I was just pondering the idea of repicking Canada's men's hockey team based on the last month's play in the NHL. My metric is pretty simple, go to Yahoo Sports, sort by all players, using stats from the last month, then sort by rank. Obviously this method is inexact by nature, but I think it is rather eye opening with regards to which current Olympics players picked in December were actually on form come the Olympics.
- Dany Heatley
- Ryan Smyth
- Brooks Laich (I believe he played jr for the US though)
- Rick Nash
- Ray Whitney (added a 5th because of Laich)
Now given these results we can glean a couple things. The team overall doesn't seem that lacking for international experience. There are only a handful of oddities on forward, with Knuble, Downie, Laich and Whitney probably not guys who were ever even in the Olympic conversation. Maybe swap in Shane Doan for Knuble and you'd be alright. Our centre group is actually quite solid, with the glaring omission obviously being Crosby. Left wing has the experience factor with Captain Canada Ryan Smyth.
Defense is actually pretty bang on. The oddity is Kurtis Foster, swap him out for Weber and I think we'd probably have a better D corps then we currently have in Vancouver.
Goaltending would definitely be suspect, but at least you'd know you have some hot hands. Luongo has the best form of our current Olympians, but would still be 9th on Canada's depth chart. Fleury would be 15th and Brodeur I don't know as Yahoo has him ranked weirdly at 734 behind all the inactive goalies. Looking at Brodeur's stats he was positively awful in the leadup to the Olympics. Turco has some experience, having made the 2006 team. Mason has played at the Junior level as the starter, while Elliott is the wildcard.