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Host Canada begins with match against Norway

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Host Canada begins with match against Norway
Canada vs. Norway
NORWAY (0-0-0-0) vs. CANADA (0-0-0-0)

NOTE: records are presented as three-point wins (regulation time), two-point wins (OT or shootout), one-point losses (OT or shootout), zero-point losses (regulation time).

What to watch -- Let the pressure cooker heat up, the Canadians will be feeling the heat inside a relatively cold Canada Hockey Place when they open the tournament on their home ice against the Norwegians. They shouldn't have too many problems in this game, as Norway won't be dressing anyone that is currently on an NHL roster.

Canada, though, has to play its game, and not down to the Norwegians. If the Canadians play to their systems and feel good about the effort and chemistry, than this should truly be a successful opener. If they don't, even a win might not feel great.

Just a note: Canada is 3-0 against Norway in the Olympics with a combined score of 29-3. The last time they played was in 1992 and Canada won 10-0. However, Norway gave Canada a game in the 2008 World Championships before losing, 2-1. Rick Nash won it with a power-play goal in the final five minutes of regulation. Canada had 53 shots to Norway's 16.

Team Reports:

Norway -- For the first time since hosting the Games in 1994, the Norwegian hockey team is back in the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament. However, they are here without an NHL player, which doesn't bode well for their chances.

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen is the only Norwegian who has played in the NHL this year, but he was recently sent by the Red Wings to Grand Rapids of the AHL. Patrick Thoresen played two seasons in the NHL (2006-08) with Edmonton and then Philadelphia. He's now in the KHL after spending last season in Sweden.

Coach Roy Johansen will likely start Pal Grotnes in net. He's 32 and has been Norway's goalie in the last two World Championships. Expect to see Norway playing a very defensive system to counter the Canadian attack.

"Everything has to go our way to win," Thoresen said. "It can happen, but obviously it's pretty high odds. We're not going to look at them and go wow. We're going to respect them, but do our best."

Canada -- The Canadians open the tournaments with very few question marks.

Ryan Getzlaf has a sprained left ankle, but he played on it Sunday and had two goals and two assists for Anaheim in a 7-3 win over Edmonton. He's ready to go. Roberto Luongo will get the nod in goal from coach Mike Babcock with Martin Brodeur slated to start against Switzerland on Thursday. Sidney Crosby will center the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Rick Nash. Look for Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley to play together and Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith to be paired on the back end, just like they are in Chicago.

Canada is 18-1 in Olympic openers. Its lone loss came in 2002, a 5-2 drubbing by Sweden. However, the Canadians went on to capture their first gold in 50 years.

"I just looked at the game in 2008 when it was 2-1, and that's good enough for me right now," Babcock said about how he won't overlook Norway. "All these teams can beat you. These teams are going to clog up the neutral zone on us. If we want to be stubborn and we want to be cute through the neutral zone they can frustrate you. They can beat you on the power play if you let that happen."

Total NHL players on rosters -- Norway 0; Canada 23

Puck Drop -- "We expect when the puck drops that we're going to keep coming for 60 straight minutes," Babcock said. "That's going to be our plan and our focus from the start. Can we do that? You're going to watch and I'm going to watch and we're going to find out."

NHL.com predicts -- Canada to win in a rout as the host team gets off to the start it wants.

Canada
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
22 J. Benn DAL 6'2" 210 7/18/1989 Victoria, BC
37 P. Bergeron BOS 6'2" 194 7/24/1985 Ancienne-Lorette, QC
77 J. Carter LAK 6'4" 212 1/1/1985 London, ON
87 S. Crosby PIT 5'11" 200 8/7/1987 Cole Harbour, NS
9 M. Duchene COL 5'11" 200 1/16/1991 Haliburton, ON
15 R. Getzlaf ANA 6'4" 221 5/1/1985 Regina, SK
14 C. Kunitz PIT 6'0" 195 9/16/1979 Regina, SK
12 P. Marleau SJS 6'2" 220 9/15/1979 Aneroid, SK
61 R. Nash NYR 6'4" 213 6/16/1984 Brampton, ON
24 C. Perry ANA 6'3" 212 5/16/1985 Peterborough, ON
10 P. Sharp CHI 6'1" 199 12/27/1981 Winnipeg, MB
26 M. St. Louis TBL 5'8" 180 6/18/1975 Laval, QC
20 J. Tavares NYI 6'1" 205 9/20/1990 Mississauga, ON
16 J. Toews CHI 6'2" 208 4/29/1988 Winnipeg, MB
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
19 J. Bouwmeester STL 6'4" 212 9/27/1983 Edmonton, AB
8 D. Doughty LAK 6'1" 213 12/8/1989 London, ON
5 D. Hamhuis VAN 6'1" 209 12/13/1982 Smithers, BC
2 D. Keith CHI 6'1" 200 7/16/1983 Winnpeg, MB
27 A. Pietrangelo STL 6'3" 201 1/18/1990 King City, ON
76 P. Subban MTL 6'0" 217 5/13/1989 Toronto, ON
44 M. Vlasic SJS 6'1" 205 5/30/1987 Montreal, QC
6 S. Weber NSH 6'4" 233 8/14/1985 Sicamous, BC
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
1 R. Luongo VAN 6'3" 217 4/4/1979 Montreal, QC
31 C. Price MTL 6'3" 212 8/16/1987 Anahim Lake, BC
41 M. Smith PHX 6'4" 215 3/22/1982 Kingston, ON
Norway
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
21 M. Ask 6'1" 201 5/14/1980 Oslo, NOR
20 A. Bastiansen 6'3" 205 10/31/1980 Oslo, NOR
29 R. Dahlstrøm 6'0" 207 1/29/1988 Oslo, NOR
26 K. Forsberg 6'1" 203 5/5/1986 Oslo, NOR
8 M. Hansen 6'1" 194 9/16/1978 Trondheim, NOR
43 F. Lystad Jacobsen 5'11" 190 2/15/1990 Asker, NOR
13 S. Olden 6'4" 194 8/29/1992 Oslo, NOR
40 K. Andre Olimb 5'10" 176 1/21/1989 Oslo, NOR
46 M. Olimb 5'10" 183 2/1/1986 Oslo, NOR
51 M. Rosseli Olsen 5'11" 183 4/29/1991 Oslo, NOR
28 N. Roest 5'9" 176 8/3/1986 Oslo, NOR
22 M. Røymark 6'0" 190 11/10/1986 Oslo, NOR
19 P. Skrøder 5'11" 203 8/4/1978 Sarpsborg, NOR
41 P. Thoresen 5'11" 185 11/7/1983 Hamar, NOR
36 M. Zuccarello NYR 5'7" 179 9/1/1987 Oslo, NOR
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
47 A. Bonsaksen 5'11" 183 1/24/1987 Oslo, NOR
6 J. Holøs 5'11" 203 8/27/1987 Sarpsborg, NOR
39 H. Solberg 6'3" 220 4/15/1987 Trondheim, NOR
4 D. Sørvik 6'0" 183 3/11/1990 Oslo, NOR
55 O. Tollefsen 6'2" 209 6/6/1984 Oslo, NOR
23 M. Trygg 5'10" 187 6/1/1976 Oslo, NOR
42 H. Ødegaard 5'10" 187 2/12/1988 Asker, NOR
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
30 L. Haugen 6'0" 183 3/19/1987 Oslo, NOR
70 S. Søberg 5'11" 176 8/6/1993 Oslo, NOR
34 L. Volden 6'3" 201 7/26/1992 Oslo, NOR