QMI Agency readers are hoping Sidney Crosby will give Team Canada the golden touch once again at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as the Penguins forward was the top vote-getter in our poll. (TODD KOROL/Reuters)
Hold on to your nesting dolls Russia, QMI Agency readers have chosen the next Team Canada to claim Gold in your fair country.
Over a week ago, QMI asked its readers to choose their team for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The results told us the readers want a younger, faster, more offensively aware team for the wide-open spaces of European arenas. Voters were allowed to choose three goalies, eight defencemen and 13 forwards to round out the roster.
Here are the results from hockey fans across the country.
In between the pipes, and picking up the most votes by a large margin was Carey Price with 1,477 was the Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price. The 25-year-old is off to a fine start this year with a 7-3-0 record, a .915 save percentage and a 2.27 GAA.
Backing up Price, as chosen by the readers, will be the Vancouver Canucks’ Roberto Luongo, 33, and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Marc-Andre Fleury, 28. Luongo grabbed 934 votes (16.6%) and Fleury netted 914 (16.25%). The next closest netminder was Carolina Hurricanes’ Cam Ward with 830 votes. No other Canadian-born goalie broke 10% of the 5,626 votes. The Nashville Predators Chris Mason had the lowest amount of votes with a paltry 19.
Canadians want the grinding Shea Weber of the Predators to quarterback their blueline. Weber, 27, grabbed 1,646 votes (12.14%), followed closely by Drew Doughty, 23, of the Los Angeles Kings, 1,598, and Duncan Keith, 29, of the Chicago Blackhawks with 1,437. Paired with Keith will be the Penguins’ Kris Letang, 25, who pick-pocketed 1,221 votes.
The next defensive pairing chosen was Marc Staal, 26, of the New York Rangers and Brent Seabrook, 27, of the Blackhawks. Staal grabbed 1,084 votes (8%) while Seabrook scored 1,036 (7.64%). Riding the pine, but still making the team are the St. Louis Blues’ Alex Pietrangelo, 23 who earned 1,026 votes (7.57%) and the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban far behind with 622 votes (4.59%). There were 13,554 votes, with the Florida Panthers’ Ed Jovanovski picking up the lowest number with 78.
That brings us to the four lines that will provide the offensive threat and force neutral zone turnovers in Sochi. The top three forwards picked by QMI readers were Sidney Crosby, 25, of the Penguins, Steve Stamkos, 23, of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jonathan Toews, 24, of the Blackhawks. Crosby grabbed 1,693 votes; Stamkos had 1,670 and Toews, 1,638 to account for over 21% of the total votes.
The second line voted for by the readers will feature the Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux, 25, the New York Islanders’ John Tavares, 22 and the Edmonton Oilers Jordan Eberle. Giroux had 1,418 votes (6.47%), Tavares had 1,251 (5.71%) and Eberle had 1,227 (5.6%).
Line three features the New York Rangers’ Rick Nash, 28, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Eric Staal, 28, and the Anaheim Ducks’ Corey Perry, 27. Surprisingly — given his waning performance — Nash netted 1,208 votes (5.51%), while Staal snared 1,178 (5.38%) and Perry coveted 1,056 (4.82%).
The grinder line for the Canucks will feature the Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf, 27, the Boston Bruins Tyler Seguin, 21, and Patrice Bergeron, 27. Getzlaf grabbed 871 votes (3.98%), Seguin 838 (3.83%) and Bergeron, 706 (3.22%). The thirteenth warrior selected was Mike Richards of the Los Angeles Kings. He earned 629 votes for 2.87% of the 21,908 votes casted.
When Canada does select their team, we’ll revisit the results to see how in line QMI readers are with the Hockey Canada management.
TEAM CANADA (as picked by QMI readers)
Carey Price, 25, Montreal Canadiens
Roberto Luongo, 33, Vancouver Canucks
Marc-Andre Fleury, 28, Pittsburgh Penguins
Shea Weber, 27, Nashville Predators
Drew Doughty, 23, Los Angeles Kings
Duncan Keith, 29, Chicago Blackhawks
Kris Letang, 25, Pittsburgh Penguins
Marc Staal, 26, New York Rangers
Brent Seabrook, 27, Chicago Blackhawks
Alex Pietrangelo, 23, St. Louis Blues
P.K. Subban, 23, Montreal Canadiens
Sidney Crosby, 25, Pittsburgh Penguins
Steve Stamkos, 23, Tampa Bay Lightning
Jonathan Toews, 24, Chicago Blackhawks
Claude Giroux, 25, Philadelphia Flyers
John Tavares, 22, New York Islanders
Jordan Eberle, 22, Edmonton Oilers
Rick Nash, 28, New York Rangers
Eric Staal, 28, Carolina Hurricanes
Corey Perry, 27, Anaheim Ducks
Ryan Getzlaf, 27, Anaheim Ducks
Tyler Seguin, 21, Boston Bruins
Patrice Bergeron, 27, Boston Bruins
Mike Richards, 28, Los Angeles Kings