47 observations on Team Canada hockey hopefuls
A look at the progress of the Olympic candidates
The countdown to Sochi is on and everyone in Canada is waiting breathlessly to see which players will represent the country at the Olympic Games.
The competition to make the team, as always, is tight and hotly debated.
Could the reigning Norris Trophy winner actually not make the team? P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens is having a terrific year, but is not a lock to make the club. The same can be said for many of the players that attended the team’s summer orientation camp in Calgary.
Here is a look at how those players are doing this season:
Corey Crawford (Chicago Blackhawks): Currently injured, Crawford is 17-6-3 and a threat for the No. 3 goalie’s job.
Brayden Holtby (Washington Capitals): Remains a long-shot to make the team because of his inconsistency.
Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks): Has reclaimed the crease in Vancouver and will compete with Carey Price for starter’s job.
Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens): Strong contender for the Vezina Trophy has some believing he could start in Sochi.
Mike Smith (Phoenix Coyotes): Great puck-handling skills, but 33rd in GAA and 23rd in SV%.
Karl Alzner (Washington Capitals): Solid stay-at-home defender will probably be told to stay at home.
Jay Bouwmeester (St. Louis Blues): Has become a dominant defensive force and adds supplemental offence.
Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks): At 37, he’s still getting it done on offence and still has decent wheels.
Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings): Known for his offence, but his defence has been superb this season.
Mike Green (Washington Capitals): No longer an offensive threat from the blue-line.
Dan Hamhuis (Vancouver Canucks): Plays a lot of safe minutes for the Canucks.
Travis Hamonic (New York Islanders): Always a long-shot to make team and that has not changed.
Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks): Second in NHL scoring among defencemen with 32 points in 37 games.
Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins): Has been hurt and consequently not as productive as in the past.
Marc Methot (Ottawa Senators): A healthy scratch with the Senators; not a good sign.
Dion Phaneuf (Toronto Maple Leafs): Eats up big minutes with Maple Leafs, but mistakes could be a worry to Yzerman and Co.
Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis Blues): Leads Blues in ice time and is one of game’s best two-way defenders.
Brent Seabrooke (Chicago Blackhawks): Leads Blackhawks with plus-18 and having solid offensive year.
Marc Staal (New York Rangers): Concussion woes could keep him off team.
P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens):NHL’s third leading scorer on defence has just two points in last nine games.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (San Jose Sharks): Has the speed and ‘safe’ element to his game that will attract Team Canada management.
Shea Weber (Nashville Predators): Considered a lock to make the team despite his production being down and he’s minus-9.
Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins): Leading contender to be Team Canada’s checking centre.
Jeff Carter (Los Angeles Kings): Has been getting better, but numbers not overwhelming.
Logan Couture (San Jose Sharks): Not as dominant this season, but still a grinder who plays with discipline.
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins): The best player in the world leads the NHL in scoring.
Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche): Has been Avalanche’s best player and his speed would be huge asset for Team Canada.
Jordan Eberle (Edmonton Oilers): Second in Oilers scoring and enjoying solid year.
Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks): Once again he is one of the NHL’s most complete centres.
Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers): Doing a decent job in overcoming horrific start to season.
Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers): Leads underachieving Oilers in scoring and has speed to succeed on big ice.
Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh Penguins): With 37 points in 37 games, he has to be at least on the bubble.
Andrew Ladd (Winnipeg Jets): Left-winger provides solid two-way play and leadership in Winnipeg.
Milan Lucic (Boston Bruins): Bounce-back year on offence has him in running for winger’s job.
Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins): Great little pest in NHL, but might not be trustworthy in short tournament.
Rick Nash (New York Rangers): Has only played 18 games because of injuries, so if he makes the team it will be on reputation.
James Neal (Pittsburgh Penguins): Very productive winger, but lack of discipline may scare away Team Canada management.
Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks): Eighth in NHL scoring and owns impressive plus-15 ranking.
Mike Richards (Los Angeles Kings): Having typical Mike Richards season, but skating on big ice could be an issue.
Patrick Sharp (Chicago Blackhawks): A natural winger who has 34 points in 37 games with Chicago.
Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes): Has not been as productive as usual, but versatility works in his favour.
Jordan Staal (Carolina Hurricanes): Has not been nearly as effective since leaving Pittsburgh for Carolina.
Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning): Top scorer and leader with the Lightning.
Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning): Trying to work way back quickly from broken leg.
John Tavares (New York Islanders): Among NHL’s top scorers with precious little help.
Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks): Leads Sharks in scoring, but only has five goals. Could make it as a winger.
Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks): Having a Hart Trophy-like season as one of best two-way players in NHL.