Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Team Canada World Hockey Championships 2008 - Quarterfinals Notes

Canada and Norway faced each other once in the qualifying portion of this tournament. Canada won 2-1 on the strength of a late 3rd period goal by Rick Nash.

Eric Staal will miss the game to attend the funeral of his grandfather

Jason Spezza will take Staal's spot on the second line

"I believe in karma...I think I've handled the situation pretty good and tried to be pretty positive with it...hopefully, I can contribute in the latter part (of the event) when the games mean a lot here down the stretch."(TSN)

Sam Gagner will be subbing in for Staal, it will be his first time in a game situation since Canada's final exhibition game vs. Finland

"I think there's more nerves watching than actually playing...obviously when you're playing you have a little more control. When you're not, it's a little tougher."(TSN)

  • Cam Ward is expected to start
  • In their only meeting so far this tournament Canada outshot Norway 52-16
  • Norway's only goal against Team Canada was scored while shorthanded by Mads Hansen.
  • Goaltender Pal Grotnes played pretty much the best game of his career, he was terrific and is the key player for Norway
  • Morten Ask is Norway's leading goal scorer with 2
  • They have 2 players tied for points lead with 4 - Anders Bastiansen and Morten Ask
  • Team USA put 4 less shots at Norway than did Canada
  • Team Norway defeated Team Canada 4-3 in the World Championships back in 2000
  • Team Canada is ranked 1st in scoring efficiency (GF/SF) with 35/247
  • Team Norway is ranked 14th in scoring efficiency with 9/125
  • Canada's PP is ranked 5th with a 25% efficiency
  • Norway's PP is ranked 12th with a 13.33% efficiency
  • Canada's PK is ranked 2nd with an 88% efficiency
  • Norway's PK is ranked 13th with a 73.68% efficiency
  • Canada is the 12th most penalized team, Norway is the 10th
  • Canada's goaltending ranks #1 by SV% (.932) and (GAA 1.67)
  • Norway's goaltending ranks #12 by SV% (.889) and 10th in GAA (4.17)
  • Canada's top faceoff ace is Patrick Sharp with 42 wins and 20 losses, Toews is second with 46 wins and 22 losses

Expect Team Canada to go with similar ice times to the rest of this tournament, there shouldn't be any defensive pairings that can't handle Norway's top guns, and there shouldn't be any defensive pairings on Norways that can stop Nash/Getzlaf/Heatley.

According to the numbers, this should be a blowout. That means all the pressure is on Team Canada, and none on Norway and their merry band of day labourers.

If Canada loses this game it will be nothing less then an absolute catastrophe. Remember, Norway is no joke.

Finally, I keep meaning to throw up a couple links to Staple's Cult of Hockey. He's been tracking errors for Team Canada's goal against, although I haven't seen his evaluation of Canada vs. Finland.

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