's not what this post is about...

This week marks one of the years most exciting times for Canadian hockey fans, when the IIHF World Junior tournament kicks off. These youngsters always provide a lot of excitement to the fans, and all in all, it's a great tournament if you enjoy watching hockey.

The problem of course with the tournament, much like the upcoming Olympic hockey tournament, is that the games are on TSN, which of course means you get a healthy serving of Miller and McGuire, with a side of Randorf, which never goes down well after a big Christmas dinner and the accompanying sweets.

Have no fear, as I am here with the solution to your woes! It's a very simple solution, and this World Junior tournament is the perfect time to practice before the Olympics in February.

When you turn your TV to the TSN station, locate the button labeled "Mute" on your remote. Press it once and your ears will not be subjected to the auditory vomit spewed by the TSN play-by-play crews.

What's that? You don't HAVE a mute button? No worries, I've got you covered!

If you're still living in the stone ages without a mute button, simply locate the "volume down" button on the remote control and hold it down until sound ceases to come from your television set.

We here at Canada Twenty Ten are always here to help... so you're welcome.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Interesting notes from Dreger

I woke up this morning and groggily turned on the television to see Sportscentre talking about our beloved team. I was still half asleep while I listened to this, and I was too lazy to wait to watch it again in the unforgivably long morning loop (really, this new girl they have on there MAY be more annoying than McGuire... I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'...).

Babcock had a quick interview where he said that about "95% of the team HAS been decided on". Darren Dreger expanded on this, with just a single week left to go before the announcement:
  • Phaneuf will NOT be on the team
  • The 7th defenseman will be one of Green, Bouwmeester or Doughty
  • There are about 18 guys fighting for the last 3 spots on the team. Martin St. Louis is one of those guys (my heart is breaking... /sarcasm). Apparently Milan Lucic is being strongly considered for a spot on the squad
The time of the announcement is nearing, and it looks like the pieces are all falling into place...


PERFECTLY TIMED UPDATE: Just after publishing the story, I checked out the CTV Olympics site, and came across this article, which says the field has been narrowed to 15 forwards and 8 defensemen. When asked, Steve Yzerman did not confirm nor deny that all of those players attended camp this summer... the plot thickens

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An early Christmas gift

First off, before this post, I would like to say that YES, I have had an extended absence from the blog. I want to apologize to all the Twentyteners out there who have missed my musings, and can only hope you'll forgive me as I've been bogged down with work (I built the application, I haven't been sitting around building cartoons, FYI), Christmas shopping, and of course crying over the Blue Jays loss of Roy Halladay. I don't hate the trade, but that's for another blog for another day. I can only hope that in this, the most festive of seasons that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

Onto my post. The early gift is NOT my post, that'd be somewhat lame, but my gift does come in the form of a post, which is quite different, let me assure you.

I would like to give an early Christmas gift as an endorsement of a certain player to make the squad. Stevie, I hope you're reading, because this is for you.

There's a certain player, one who wasn't even invited to the camp in the summer. This player was one of the best players at the end of the last season, and thus far this season has been one of the top players in the league. He has international experience, experience in which he's excelled in. His success this season is no secret, and his name HAS been tossed around, just not on this blog, which, of course, is the be all end all of what's what with the 2010 Canadian Olympic hockey team.

Who is this mystery player you might ask?

Steven Stamkos.

That's right, the young Stamkos has been absolutely on fire this season. With 21 goals and 14 assists (at the time of writing this post). He is 2nd on the Lightning in scoring (ugh, Martin St. Louis has 40). After a rough start to his rookie season, Stamkos has really adapted well to the NHL level of play quite nicely.

I had a loyal Twentytener just tonight tell me, "you don't need Stamkos there if you have Toews", but I could not disagree more. Toews is a great player, don't get me wrong. But there are a couple of guys in August that we were saying were on this team. Not so much as "locks" but guys expected to be there. The problem, of course, is that some of these guys seemed to have lost their scoring touch. Guys like Eric Staal and Jeff Carter aren't really lighting the lamp, with 6 and 12 goals respectively. Stamkos has more then the two of them combined, and as much as I hate to say it, with Marty St. Louis passing the puck as well as he is to Stamkos in Tampa, it might not be a bad idea to pair the two of them up, much like the San Jose connection of Heatley-Marleau-Thornton is expected to play together come February.

So there you go Steve Stamkos, you have a ringing endorsement from the best Canadian Olympic hockey based blog on the interweb, hopefully Stevie Claus, also known as Stevie Y, puts you on his special list...

I'm back baby...


Monday, December 21, 2009

...still nothin...

As the date creeps nearer and nearer...and I drift farther and farther away (I'm on vacation in Thailand for another week and a half), it seems as though our once trustworthy Dewey has gone MIA on the blogisphere.

Oh where oh where art thou long Dewey bien poillue?

P.S. Still no Olympic hockey talk amongst the Thais.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Twentyten talk in Thailand I'm in Thailand...and...well...I've been trying to engage in Olympic Hockey talk with locals and travellers alike...but no one seems to be talking about it...not even a quick mot about Sid the Kid...

Dewey...have we assumed wrongly that the world gives a damn about what we have to say?

I eagerly await your reply.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Power rankings?

Our regular readers know me for my positive attitude, and how I like to find the good in everything, which is what makes this post so difficult for me.

Now looking at the title of the post, "Power rankings?", you'd think I would be writing a post to publicly bash the other "contributor" to this humble blog, and where his weekly staple of a column has been the last, oh, two months, but no, I am a better person than that.

What I am writing about quickly is that last night Alex Ovechkin injured his knee on a knee-on-knee hit with the Hurricanes Tim Gleason. Ovie left the game, did not return, and it has been speculated that he will be out for 2 months at least.

I wish absolutely no injuries to any player these days (I wished for 5 straight seasons Tom Brady would get hurt and when he went down at the start of last season in the NFL, I felt sick to my stomach), but this could be a big advantage for Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

If you asked me yesterday who the biggest competition for the gold would be with Canada, without hesitation, I would have answered Russia. Russia would be my answer because they would probably have the best player in the tournament, and in a short tournament like how the Olympics works, the team with the best player will always be in the thick of things. However, with this injury, if it's as serious as it looks, he may not play

Let's say though, that number 8 is out for 2 months. That means his return would be at the START of February. Ovie would be back just in time for the Olympics, and as dynamic as he is, I'm not sure he's 100% from a knee injury for the tournament.

I'm not writing this post as a Canadian hockey fan who's scared of the Russian team. Nor am I writing it to say we've clinched the gold medal. All I am trying to say in this post is that who we, as Canadians, thought our biggest competition was at the Olympics, may no longer be the team we talk about in the gold medal game.

Even if there's no "I" in team, you gotta admit this hurts Russia's chances...


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Back with a Bold Prediction

By popular demand, here is my latest prediction on what our twentyten team will look like when they drop the puck in Vancouver. No rhetoric, no analysis, simply what you twentyteners want to see...the lineup

1 - Iginla - Crosby - St. Louis
2 - Heatley - Thornton - Nash
3 - Carter - Richards - Morrow
4 - Perry - Getzlaf - Lecavalier
5 - Toews

1 - Niedermayer - Pronger
2 - Boumeester - Boyle
3 - Keith - Seabrook
4 - Weber

1 - Brodeur
2 - Luongo
3 - Fleury

Possible adds: Stamkos, Doan, Green, Price


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Carry the torch

While the debate for who will light the Olympic torch in Vancouver is still being debated, there's no secret as to who will have his Stanley Cup Ring wearing hands on them tonight.

Sidney Crosby, the pride of Cole Harbour, makes his return home tonight to run a leg of the Olympic torch relay. Crosby, the youngest ever captain of a Stanley Cup winning team and one of the few "sure bets" to be on the roster for Team Twentyten.

However, while I'm happy for Crosby, getting to partake in a once in a lifetime opportunity, I should mention that I'm talking of carrying a torch of different sorts. I'm talking about who will captain our beloved Olympic team, "carrying the torch" as our fearless leader. Wearing the "C" is no small role, and I'm not sure "The Kid" is ready to take on "a man's" responsibility.

So who then? I'll tell you who.

Jarome Iginla.

It's that simple.

Iggy has been one of the best player's in the NHL (if not THE best) since the start of November. He has 9 points in his past 7 games, leading his Flames to a respectable record (2nd in their division) and showing off that familiar goal scoring form that we all come to expect from him. He has experience as a leader, both on the ice and in the locker room, which is something that will have to be considered by the brass.

I believe his play shows thus far this year shows he is the man who should wear the "C" for us in Vancouver, and I don't think that it's that close.


BONUS RELATED CONTENT: That awesome "carry the torch" commercial from RBC last year...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'll never understand

I spent the night at home in Fredericton last night with a couple of old friends of mine. We had a few drinks, played a couple of games of FIFA 10 (tough losses for the kid here, but really, PS3 isn't my console, but that's neither here nor there), and then the inevitable came up and we started discussing the Olympic hockey team.

Now I believe, as I'm sure most do, that my friends are intelligent, well spoken individuals. I believe in giving them the benefit of the doubt when they're wrong, and if I need to correct them, I do so in a well-mannered way.

All of this changed last night when the two parties involved, we'll call them H and J, for anonymity's sake, said I was dead wrong in assuming that Rick Nash would be on the first line for Team Canada come February. Forget the fact that he played with Crosby pretty much the entire orientation camp. Forget the fact that he's having the best start to a season in his career. Forget that he is one of the top players in the NHL today, the two of them said he is an underachiever the likes of Jason Spezza.

... WHAT?!

I'll never understand their argument, which at one point came down to them spouting off Nash's career stats, comparing them to Alex Ovechkin (Even though they're both number 1 picks, they're completely different players). They even went so far as to say they'd rather have Alex SEMIN on their team over Nash.

... WHAT?!

My anger about their statements no doubt contributed to my 3 consecutive FIFA losses as I was continually focusing towards them and not the TV to look them in the eyes to tell them they're idiots, but I feel very strongly about it.

I'll no doubt be cheering loudly for Nash as a first line winger when he takes the ice in Vancouver, as I will be cheering on the Red and White, while J and H, you have fun cheering simply for the Red, you commies...


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday notes

Gotta have faith?

Last night the Toronto Maple Leafs, yes THOSE Toronto Maple Leafs, earned their first home win of the season over the Detroit Red Wings, coached by team Twentyten coach, Mike Babcock. The Leafs shellacked the Wings, 5 - 1. It would be premature of me to blame the loss on Babcock, but 5 - 1?? TO THE DAMNED LEAFS?!?

It would seem inappropriate to talk about losing faith in someone on a Sunday, but I can assure you that Jesus would NEVER have allowed a team he coached to lose to the Leafs 5 - 1.

Instead, I will blame this loss on the players of the Red Wings, a bunch of Europeans who, come February, will be going back to their NHL teams without a delicious* looking gold medal around their necks. Also to be blamed for the loss, of course, is Chris Osgood, who is just plain terrible.

The positive notes from the game is that Danny Cleary scored an absolutely beauty goal on "the monster", who appears to be the greatest goalie in the history of hockey now if you are watching any of the syndicated Canadian sports highlight shows as I am this morning. This won't put him on the team, but it was a great goal.

Also, how good did Stevie Y look for the Hall of Fame game? You can't help but love the guy. A great distinguished career, and hopefully this will be the start of a great career on the other side of the game.

* "delicious" because it looks like it's a chocolate medallion wrapped in gold, like that candy money that used to bring children so much joy

Emergency Ward

Cam Ward is currently backstopping the worst team in the NHL, which pretty much eliminates his chances as a backstop for the Olympic team, even as a third option. Even still though, you never want to see a guy get hurt. Unfortunately, Ward was cut by the skate of sure Twentytener, Rick Nash in what looked like a pretty severe injury. We wish Ward a speedy recovery, and hopefully a return to the win column when he does come back!

Jaws theme swimming

Dany Heatley scored again last night, and Joe Thornton had an assist on it. This one-two punch continues to be one of the best in the league right now, and they're looking like a sure fire bet to be two thirds of the second scoring line in Vancouver. Not sure who it is that might play with them, but I'm not sure it's actually going to matter.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We'll know almost everything by 'twentyten'

I've chosen to steal Matty's idea from his last post, where compared Stevie Y to another guy who's been made famous from his association with the colors red and white around a holiday around near end of everyone's calendar. I am choosing to do the same, only this time I will be comparing him to "Ezekiel - the end of year albino rat".

Ezekiel, with his bright red eyes and snowy fur, makes an appearance every year on the 31st of December, to celebrate the end of another year, and the beginning of another.

How does this relate to Yzerman, you may be asking (and with good reason)...

It was announced today that the brain trust for our beloved team will doing the official "Who's In, Who's Out" announcement on New Years Eve, December 31st. The 23 man roster will no doubt be loved by some, hated by many, and scrutinized to the finest detail by a certain two bloggers who can be found on the east coast of Canada.

I wasn't quite sure yet how my NYE would shape up, but with this announcement, things are getting a little clearer. Stay tuned...


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stevie Y? Stevie Claus!

Tomorrow begins canadatwentyten's 100 day countdown to the beginning of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, and the beginning of team twentyten's drive for GOLD.

As reported, Steve Yzerman will convene a meeting of the minds this week to find out where everyone stands on who's in...and who's out come February.

While the rest of us twentyteners celebrate the birth of our savior, Santa Claus, Yzerman and the Hockey Canada brass are expected to celebrate the Christmas season by naming the final 23-man roster. Who will wake up to find that awesome new "Go Go Power Wheels" under their tree, and who will wake up to find a lump of coal in their stocking?

This week's meeting will give our braintrust an opportunity check their naughty and nice list and ponder some of the difficult questions they will have to face come the Christmas season. Questions such as:

- Is Vinny Lecavalier really interested in making this team?
- Is Mike Green actually worth a bag of pucks?
- Is Marc Andre Fleury for real...I mean for real for real?
- Does heart matter (Marty St. Louis reference)?
- Do we need Captain Canada?
- Do we need the other Captain Canada?
...and most important of all
- What did Pierre's last team look like? Because we really don't want our team to be the same as his!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Unheralded

Apologies for the lack of posts this past week...there's really no excuse, so I won't make one. Power Rankings will return on Wednesday.

I just wanted to mention a few guys who have quietly torn up the league at this early juncture in the season. Ones Patrick Marleau and Brad Richards have 19 and 17 points respectfully, each to lead their team in scoring.

Now, as much as I've been talking about the duo of Heatley and Thornton in San Jose and their hot seems as though Marleau may have bounced back the best from the off season dramas that surrounded those three players. I'm not placing either he nor Richards back in the fold automatically, but let us not underestimate the contribution that both of these players could make to team Canada. I mean, Richards has worn the Maple Leaf before and he is a Conn Symthe winner.

I just thought that out of respect for their early season exploits, these two Canadian boys should get a plug on this, the premiere blog in twentyten news and notes.

Happy reading...


Thursday, October 22, 2009

This bodes well for us

It was reported last week (and made a pretty big deal by the Leaf loving media) that the Toronto Maple Leafs played a game of "Dodgeball" for practice.

On this morning's "Sportscenter" they showed the Leaf's practicing yesterday, playing on a miniature ice surface. (Link here)

In case anyone out there has been paying attention, it's worth noting that the dynamic duo of Brian Burke and Ron Wilson are the minds behind the American US Olympic team in Vancouver. As if their ability to make winners out of people wasn't enough, but these interesting tactics will no doubt be what pushes USA to a gold medal in 2010. What's next? How about a game of kick the can on the ice? I know I certainly wouldn't want to be facing a squad with skills in dodgeball, mini-hockey, and can kicking, I don't really care how well they can skate or play together as a team, those 3 skills are the definition of a triple threat.

Now THAT was sarcasm...


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weekly Power Rankings...with a little treat on top

Time for the weekly power rankings...with a little treat on top.

It may be apparent to most of you twentyteners out there that follow us religiously that this week's post was in large part of my sole you will see below with my high placement of Marty St. Louis in the power column. But honestly Dewey, the little man with the big heart has been THE man in sunny Florida thus far. Give a guy is due will ya!

A little treat at the bottom of this week's rankings as I lay out my line combination, defensive pairings and goaltending depth chart.



1 (1) – Crosby – Is there anyone who’s worried about Sid the Kid?

2 (5) – Heatley – Will be hard not to pencil he and Joe in as second line combo at current pace.

3 (6) – Thornton – As mentioned above, I think he’s the number two centre at this point.

4 (2) – Nash – Has continued torrid start to season. Scored 3 on 5 last night.

5 (3) – Richards – He can put up the points, and continues to be one of the best shutdown guys in the league.

6 (7) – St. Louis – Far and away the best chance out of Tampa so far.

7 (4) – Iginla – Slow start for Iggy, but finally put up a multi point game last night.

8 (8) – Toews – Will be hard knocked to be bumped off my team.

9 (9) – Carter – Will look good on Richard’s wing. Has started season strong.

10 (11) – Perry – Best option to play alongside Getzlaf, and has been best Duck forward so far.

11 (16) – Morrow – Resurrecting his career after last year’s injury, with a great start in Big D.

12 (13) – Getzlaf – Has dropped to my fourth line centre, but cannot remove him from the fold.

13 (10) – E. Staal – Susceptible to losing his spot on the roster if his slow season continues.

The below bubble boys:

14 (12) – Lecavalier – He’s on the wrong side of the bubble this week.

15 (15) – Sharp – He’s a guy who could steal Staal or Perry’s spot easily.

16 (NA) – Smyth – Has been a gangbuster in LA. Could Captain Canada find a spot on team twentyten?

17 (14) – J. Staal – Haven’t forgotten about him yet.

18 (17) – Doan – Starting to forget about him.


1 (4) – Boyle – Could be on top power play unit.

2 (2) – Pronger – Playing over 28 minutes a game and still producing.

3 (1) – Niedermayer – Tough start to the year, but he’s a given.

4 (NA) – Seabrook – Full apoligies for Brent only making an appearance on the rankings now.

5 (5) – Boumeester – Still playing lots of minutes in Calgary and is a plus player

6 (6) – Weber – Quiet but solid going in Nashville.

7 (7) – Keith – Would look good alongside Seabrook on the back end.

The below bubble boys:

8 (3) – Phaneuf – 8 points but still a minus liability.

9 (11) – Doughty – Could actually be a viable option come selection time.

8 (8) – Green – Losing ground in my eyes

9 (9) – Regher – Just too many other options in front of him.


1 (1) – Fleury – League leader in wins. Has been the best of the Canadian goalies so far.

2 (3) – Brodeur – Pitched his first shutout of the year this past week.

2 (2) – Mason – He’s still been better than Roberto.

4 (5) – Luongo – Still waiting on Bob.

5 (4) – Ward – Won’t be a consideration at this pace.

Line combos:

1 - Nash-Sid-Iggy

2 - Heatley-Thornton-St. Louis

3 - Carter-Richards-Morrow

4 - Perry-Getzlaf-Staal

5 - Toews

1 - Neidermayer – Pronger

2 - Boyle – Boumeester

3 - Seabrook - Keith

4 - Weber

*Despite goalie rankings...I cannot bring myself to knock Roberto and Marty out of the top two spots.

1 - Brodeur

2 - Luongo

3 - Fleury


Monday, October 19, 2009

To be a fly on that wall

A nice article today at the CTV Olympics site, pretty much regurgitating a lot of what Matty and I have said here. There was one interesting paragraph though, that made me smile...

Yzerman said players are being monitored now and he and his gang, which includes the likes of Detroit GM Ken Holland and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who will coach Team Canada, as well as Devils coach Jacques Lemaire, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff, Edmonton president Kevin Lowe, St. Louis vice-president Doug Armstrong, and Wayne Gretzky, will chat frequently leading up to the Games. He also said certain players will be granted a little latitude.
To be a fly on that wall. Of course, Matt and I would be those loud, opinionated flies, with me no doubt screaming my little fly lungs out with cries of "NO ST. LOUIS!!! FORGET ABOUT ROBIDAS!!" (this is assuming that Robidas' name is actually brought up at a meeting of the braintrust), and Matt no doubt making mention after mention of his hockey pool dilemmas.

The time keeps ticking, and some superstars need to step it up... at least we aren't the only ones worried about these slow starts...


Friday, October 16, 2009

Mr. Lecavilier, this is your wake-up call

Last year at this time, Matty and I were sitting around, talking about the 2010 Olympic hockey team (we hadn't yet thought that we would end up calling them "Team Twentyten"), and one of the names who kept coming to the top of the list, without fail... was Sidney Crosby.

Another name however that was on our list was Vincent Lecavilier. Vinny is a great hockey player, who we could have seen on the team last year. He is a strong player who scores goals. Admittedly, last season wasn't his best. That could be blamed on all the trade rumors that had him going to Montreal, but 67 points in 77 games was a little low for a guy who had topped 90 the previous two seasons and looked like he was becoming the all-star caliber player we all knew he would be one day.

However, this season is starting to look a lot like last, in that Vinny has 5 points in 6 games played, but not a single goal. It's not for lack of trying either, as he's averaging 4 shots a game. Now I don't watch many Lightning games (due to the fact that they have St. Louis on their team, whom I've made my hatred for clear many times), so I don't know how great the shots are that he's getting on goal. He's also a -5, and defensive liabilities can't be found on the bottom two lines unless they're providing the kind of offense we'll be getting from the top 2. I wouldn't say Vinny has played his way off the team, it's too early in the season to say that, but unless he starts scoring goals, the Lightning captain may just be enjoying the Olympics from a beach in Florida come February.

Vinny... this is your OFFICIAL "Canada Twentyten" wake-up call... figure it out, or you'll be left out...


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weekly Power Rankings

Yes, we're a day late, but hey...cut us some slack. Monday was a holiday and we're all strugglin to catch up with the week that is quickly passing.

Without further a do, I give you this week's Power Rankings...and I pose the question to you twentyteners out there, "Who are we missing on the list?"


1 (1) – Crosby

2 (2) – Nash – Career year on the way.

3 (4) – Richards – Hat trick last.

4 (3) – Iginla – Current Calgary slump bounces him down a peg.

5 (14) – Heatley – Has awoken in a big way since being dropped off the team last week.

6 (12) – Thornton – He and Heater are on fire.

7 (13) – St. Louis – 5 games, 9 points…mini win streak in Tampa.

8 (9) – Toews – Despite a quiet start on the score sheet, leading a strong Hawks squad.

9 (6) – Carter

10 (6) – E. Staal

11 (15) – Perry – Best Anaheim Duck forward so far.

12 (8) – Lecavalier

13 (8) – Getzlaf

14 (NA) – J. Staal – Cannot be overlooked any further.

15 (NA) – Sharp – 7 points for a two-way guy in Chicago.

16 (10) – Morrow

17 (11) – Doan

18 (16) – Gagne – May soon leave the power rankings.


1 (1) – Niedermayer

2 (2) – Pronger – Point per game thus far

3 (5) – Phaneuf – Tied for second in D-men scoring

4 (6) – Boyle – Tied for second in D-men scoring

5 (3) – Boumeester

6 (4) – Weber

7 (7) – Keith

8 (8) – Green

9 (9) – Regher

10 (10) – Burns

11 (NA) – Doughty – Tied for second in D-men scoring.

Goalies: (can anyone say "CONTROVERSY")

1 (3) – Fleury – Leads league in wins

2 (4) – Mason – Best save % and had a big W against Iggy et al.

3 (1) – Brodeur – Needs this wake up call…hey it worked with Heatley and Thornton

4 (5) – Ward – Steady thus far

5 (2) – Luongo – The alarm clock is hummin…WAKE UP!!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Things to be thankful for

On this, the weekend of our Canadian Thanksgiving, as we sit around, enjoying a morning coffee, getting ready to nurse our "walking bird" hangovers tomorrow morning, we here at Canada Twentyten think that we should partake in the age old tradition of saying some things that we're thankful for before we sit down to enjoy our meals tonight...

I'm thankful for superstars playing like superstars...

After a start to the season that didn't really live up to our expectations, the two most promising options for the Olympic team from the Sharks, Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton, have really started to come on strong. The two of them are currently tied for the league lead in points with another dynamic duo in Washington, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. If the two of these guys keep up this pace, it's going to be very hard for Stevie Y and the brass to not put them on a line together in Vancouver in 2010.

I'm thankful for highlight reel goals...

On Thursday night, Jordan Staal scored a beauty goal against the Flyers (video also at the bottom of the post). Matty made a good point last night while we watched the game saying "No one can hold guys off like him and still finish with those hands...". He looked great out there, albeit against the Maple Leafs, who looked terrible. It's easy to forget about Staal out there in Pittsburgh, with Crosby and Malkin getting a ton of the glory, and we've even forgotten about him in our weekly power rankings, but be assured, he won't be overlooked next week.

I'm thankful for being able to say "I was wrong"

It takes a lot for someone to admit they're wrong, and it's no easy task. Though when you write a blog you put yourself out there and are left very open for criticism. Admittedly, it's not something I like to do, but I think I have to come out and say "I was wrong" when it comes to Ryan Smyth. Earlier in the week, I wrote a quick post and mentioned that he had disappeared. Of course, when I looked up the link above to show Thornton and Heatley's stats, I went down the list, and low and behold, at number 10 was Smyth with 7 points thus far on the season. I still don't think he makes this team, but it looks like he's determined to make it a tough decision for the Hockey Canada decision makers.

Most of all, we're thankful for you, the Twentyteners! Without you, this site would be no fun to write... enjoy your meals!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Bits and Bites

Some potent notables from last night's action, as far as twentyten hopefuls are concerned:

Hot Hot Heat: Dany Heatley showed up in the second and third periods against twentyten hopeful Steve Mason to score a hat-trick, with an assist thrown in for good measure...not to be completely outdone, teammate Joe Thornton had a four assist night. Could this be the start of something good for the two twentyten bubble bouncers?

A Pennsylvania punishing: In a standard smash and crash classic, the Pens fought to a 5-4 win over their cross-state rivals from Philly. Crosby went pointless??? While Jeff Carter continued his hot start with 2 goals and 2 assists in a losing effort. And, didn't big Jordan Staal look good on the break with a first period goal. I think he needs to be considered in next week's power rankings.

Hard in the head: Corey Perry had a dandy night against my Bruins, netting three points (2 goals and an assist). One of those goals coming on a beauty header into the top corner. (*soccer reference).


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Weekly Power Rankings

Welcome to our Week 2 Power Rankings.

Not a ton of movement on the power front, as we are only a few games into the season. Enjoy!

Lask weeks ranking is listed in ( )


  1. (1) Crosby – Still the STAR. He’s #1
  2. (3) Nash – Big night against Luongo...and he didn’t even score.
  3. (2) Iginla – Slow start (1 assist in first two games) is not a worry.Team is winning.
  4. (4) Richards – Endorsement still looms large. 2 goals in two games doesn’t hurt either
  5. (6) E. Staal – Took a puck in the head and came back to score a goal. We really like him.
  6. (7) Carter – The goal machine (2 goals in first two games) is on an 82 goal pace.
  7. (9) Toews – Sure it was Florida, but he played well. Shootouts matter at Olympics.
  8. (5) Getzlaf – An assist in first game. Big centre will be fine.
  9. (8) Lecavalier – Same as Getz in front of him. One assist so far.
  10. (11) Morrow – Steady start to season. Still early.
  11. (12) Doan – Has been the consummate leader so far in the tough situation in Phoenix.
  12. (13) Thornton – Fate still very much tied to Heatley.
  13. (14) St. Louis – Little guy has come out of the gate like a gangbuster.
  14. (10) Heatley – Despite his two assists, he looks disinterested thus far.
  15. (15) Perry – We still think he can steal a spot.
  16. (16) Gagne – May not get the “prime time” time to shine in Philly this year.

*From out of nowhere, Paul Kariya looks GOOD! Keep him on the radar…he’s on ours.


  1. (1) Niedermayer – He’s still the cornerstone of the defense.
  2. (2) Pronger – Two assists, plus 3, 6 PIMs…fitting in nicely in Philly.
  3. (3) Boumeester – Playing almost 30 minutes a game in Calgary. He’s been solid.
  4. (4) Weber – Not going anywhere on this list.
  5. (6) Phaneuf – Looks interested and rearing to go thus far. Sedin knows.
  6. (5) Boyle – Still to be counted on.
  7. (9) – Keith – Big minutes thus far makes him our last puck mover to make the squad.
  8. (7) Green – Only 1 assist in two games. Not much for all the offense the Caps have shown thus far.
  9. (8) Regher – Quiet but steady so far. May be outshone by other Olympians in Calgary.
  10. (NR) Burns – Hickcock’s comment prompts us to “PUT HIM ON THE BOARD”

The Goalies

  1. (1) – Brodeur – Bad week for him. Eek!
  2. (2) – Luongo – Worst week for him. Double Eek!
  3. (4) – Fleury – 2 and 0 to start. No signs of Stanley Cup hangover in Pittsburgh.
  4. (5) – Mason – Got his second win of the season against the man at #2.
  5. (3) – Ward – Shelled in the Boston game.
Out and out bad week for the top three goalies from the pre-season. We're not worried however.

Till next week...

Quick Hits

Welcome to the radar: Brent Burns

An interesting twitter post from everyone's favorite SportsCentre anchor, Jay Onrait, I saw this morning on my computer monitor.

"I don’t think there’s five defensemen like him in the league, not even close." Ken Hitchcock on Brent Burns of the Wild.
Not saying I put him on the team, but that's a strong endorsement from one of the coaches of our beloved hockey team in Vancouver.

Luongo struggling

Roberto Luongo allowed 4 goals on 12 shots last night in what became a 5 - 3 for the Canucks at the hands of the mighty Columbus Blue Jackets. This drops Luongo's record to 0 - 3 this year, in 3 games started. His save percentage is .820, with a GAA of 4.55. It may be his defence, it may be the team, but they were nearly perfect in the preseason so I'm having trouble saying there would be THAT much of a fall off.

Hey Bobbo, I know it's early, but you haven't been announced as a member of Team Canada although most figure you to be a lock. You've gotta be the best to be on this team... if we wanted a guy who doesn't win and has a terrible GAA and SV% we could have gone out and easily picked up Chris Osgood (zing!!)

Staal is tough

I have to say I let out a small expletive on Saturday night watching the Bruins - Canes game... not because I had to listen to Matty boast about "his Bruins" incessantly, but because a guy who I figure to be in Vancouver, Eric Staal, took a slapshot to the head during the game.

Thankfully, Staal returned in the 3rd and even notched a goal in a 7-2 loss to the Bruins, all but eliminating Ryan "No one can stand in front of the net like me" Smyth from Twentyten consideration. Also helping to eliminate his chances, his enrollment into the witness protection program... Oh wait, I guess he's in LA, whatever, same difference...

Women are winners

The Canadian Women's hockey team beat the US yesterday, their first win after three consecutive losses to the yanks...

... so yeah... Go Canada!

Friday, October 2, 2009


...So things didn't really get off to a good start Heatley wise eh.

What with a -3 plus/minus and only 2 shots on goal, and a swing and a miss on a wide-open net in the third.

Common Heater...our power rankings are only 4-5 days away.


P.S. On the Canada Twentyten plus side, Phaneuf looked pretty good sitting down D. Sedin at the end of the First, last night now didn't he?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A twist of fate

...and in a cruel twist of fate, my fate is now tied to his fate...and the fate with which he is tied to that of his teammate.


Well, some of you may remember this post from several weeks back where I stated my belief that Dany Heatley's fate with Team Canada was tied to that of his new teammate in San Jose, Joe Thornton.

Ya see, I have been on bubble all summer as to what my true feeling for, and about, Dany Heatley are...ever since the beginnings of his acrimonious departure from Ottawa. I was, and still remain uncertain as to whether or not he can overcome the drama and regain the prior form that had Sens fan cheering to "The Heat is on" more nights than not at ScotiaBank Place
(*anyone who's ever been to a Sens game in which Heatley has produced a goal knows what I'm talking about)

But to get back to my lament atop this post...imagine my excitement when I returned home from school this evening, to find that the hockey pool which I had, in vein, tried to organize with friends local and beyond (to agonizing avail!) had expanded in my absense into a 15 team league, just in time for the draft. (I was off talking about Cognitive Dissonance in my Organizational Behaviour class). As Dewey put it once I found out the size of the league, "Yipityyipyipyipwhoo!"

And what spot on the draft order was I to hold, when all things were said and done???...but the 14th spot overall...Yes as "fate" would have it, I was given my favorite number, my number of identity so to speak, just ask any of the Dolan's Wanderers or STU Tommies out there...

As the draft snaked to me it became cloudier and cloudier who I should take..."And with the 14th pick overall, McGuire's Monsters (yes, I admit to making a mockery of myself and my team) select...from the Boston Bruins...Marc Savard.

Marc Savard??? Where is he going you might be asking yourself right now. I thought this was about Heatley...and feelings of ambivalence and doubt. Well, hold on I say, because as the draft further snaked its way through 15 and 16 and back to me at 17, it became clear that I had a decision to make. Would I hold firm in my beleifs, beleifs rooted in my value of "team" and "being a good teammate", or would I error on the side of my cognitive dissonance (how ironic you are all thinking I'm sure) and take with my second pick someone quite able to fill the net and bring McGuire's Monsters to the promised land in the "Bob Cole's Lost Souls" fantasy hockey league.

...yep you guess it...I took Heatley.

So you see where I stand. Once confused, angry and doubtful; I now allow the fate of my fastasy hockey season to rest with the one player I most did not want it to rest with. A player, that I hoped would fail and therefore be easy pickings for future blog posts about failed expectations and about how "arrogance will get you nowhere" but face down in a ditch bloodied and broken (a bit much?).

I now rest my fate in the fate of another man, who's fate is tied to that of another man even. In the hopes of both: a Gold Medal in Vancouver, and $200 big ones in April.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weekly Power Rankings

I come bearing good news.

This Wednesday, the 2009-10 NHL season begins in earnest as Maple Leaf nation settles in for another long and disappointing winter, full of self-deceit. "Well Gus, it looks as though this year won't pan out...but things are looking up for next year." Some of these people actually cheer for the Blue Jays all summer as well. But I digress.

With the season set to commence, we here at Canada Twenty Ten feel it our duty to provide our twentyteners with a pre-season power rankings of our boys.

By position, we have identified the players in the order of their relative security in gaining a roster spot this February.

You can count on this blog to provide a weekly Power Ranking bracket, in addition to our usual shenanigans, up until the team is announced this winter.

The Forwards:
  1. Crosby - He is the STAR of this team and could very well wear the "C".
  2. Iginla - Respected as the best leader; revered as one of the best players.
  3. Nash - This BIG guy can score BIG goals and we expect BIG things.
  4. Richards - "Mr. Everything" in Philly and Babcock's endorsement means he's a LOCK.
  5. Getzlaf - Smooth hands make him a force and possible #2 centreman.
  6. E. Staal - Strong playoff performance and can play any forward position.
  7. Carter - A goal machine last year, he's also versatile up front.
  8. Lecavalier - If healthy, he can dominate, but needs a strong start.
  9. Toews - Played every position at camp and would be a perfect fit as 13th forward.
  10. Heatley - If he can overcome this summer's drama, he will be leaned on for goals.
  11. Morrow - A warrior, if healthy he can be a shutdown guy with Richards.
  12. Doan - So much international experience, but the Phoenix situation may hurt him.
  13. Thornton - Fate very much tied to a strong start and chemistry with Heatley.

On the outside looking in:
  1. St. Louis - Little guy has a ton of heart but still may not be enough.
  2. Perry - Ripe to steal a "role" position should someone ahead of him falter.
  3. Gagne - Despite past international glory, he will need a strong start to season.
The Defense:
  1. NiedermayerA LOCK as backbone of the blueline and possible captain.
  2. ProngerNobody wants to play against this guy.
  3. BoumeesterSteady as she goes with good wheels and smart hockey head.
  4. WeberUnderrated by the casual fan, he’s big and mean with a great shot.
  5. Boyle Little guy will be counted on to lead the rush.
  6. PhaneufA return to form is necessary, but just ask Okposo about Dion.
  7. GreenGreat offensive talent but defensive ability may keep him off squad.
On the outside looking in:
  1. RegherCan replace any of the defensive-minded players in front of him.
  2. Keith A Strong start will make it hard to keep him off the team.

The Goalies:
  1. BrodeurWinningest goalie of all time just needs to stay healthy.
  2. LuongoCould be the #1 come February and would feel at home in Vancouver.
  3. Ward’09 playoffs and past Conn Smythe performance bolster his resume.
On the outside looking in:
  1. FleuryHe has a Cup and shed many of his past spastic tendencies in the crease.
  2. Mason Young guy is a viable option if those in front of him go down.

Let the festivities begin!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Babs Blabs

Despite Bob Probert and Wendell Clark being on-hand to drop the puck, we know that not all our twentyteners out there were able to sit down, cold beer in hand, to watch last night's Hockey Night in Canada Pre-season debut. (Another "cough" Big Win for the Maple Leafs..."cough, cough")

For those who missed it, Inside Hockey's Elliotte Friedman sat down with Canada twentyten coach Mike Babcock to talk, amongst other things, about who in particular made an impression on the coach at this August's summer orientation camp in Calgary.

Friedman to Babcock: One player that stood out to you?

Babcock in reply: Ah Mike Richards...I knew because people told me, but I didn't know he was this good and this smart...they (he) do everything right and they're (he's) so competitive...he's a very very good player.

The assumption from the beginning in this household has always been that Richards is a likely candidate to centre a third or fourth line in Vancouver. But I think it is now safe to say that the former Kitchener Ranger, Junior Team, and current Flyers Captain is a LOCK to centre the shutdown unit at this winter's spectacle.

Sid and Richards...absolute locks down the middle.

Hold tight for this blog's pre'season "Who's in Who's out" lineup before the 09-10 festivities begin in earnest, mid-week.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Contrary to popular belief...

If you ignore something, that won't make it go away...

I'm talking of course about this...

I've mentioned before that we have to be negative because we're a blog. Like any good sports fan, I am superstitious. I have my rituals, and my quirks, and so because of this I didn't even bring up the point to Matty about discussing possible injuries to key players. I figured if I just stayed positive and didn't bring up any concerns about something like an injury happening, then all the boys would be fine and we'd be celebrating a gold medal in February 2010.

Well now that's gone out the window and it requires a post.

You see, the problem is that, whether the brass of Hockey Canada want to admit it or not, half this team is picked. Crosby is ON the team. Crosby could come out of the gate, get no points in the first month of the season (as if) and he'd still be on the top line come the Olympics. He's just that good, and everyone knows it. He's on the team. They're saying the injury isn't serious, but the shroud of secrecy in the NHL surrounding injuries is so ridiculous that I'm sure a ripped Achilles could be classified as a "day-to-day lower body injury" by some of the spinners out there.

The other half of the team will be made up from "bubble" guys. This gang will be playing their asses off this year in hopes of making what is surely to be one of the greatest and most hyped teams of all time.

The big difference between these groups is that these "locks" are irreplaceable. Sure, you can throw another guy on the top line, between Iggy and Nash, and I'm sure they'd be fine... but they wouldn't be Crosby. If Jordan Staal is named to the team (not saying he will be, just saying is all) and in January he tears his ACL getting hit going hard into a corner, he can be replaced by a guy like Lucic (who we love here at Twentyten) and I don't think the team suffers too much from it. Some guys can be replaced, some can't, it's that simple.

Don't get me wrong. I am definitely not wishing harm upon J. Staal or anyone else who is a possibility to make the team, I'm just starting to hit the panic button a little early on injuries to the team.

Injuries are a part of hockey, and I understand that. We can't ask our guys to go out there and play soft in the regular season, or wrap them in bubble wrap, because these guys are going to be playing hard for a spot on the roster and that's what's going to get them there. But I am going to pray to the hockey gods, and I believe you Twentyteners out there should do the same, to keep our boys healthy through this NHL season so that we can go out there with the team that is supposed to be out there, at least with the guys who we can't afford to be miss.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NHL preseason - Catch the fever!

Although I'm not sure it's all that apt to use the word "fever" these days in a blog post, what with the ever presence of the "swine flu" having people sit inside their house to do nothing but read great blogs (read: our site), but unfortunately there has been a lack of updates recently for which we can't really be blamed.

You see, right now is the NHL preseason, and while we all LOVE hockey, is there anything more useless? Sure, it gives us time to do our hockey pools (my team, Blades of Steel aka Malkin Cookies will be looking to come back strong after a collapse in the last month of the season last year leading to a devastating 2nd place finish, but I digress). It also gives Leafs fans to go on and on about how GREAT their team is going to be this year and how they're definitely making the playoffs, as evidenced by their stunning victory last night over the defending Stanley Cup champs (without Malkin, Fluery, or Team Twentyten first liner Sidney Crosby even in uniform).

Unfortunately, this hockey fan just can't get into the preseason, and what sucks is that the media believes that the preseason is so super important and that leads to less stories being written about the Olympics, more specifically the 2010 Olympic Hockey situation, leading to less stories for us to blast on this blog... it's a serious shot at creativity.

In any case, we haven't forgotten about you, our loyal Twentyteners. Be sure to check back to the blog often or subscribe to the RSS feed, as starting soon (read: once the regular season begins) we will have our weekly rosters posted, which will be surely flip-flopping more than Jack Layton (that one is for you Matty).

Until then we'll post as much as we can, and if the mood strikes you, follow us on Twitter for insight on things not just related to Team TwentyTen. (Dewey, Matty)

Thanks for sticking with us guys, let out a "WHAMMO!!" of your own in support!


Monday, September 14, 2009

"Each man is the architect of his own fate"...or not?

As we all now know, Dany Heatley is a San Jose Shark.

Arguably bubble players, is the twentyten fate of Joe Thornton and Heatley now tied together?

In the opinion of this blogger...YES.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Where he's right / Where he's wrong / What I like

Marc Savard has broken his silence about being left off of the twentyten summer camp roster.

Where he's right: "I was pretty upset about it" - Hells yes he should have been upset about it. This guy is an elite point producer; one of the tops in the game.

Where he's wrong: "I still haven't counted myself out. So I guess that's all that matters" - Sorry Marc, despite what Stevie Y says about players not at summer camp still having a shot, anyone with half a head knows that will not be the case.

What I like: Savard is obviously determined to prove Stevie et al. wrong and come out like gangbusters to start the year. As a die-hard Bruins fan, this makes me happy.


Monday, August 31, 2009

"Heart" or Heat ??? Marty St. Louis finishes camp last week playing on a line with Crosby and Nash. Is he in? If he's in, is Heatley out?

...I hear rumblings...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Board Bet Won!!

6-2 in a shooutout maybe it wasn't like I called it, but a board bet is a board bet...and I win.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Breaking news from camp

Calgary, Alta. - Dany Heatley has once again requested a trade, only this time, it's from his orientation camp team.

Upon hearing that he would be playing on the second power play unit for Team White in the inter squad scrimmage tonight, Heatley demanded to be traded to "Team Red, or the Slovaks".

When told about the trade demand, power play coach, Lindy Ruff had this to say, "That's a joke, that's an absolute joke, is what it is. Get him out of the game. I've seen enough of him, it's a joke. "

This has been a busy summer for Heatley. This drama comes after he demanded a trade out of Ottawa after the 2008-2009 season after he felt his role on the Senators had "diminished" after new coach, Cory Clouston, took over the bench for the Sens in early February.

Not much is known about whether or not Heatley can be traded. Team Canada GM, Steve Yzerman, could not be reached for comment.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The forgotten...

Since the start of camp (just yesterday), I've yet to hear the name "Ryan Smyth" whispered even once... whatever happened to "Captain Canada"?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What a sin...line.

Two things:

1 - As Dewey reported here earlier today, Simon Gagne will sit out the rest of the orientation camp. What a sin for a guy who has been dynamite for Canada in past Junior and Olympic tournaments, but is also clearly on the bubble to make the twentyten team.

2 - As has been reported by all hockey insiders; Sidney Crosby, Jerome Iginla and Rick Nash have been practicing together over the past two days. What a S.I.N. line that would make: The Sid / Iggy / Nash line would certainly be dynamite in twentyten.


The first one bites the dust...

Darren Dreger has just tweeted that Simon Gagne was injured the first day of camp and is not expected to return. Jeez, maybe they were right about the whole insurance issue?

I doubt this seriously impedes his chances of making the team, but as a guy who's definitely on the bubble, it's got to kill him to not be out there.

For more hockey twittering goodness, you should try following @CTVOHockey, who is live blogging the orientation camp for all of us to enjoy.

The good, the bad, and the ugly... Gimme the Whites!

Yesterday, Matty made it personal by putting the scrimmage between the red and white teams at orientation camp Thursday "on the board"*. He made the first move, taking the Reds, and surely, it will be another board loss for him. Here's a look at how my team looks after the first day of camp:

Line 1: Crosby, Iginla, Nash
Line 2: Richards, Heatley, Morrow
Line 3: Toews, St. Louis, Gagne
Line 4: J. Staal, Doan, McDonald

Niedermayer, Weber, Bouwmeester, M. Staal, Keith, Burns, Beauchemin and Green

Brodeur, Mason, Fleury

Not too bad a squad I have. I've decided to take the classic "good, bad and ugly" approach to evaluating my squad.

The Good

As is very apparent, my team is loaded with talent on the first line. Crosby, Nash and Iginla are as much of locks as there are on the team. They're probably the three most gifted offensive players attending the camp, and will no doubt cause a ton of problems for the Reds on Thursday.

At the back end, you have three more locks in Nieder, Weber and Bouwmeester. All three provide great defense, but are also talented offensively. They're some of the best skating defensemen in the NHL and are fully capable of handling the top forwards on the Red squad. Even after my top 3 D-men, I've got all the confidence in the world in guys like Mark Staal (a very good sleeper to make this team), Brett Burns and Duncan Keith to keep up with the Reds offensive pressure.

Marty Brodeur, who has been in nets for us in the previous two Olympics, headlines my list of goaltenders. I have no doubt that if Brodeur plays the whole game (as it looks like Luongo will do with the apparent back injury to Cam Ward), my team will dominate at both ends of the ice.

The Bad

I hate to be so negative because all these players are very immensely talented, but Andy McDonald? Martin St. Louis? Shane Doan?! These are all guys that either don't belong at camp, or have legitimate shots at making the team, who I don't believe should even be considered for the spots that are available. I've gone off about how much I hate the whole "but he has heart" argument before, and I won't again, but these guys are bringing my team down. Put them on their own line and let them make a big impact... on the bench!

The Ugly

The only real "ugly" part that I wanted to discuss was the ugliness that will be the beatdown on Thursday, when the Whites beat the Reds 7 - 3 and I chalk up another victory on the board over Matty, so I repeat, "PUT IT ON THE BOARD!!"

* the board is a list of bets on sports that Matty and I make and keep in our apartment. Currently I lead the board something in the neighborhood of 11 - 3, but that's what you get when you give me the field in all 4 majors and you take Tiger, and you also bet on Scott Gomez to have an 85 point season... just terrible...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Put it on the board - Matty takes Red

Pack your bags we're goin to camp.

This household, for one, is eager to see what happens this Thursday night during Team Canada's Red vs. White game.

Now, since I got on the topic first...I get first pick. I take the Reds...Put it on the board Dewey, the Reds will dominate when the puck drops Thursday.

And why you might ask??? Because they'll need to. Take a peak at the Team Red line-up and you'll see a whole whack of guys who are sitting on the bubble, or who as of yet are on the outside looking in when it comes to a roster spot this winter.

For quick reference, this is how I have "Team Red" lining up:


(Starter) Roberto Luongo
(Back-up) Cam Ward

Defensive Pairs:

1 - Chris Pronger & Dan Boyle
2 - Dion Phaneuf & Robyn Regehr
3 - Brent Seabrook & Drew Doughty
4 - Dan Hamhuis & Stéphane Robidas

Forward lines:

1 - Jeff Carter & Eric Staal & Milan Lucic
2 - Corey Perry & Vincent Lecavalier & Patrick Sharp
3 - Ryan Smyth & Joe Thornton & Patrick Marleau
4 - Dan Cleary & Jason Spezza & Derek Roy

It's pretty safe to say, at least I'll say it, that Spezza is a long shot for the final cut. But I also think that there is just not enough room for all three of E. Staal, Lecavalier and Thornton either. Especially considering that Carter is a Centre-iceman himself. Should be interesting to see how they make out at camp.

I think that both Lucic and Perry can do themselves a lot of good with a strong camp and a strong scrimmage against the likes of Crosby and Iginla, but in the end, I think the two of them are fighting for the same spot, and may be both on the outside looking in.

Either way, I take the Reds (only times I'll ever cheer for a team names the Reds) in a 6-5 victory. Lucic with the winner at 18:54 of the third, on a pass from a streaking Staal.

Put it on the board.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Is Heatley on the team?

One player I've had on my second line since we started this debate was Dany Heatley. He'd be playing alongside of Rick Nash and Ryan Getzlaf on said line, providing a nice mix of finesse and physical ability.

It has come to light recently though that Hockey Canada is none too pleased with the way Heater's trade demand / no-trade blockage has been handled by the superstar forward. He's been dodging these questions all summer and in this article by Jim Kelly, he mentions that the brass plan to have him answer the questions, one and done, but there's no telling he'll actually cooperate.

What's even more interesting is the way Heatley has performed before in what Kelly calls a "best-on-best" situation. We all remember the 2008 IIHF championships, where the aforementioned Heatley-Nash-Getzlaf lineup racked up the points, with Heatley leading the way with 12 goals, adding 8 assists, and thinking "these guys are there in 2010". However, in these other "best-on-best" situations (where every country ices their best players, not just who's available), Heatley has struggled, with only 3 points (1G, 2A) in the 2006 Olympics, and 2 points (1G, 1A) in an even longer series at the 2004 World Cup of hockey (writer's note: the best time 15 kids from the East Coast could ever have, in the Montreal portion of the tournament anyway).

Now, I'll be the first to admit I hated the 2006 team. I didn't like the direction it took from the get-go, so I'm willing to forgive Dany for that. In 2004, Heatley was only a pup, and had been involved in a terrible accident which limited his season to 31 NHL games, so he probably wasn't at his best at this time. Both of these facts should make it easy to overlook Heatley's weak performances at the big time competitions. Add to this the fact that he's answered the bell and played for Team Canada just about every time he's been asked to, and he should be on the team.

With Stevie Y in charge of this year's team there's really no knowing whether anything in the past will make a huge difference, and if he only looks at the present, he's looking at a guy coming off a season in which he played only 71 games (due to injury), and is being followed by a whole lot of drama.

I still think he makes it though...

Camp on Monday!


Friday, August 14, 2009

The devil apparently wears a "Hockey Canada" logo

It was last November that it was reported that the IOC, in their infinite wisdom, would not allow team Twentyten to wear the traditional Canadian hockey jerseys for the Vancouver Olympics when they begin in 2010.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant on how utterly stupid it was to not allow the Canadians to wear the jersey they've worn at every international competitions for the last umpteen years because they didn't like the fact that Hockey Canada would be receiving the revenue for the sales of such a jersey, so I won't. But the point of this post is that in the newest "scandal", photos of what the new jerseys will look like have leaked (as you can see above).

Hockey Canada was set to announce the new look on Monday, but thanks to the modern wonder that is the internet, everyone will already know what our boys will be wearing when they take to the ice in Vancouver.

We like to focus more on hockey on this blog than fashion, so I think jersey design is probably the least important issue that can be discussed on this team, and really at the end of the day, there's only going to be one fashion statement that matters with this team, and that of course is the gold around our team's neck next February.