To those of you hockey fans and Olympic aficionados waiting for the 2010 Winter Olympics to start in Vancouver in February, Team Canada just put out their hockey roster and Mike Green of the Washington Capitals, who leads all NHL defenseman in scoring since January 1, 2009, was not picked on the squad. The Caps Senior Director of Media Relations, Nate Ewell, also reports that #52 has 66% more goals and 45% more points than any other Team Canada defenseman over the last 3 years. Green, who was a finalist for the 2008-09 Norris Trophy (went to Zdeno Chara), will now sit and rest while fellow teammates Alexander Ovechkin (Russia), Alexander Semin (Russia), Semyon Varlamov (Russia), Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden), and Tomas Fleischmann (Czech Republic) participate in the games.
Green and Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester were not chosen and I was surprised that 20 year old Drew Doughty of Los Angeles was picked over those two on the blueline. In addition, the San Jose Sharks, who the Caps play tonight at 10pm from HP Pavilion (Comcast SportsNet in HD), have their top forward line of Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau playing for Team Canada along with defenseman Dan Boyle.
Being an American, naturally I am rooting first for a very heavy underdog in Team USA. Their roster will be unveiled immediately following the Winter Classic on Friday afternoon on NBC (Flyers vs. Bruins). However, given that no Capitals are on Team Canada with the Green snubbing and Sidney Crosby of the Penguins playing for the squad from the Great White North on home ice, I am rooting for the Russians and Swedes or anyone else to knock them off if the Americans (led by former Caps Coach Ron Wilson) are unable to do so. St. Louis Blues Director of Player Personnel (and GM in waiting after this season), Doug Armstrong, who used to work for the Caps and was an old ball hockey teammate of mine, was a part of the Team Canada process, but sorry Dougie, I am not rooting for you guys, you should have taken #52. Who will you turn to on the power play or to rush the puck when you need a goal? Captain Scott Niedermayer is no spring chicken anymore. Team Canada is the heavy favorite because of the talent they have combined with the fact that the games are in Vancouver.
Hopefully Green takes this news and channels it into a great Stanley Cup playoff run.
Who else is with me in rooting heavily against Team Canada?