Lessons from Canada's OT win

What's up with Canada's offense?
Well, not much really. Drew Doughty (see below) scored both goals for Canada on Sunday, and now through three games, Canadian defensemen are outscoring the forwards 6-5. And when you consider one forward, Jeff Carter, has three of those five, well, you get a sense of how little production is coming from a lineup that at the start of the tournament was being touted as one of the best Canadian groups ever. Sunday's performance will only intensify the debate over (A) who should be playing at all and (B) who should be playing with whom. Crosby picked up an assist on the first Canadian goal Sunday and has, as usual, been creating chances, and we didn't have any problems with his new linemates, Patrice Bergeron and Jamie Benn. The Patrick Marleau- Jonathan Toews-Carter unit was the best on the ice Sunday (Carter picked up the lone assist on the Doughty winner and at one point blew by Finnish defenseman Olli Maatta on the right side, narrowly missing a goal) but the other two lines were nonfactors. Against a Finland team that was banged up, the Canadians managed a pedestrian 27 shots through 62:32 and rarely forced netminder Tuukka Rask out of his comfort zone. Head coach Mike Babcock has time to mull this over, but does he reinsert Martin St. Louis for the quarterfinals, and if so, who comes out? Fair or not, Kunitz will continue to be the popular choice from outside the room. As for defending Norris Trophy winner Subban, it's hard to see him getting back in the lineup given how well the team is playing defensively and how much Doughty and Shea Weber are contributing offensively from the blue line.

Finns' firepower fizzling
You have to hand it to the plucky Finns (and really, how many hundreds of times has this gritty hockey nation been thusly described over the years?) because they have overcome a lot to shoulder their way into a spot in the quarterfinals. Their top two centers, Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula, stayed back in North America due to injury and then they lost top-line winger Aleksander Barkov to injury after the tournament started. The Finns still play a structured, disciplined style of game, and with Rask playing as well as he did Sunday, they are going to be a handful for anyone. But the bottom line is that even when they are healthy, they traditionally don't score all that much in these kinds of events. Sunday they tied the game on a great deflection by Tuomo Ruutu late in the second period, and then in the waning moments of the middle frame they had two more good chances to score. But at the end of the day, they managed just 15 shots. Mikael Granlund led the way with four shots, but they're going to need to find a way to generate more than that if they're going to have a hope of moving on in this tournament, especially with a date with Russia in the offing.

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