World’s best hockey players soon to land in Vancouver
VANCOUVER — (CP) As hard as it might be to believe, the Olympic men’s hockey tournament is practically here. And there have been a few encouraging signs of late for those rooting on Team Canada in Vancouver.
One of the best came via a breakthrough week from Jarome Iginla, who was tops among Canadian Olympians with three goals and seven points in four games. The Calgary Flames captain had been locked in a nasty goal-scoring drought since receiving his third Games invite.
While coach Mike Babcock and executive director Steve Yzerman haven’t publicly laid out roles for each player, it wouldn’t be surprising if Iginla was given a spot on a scoring line.
The Olympic format calls for all games tied after overtime to be decided in a shootout. Team Canada has lost two of the three shootouts its played in Olympic competition — getting beaten in the gold-medal game by Sweden in 1994 before losing to the Czech Republic in the semifinals four years later.
Sidney Crosby leads the NHL in shootout scoring percentage this season, having converted on six of his seven attempts. The Pittsburgh Penguins star had his third gamedeciding shootout goal on Sunday afternoon against Detroit.
Other Team Canada players with decent shootout records this season include Jonathan Toews ( five goals on eight tries), Rick Nash ( four of 10) and Ryan Getzlaf (three of seven).
Marc-Andre Fleury currently has the best record among NHL goalies in the tiebreaker — having stopped 14 of 15 attempts and built a 5-0 record — but he isn’t expected to see much action for Team Canada at the Olympics. Likely starter Martin Brodeur has been similarly strong with a 6-2 record after allowing seven goals on 26 shots.