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Angeles Kings rearguard Drew Doughty.
Doughty, to be fair, has piled up 17 points in 20 games since he was named to the squad.
“ We can sit here and drive ourselves crazy, saying we should have done this, we should have done that,” Yzerman said. “But there was a lot of hockey watched, and a lot of discussions and which players would be the best fit.
“ We had to make a decision by Dec. 30 knowing full well a lot of guys would light it up. There’s going to be second-guessing, and there’s no way around that.”
But nothing compared to what the Canadian hierarchy will face if this club fizzles as it did in 2006.
“Canadians don’t win all the time, unfortunately,” said Kevin Lowe, who served in the Canadian Olympic staffs under Wayne Gretzky in 2002 and ’06. “But we come with pride and passion and we believe we can win.”
As for keeping players contented with their new roles in Vancouver, Yzerman does not foresee it being much of a problem.
Many players, accustomed to ample ice time, both on special teams and five-on-five, will see their minutes reduced. Others, perhaps Joe Thornton, will be asked to play a shutdown role instead of an offensive game.
“It comes down to character, and we believe we have guys with character,” the GM said.
However, one player who will continue to see lots of ice is Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby. While Anaheim veteran Scott Neidermayer will be wearing the captain’s C, most believe this is indeed Crosby’s team.
“He’s a complete player, much like Michael Jordan,” Yzerman said of Canada’s marquee player. “Every year, they tried to find something wrong with his ( Jordan’s) game and he got better and better.
“Not saying there was anything wrong with Sid’s game, but I’ve watched every part of his game improve. We saw him first hand the past two years in the Stanley Cup final, to our dismay. Whether it was faceoffs, or defensive play, whatever ... what’s he got now, 41 goals?
“He’s a complete hockey player.”
Meanwhile, Yzerman said Ryan Getzlaf ’s status remains up in the air. The Anaheim Ducks centre is out with an ankle injury although he has been skating lightly the past three days.
Olympic rosters are frozen at noon today and if Getzlaf can’t go, he’ll be replaced by Jeff Carter of the Philadelphia Flyers.