What we know and do not know about Canada’s Olympic hockey team

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Canada’s Olympic hockey team comes into focus

The first hockey matches at the Winter Olympics in Beijing will take place exactly three weeks from today. Here’s the latest on the two Canadian teams:

Women

After delaying the announcement by a few weeks due to COVID-19 incidents on the team, Canada finally revealed its 23-player Olympic list yesterday afternoon. The most notable of the last three cuts was veteran defender Meaghan Mikkelson, who had tried to reach his fourth Olympics after undergoing knee surgery in June.

Captain / overtime magician Marie-Philip Poulin and teammate Rebecca Johnston will compete in their fourth Olympics and go for their third gold medal as Canada looks set to avenge its 2018 shootout loss to arch-rival USA. The Canadians turned the matter around at the World Cup last summer in Calgary, snatching the Americans’ row of five consecutive titles as Poulin (who else?) Scored in overtime in the final. Ten Canadians are set to make their Olympic debut in Beijing.

Like many of Canada’s Olympic athletes right now, the women’s hockey team is laying low in an effort to avoid COVID-19 infections, which could jeopardize a player’s eligibility for the Games. The team is bubbling up in Calgary, and after several players tested positive last month, the decision was made not to play more matches before Beijing. The final three dates for the Rivalry Series trip to the United States were canceled, as was this week’s matchup against a men’s team from the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Canada’s first Olympic match is on February 2 at 23:10 ET vs. Switzerland. Then the 2018 bronze winner will face Finland on February 3, Russia on February 6 and the United States on February 7 (all at 23:10 ET). All five teams in this group automatically advance to the quarterfinals, so these matches are all about determining seeding. The playoff rounds begin the night of February 10 (ET) and culminate with the gold medal match on February 16 at. 23:10 ET.

Canada and the United States are highly likely to win gold for the sixth time in the seven Olympics since women’s hockey joined the program. That fight would, as usual, be a toss-up. Read more about the Canadian list here. Read analyst Kirsten Whelan’s position-by-position breakdown here.

Men

It’s been three weeks since the NHL and its players officially saved Beijing, and we still do not know who will play for Canada. Based on the 2018 Olympics, which the NHL also skipped, we can assume the roster will consist mainly of guys playing for European clubs (especially in the Russian-based KHL), plus a few from the AHL (North America’s best minors). league) and even the NCAA (American Colleges / Universities). Four years ago, the leading goal scorers on Canada’s bronze-winning team were Maxim Noreau, who played in the Swiss league, and Derek Roy, who had switched to the Swedish league after a long career in the NHL. Canada’s top goalkeeper was former NHL lad Ben Scrivens.

This year’s team will be chosen by the new general manager Shane Doan, the former Phoenix / Arizona Coyotes striker who stepped in to replace Doug Armstrong when the NHL retired. Former Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien will be behind the bench.

Probably the biggest name they are thought to be considering is six-time NHL star Eric Staal. The 37-year-old forward is currently not playing for anyone after helping Montreal to the Stanley Cup final last year, but Staal’s agent says he has trained and wants to play at the Olympics. His resume is impressive: 1,034 points (including 441 goals) in 1,293 NHL games in the regular season, plus a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2005 and Olympic gold in 2010.

Another interesting player is 19-year-old Owen Power, who is reportedly a lock for the Canadian team. The overall No. 1 in last year’s NHL draft chose to play another season at the University of Michigan, lighting up the Junior World Championships in December and scoring a hat-trick in one of the two games Canada played before the tournament was canceled. Power also played against adult men at last year’s World Cup and recorded three assists in 10 matches to help Canada win gold.

Among the recognizable ex-NHLers who are also reported to be under consideration for the team are strikers Eric Fehr and Josh Ho-Sang, defenders Jason Demers and Cody Franson and goalkeeper Devan Dubnyk.

When NHLers were expected to play, Canada was favored to win gold. Now the betting markets have the defending champion Russia as clearly No. 1, and Canada is part of a subsequent package with Finland and Sweden. These countries, like Russia, have solid domestic leagues.

Canada’s first match is on February 10 at 8:10 ET against Germany, which surprised everyone in 2018 by reaching the gold medal match and almost disrupting Russia before losing in the OT. Canada will then face the United States on February 11 at 23:10 ET, and ends the group game against China on February 13 at. 8:10 ET.

Everyone in the men’s tournament advances to the playoffs, but the winner of each of the three groups and the top second team advances directly to the quarterfinals. The rest must survive a qualifying playoff on one match to join them. These matches are on February 14 and 15 in Canadian time zones, and the quarters on February 15 and 16. The gold medal match is on 19 February at 23:10 ET.

Canada’s women’s hockey team for Beijing Winter Games unveiled

Canada’s women’s hockey team for the upcoming Winter Games in Beijing has been revealed, but before players can face their American rivals, they have some COVID-19 obstacles to overcome. 2:01

Quickly…

The Novak Djokovic saga took another twist. The world’s No. 1 is still set to play in the Australian Open, which starts next week, after a judge on Monday overturned (for procedural reasons) the border authorities’ decision to revoke Djokovic’s visa because they felt he was exempt from the country’s visa. vaccination requirements for foreign countries. visitors were invalid. Australia’s immigration minister, however, has the power to deport Djokovic and he can choose to use it after the tennis star appears to have been caught in both lying and careless behavior. Part of Djokovic’s argument for not having to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Australia is that he claims that he has recently recovered from the disease and thus has some natural immunity. But reporters discovered that at the time Djokovic claimed to have been infected (and knew it), he was doing an interview and photoshoot in his home country, Serbia, while not wearing a mask. Reports also pointed out that Djokovic’s claim to Australian officials that he did not travel for 14 days before his flight to Melbourne is untrue based on social media that placed him in Serbia and in Spain during that period. Djokovic admitted via a written statement today that he made a “mistake in the assessment” by doing the interview when he became infected. He blamed his support team for the inaccurate travel statement for “crossing the wrong field” on his form. Read more about the latest in the Djokovic controversy here.

And finally…

The NHL had a Kodak moment. Last night in South Florida, the Panthers beat the visiting Canucks 5-2 to stay on top of the Presidents’ Trophy race with an NHL-best 24-7-5 record. But everyone on the Internet is talking about the real story from the arena, which of course was Florida’s Sam Reinhart, who collected three points to continue his breakthrough season. Of course I’m joking. Everyone knows the big story was actually Panthers star Jonathan Huberdeau bringing in an assist to stay at the helm of the Art Ross Trophy race. And yes, that was probably interesting too.

Coming up on CBC Sports

Here’s what you can livestream today and Thursday on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Save:

Freestyle skiing – aerials: The last World Cup event before the Olympics takes place in Utah’s Deer Valley. See it today at 17.00 ET.

Junior hockey: Watch a WHL match between Prince Albert Raiders and Red Deer Rebels tonight at 21.00 ET.

Alpine skiing: It’s time for one of the jewels in the World Cup circuit, as this week’s men’s race takes place at the Lauberhorn mountain in Wengen, Switzerland. See super-G on Thursday at 6:30 ET. Back to back downhill goes Friday and Saturday.

Figure skating: Watch the free programs for juniors for women and men from the Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Ottawa on Thursday and 6 p.m. 10:50 ET and 14:10 ET.

Freestyle skiing – moguls: Canadian star Mikaël Kingsbury took the men’s World Cup lead back from Japanese Ikuma Horishima with back-to-back victories last week at Mont-Tremblant, Que. This week’s stop at Deer Valley is their last chance to get started before the Olympics. Watch the first of two competitions on Thursday at 16 ET. The other goes on Friday at the same time.

Watch the entire CBC Sports streaming and broadcast schedule here.

You’re up to speed. Talk to you tomorrow.

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