Skip to content

Star-studded Canada will be ‘a work in progress,’ says Babcock

Feb 13, 2014, 4:46 AM EDT

Canada's head coach Babcock directs his team during their men's team ice hockey practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Reuters

SOCHI, Russia — The starting goalie will be Carey Price, backed up by Roberto Luongo. The healthy scratches will be P.K. Subban and Matt Duchene. Now that the line-up decisions have been made, Team Canada can begin its quest to repeat as Olympic gold medalists.

Just don’t expect magic right off the bat tonight, even against tournament minnow Norway, or tomorrow versus the long shots from Austria.

“We’re just gonna be a work in progress,” head coach Mike Babcock said Friday after practice.

Babcock was asked how much of the structure of Team Canada will mirror that of his Detroit Red Wings.

“Lots of it is what we do in the NHL,” he said, “then maybe a few tweaks because of the size of the rink, neutral zone-wise, penalty kill-wise, even power play.

“No one talks about how short the end zone is. It’s a big difference. There’s lots of things that are a little bit different. We’ll find out as we go.”

On an Olympic-sized rink, the distance from the blue line to the goal line is six feet shorter than on an NHL rink. Olympic rinks are also wider and have longer neutral zones, with more space behind the net.

“Obviously it’s an adjustment going from the NHL-sized ice to the Olympic-sized ice,” defenseman Duncan Keith. “The more we play on it, the more comfortable we’re going to get.”

How much chemistry has the team been able to build in limited practice time?

“It’s coming along,” Keith said. “Obviously it’s not where it would be if we were together for six months. But there’s so much skill on the team that hopefully we can gel quickly, and keep getting better.”

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Ducks score three goals in 37 seconds to take third-period lead

    May 23, 2015, 10:54 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs play the Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Chicago had the lead. Gave it up. Tied it up again.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 4

    May 23, 2015, 7:05 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Anaheim can put Chicago on the brink of elimination.

  3. Kelowna Rockets fined $500 for complaining about officiating at Memorial Cup

    May 23, 2015, 4:44 PM EDT

    Portland Winterhawks v Kelowna Rockets Portland Winterhawks v Kelowna Rockets

    Oilers’ prospects Leon Draisaitl and Marc-Olivier Roy were among those who received 10-minute misconducts on Friday night.

  4. Report: Devils made offer to KHL forward Sergei Kalinin

    May 23, 2015, 3:43 PM EDT

    Sergei Kalinin Sergei Kalinin

    His teammate Vladimir Sobotka is likely staying in Russia.

  5. Cooper on replacing Bishop: ‘That is asinine to me’

    May 23, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT

    Ben Bishop Ben Bishop

    The Bolts’ starter has allowed five goals in each of his last two starts.

  6. Report: John Cassaday to replace Tim Leiweke as MLSE president and CEO

    May 23, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

    MLSE MLSE

    A formal announcement could come as early as next week.

  7. Report: Coyotes to hire analytics guru John Chayka

    May 23, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT

    Coyotes-logo

    He’ll serve as an assistant to GM Don Maloney.

  8. Deadline approaching for Jackets to sign prospect Peter Quenneville

    May 23, 2015, 9:43 AM EDT

    Brandon Wheat Kings v Kelowna Rockets Getty Images

    He would be eligible for this year’s draft, if he doesn’t come to terms by June 1.

  9. Video: Lightning-Rangers game gets heated in final minutes

    May 22, 2015, 11:42 PM EDT

    Lightning-Rangers skirmish

    Kucherov, Paquette, and Glass all receive misconduct penalties.

  10. Comeback fit for a King: Lundqvist, Rangers even series in Game 4

    May 22, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The score was one-sided, but this game could have gone the other way if not for the Rangers’ netminder.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. T. Johnson (1680)
  2. S. Stamkos (1556)
  3. K. Versteeg (1486)
  4. N. Horton (1405)
  5. P. Kane (1394)