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Mike Babcock can tinker with Canadian lineup in final preliminary game

Feb 16, 2014, 1:40 AM EDT

Canada Announces Men's Olympic Hockey Team Getty Images

It’s Canada against Finland to see which nation emerges as the top team in Group B in the preliminary round, and yet most of the attention will be on Mike Babcock and his lineup decisions for Sunday’s game.

Babcock, the Canadian head coach, has already made it known he will once again tinker with the lineup for this final preliminary game, with defenseman Dan Hamhuis and forward Patrick Sharp coming back in. Now, who on that roster comes out and sits?

And who starts in goal – Roberto Luongo, who had a shutout against Austria, or Carey Price, who allowed one goal against Norway?

It remains a guess as of right now. But with one game left until the medal round, Babcock is afforded the luxury of dressing some players, sitting others and mixing his lines to finds the combinations that will work.

“Believe me, these decisions aren’t easy,” Babcock said, as per NHL.com. “They’re difficult because they’re personal, because it’s about a player. When you have an interaction with a player, that’s personal. But it’s not about them. It’s about our country and it’s about making the right decisions.

“Now, if it’s not broke, why fix it? After Game 1 you could have said the lineup’s fine, but we had that opportunity. So you’re right in assuming it’s getting…let’s face it, right away it’s Game 7. But we have one more game that it isn’t.”

  1. Rricardinho - Feb 16, 2014 at 3:56 AM

    right or wrong, Im guessing it with be Roberto. That would be my choice
    I have no problem with any of our goalies, if one looks shaky there is a more than capable backup ready to go
    Playing Smith wouldnt be a bad idea, just in case one of the three goes down. why not?

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