Crosby and Bergeron. Ovechkin and Malkin. Stafford and O'Sullivan.
These are the high-profile duos people are talking about heading into the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championship in Grand Forks, N.D. and Thief River Falls, Minn.
Nobody questions the abilities of Team Canada forwards Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron, the Russian pair of Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin -- the first and second overall picks of the 2004 NHL entry draft -- or even the American tandem of Drew Stafford and Patrick O'Sullivan, but before too long, Jeff Carter and Ryan Getzlaf may be joining the conversation.
"That's the plan, we've got to do what we do out there," said Getzlaf, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder from Regina, Sask., who was the 19th overall selection in 2003 by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. "We're not here for the publicity. We're here to play hockey and we're excited. We played together last year and we have a lot of chemistry. We have similar personalities and we play a similar game. We're both big guys, we're not afraid to get in the corners either, or put the puck into the net."
Carter and Getzlaf are looking for big things after combining for eight goals and 13 points in last year's tournament.
"I definitely want to go out, have a good tournament and build on what I did last year," said Carter, a 6-foot-4, 207-pounder from London, Ont.
It is unthinkable that a pair of towering first round picks could be overlooked, but it's an indication of how deep this team is.
All three forward lines would be considered the top unit on most teams. The scary thing is that Carter may have been the best player in last year's tournament and he's coming back even hungrier.
"(Carter) kind of flies under the radar screen because he's a quiet kid and he doesn't look for the spotlight," said Team Canada assistant coach Jim Hulton. "He's not going to pull you out of your seat with some razzle-dazzle move because there's some risk involved and he plays no-risk hockey, which is what coaches love."