With the NHL players arriving in Sochi on Monday, Canada got together for their first practice in Russia, giving everybody a sneak peek at their line combinations. With the crazy depth the Canadians have it would be hard to go wrong but Carter might be a surprise on their wing.
Crosby being with Kunitz was a guarantee. The biggest reason that Kunitz is on the roster is to play with Crosby, a player he has had so much success with. The choies on their line were deep and eventually Carter received the nod. Some speculation had Carter as being an odd-man out on any of the lines but instead he draws an enviable spot. However he is a pure sniper and imagining his wrist shot being set up by Crosby is intimidating. Plus, he's a right-handed shooter and that should play well with Crosby and Kunitz.
Here are how the lines are looking for the Canadians after their practice. A reminder: Canada is pretty stacked.
Crosby between Kunitz-Carter, Toews between Sharp-Nash, Getzlaf between JT-Perry, that's three seemingly defined lines and 5 Fs for 4th.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 10, 2014
Remaining forwards are Marleau-Bergeron-St. Louis-Benn-Duchene.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 10, 2014
Defence pairs are exactly as were projected: Keith-Weber; Vlasic-Doughty; JBo-Petro; Hamhuis-Subban.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 10, 2014
Canada has a few days left of practice as they don't play their first game of the tournament until Thursday at noon ET against Norway.