Thursday, February 25, 2010

Canada Finds Their True Strategy

Forget goaltending. When you have multiple all-star forwards and front-line performers for all their teams, you go for it.

That's the strategy Canada reverted to in the first period of last night's QF, and it worked a treat. It's a strategy they should stick with (obviously). Anytime you can get the best player in the NHL to say this about how he felt to play you, the better:
"How we start the game; it's like small kids and big kids play against each other and big kids dominate," Ovechkin told NHL.com. "They got the puck deep, used their power and they scored goals."


From the Canadian forwards point of view, it seemed like they decided that they wanted to win this game without having to rely on Luongo. It was probably the right decision. In starting so quickly, they also deflated Russia's own trust in Nabokov and drew them into an open affair early.

This lesson must be remembered as Canada faces down Jaroslav Halak, who uses early saves to build confidence in those around him as his M.O. Get Slovakia down early, and open the game.

The lesson that Russia learned 4 years ago must also be kept in mind. A huge win over a powerful rival means nothing if you end up 4th. Russia had just as rousing a victory as Canada when they defeated the Red Maple Leafs in Turin, only to sag and get shutout in the next elimination game. Slovakia may not be Finland, but they too have beaten Russia and can add a Swedish scalp to their list. Canada must be wary.

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