Kosmic’s Introduction to BLH/2016 World Cup of Hockey Team Canada Roster Prediction

Kosmic Burrito

February 28th, 2016 Somewhere in the Universe (OK, just outside of Toronto)

So here we are…February 28th…NHL Trade Deadline Eve. Many GM’s suffering from what surely feels like cauliflower ear after working the phones for hours. Breath stinking with coffee, a side effect from not sleeping, or “conducting business” as they tell their families…

Whoa hold up dude! I am so sorry! Let me back this up. I was born in Canada, where are my manners?

Hello Beer League Heroes universe, my name is…well…just call me Kosmic Burrito. I’m going to be your bushy bearded, burrito loving blogger, bringing you some spaced out Oilers sports reports. Before I go any further, I want to say a huge thank you to the staff here at Beer League Heroes for giving me the opportunity to connect with their wonderful audience and fans. It is an absolute honour to be working as a part of this team. Might I add, that now being behind the scenes, holy f%8k these guys bust their asses off! Like come on, we all knew how hard they work for us fans, but…. No you didn’t! Trust me! I have a whole new level of appreciation for them, and I am more than stoked to be working with this great team.

3, 2, 1…Blast off…

Could Taylor Hall really make Team Canada for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey this summer?
Could Taylor Hall really make Team Canada for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey this summer?

Welcome aboard ladies and gentlemen, I’m glad to be taking this trip with you…I know, I know…It’s NHL trade deadline eve! But that’s not what I’m going to write about. We have a lot of fantastic authors taking care of all your fiendish trade needs. Do you know what’s going down this summer? It’s the return of the World Cup of Hockey…yes, and it just so happens to be taking place in my neck of the woods, Toronto. Yes that’s right, Kosmic Burrito is digging for Oil in Leafs Nation, haha!

What version of Team Canada do you think we’ll see in September at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey? Will it be an offensive dynamo led by Sidney Crosby and John Tavares? Or will it be just like the defensive juggernaut that we saw in 2014 with Jonathon Toews? Speaking of which, who will be El Capitano? Toews or Crosby? Do you strip 2010’s Golden Boy of the “C” and pass it over to 3 time Stanley Cup champion, Captain Serious? That’s a huge decision, and I’m kind of glad that I don’t have to make it. Also, if Subban makes the team, will he actually see ice this time? Sorry not sorry Habs fans, I had to! And please, for the love of Pete!!! Give us a healthy Stamkos!

Since we already know that Mike Babcock will be returning as head coach, and with the official roster announcement coming on March 2nd, let’s take a look at some players that may be included on the roster. Some will be guaranteed locks (Crosby, Toews, etc), and some will have a potential roster spot (Eberle, Getzlaf, etc).

I’ll start with the goaltenders, since there really isn’t as much debate there.

Possible Goaltenders: Carey Price, Braden Holtby, Roberto Luongo, Corey Crawford, and Marc Andre-Fleury

Personally, I see them going with: Price, Holtby, and Luongo (in that order). With the year that Holtby is having, he almost deserves the shot over Price. Honestly though, congrats Braden, you’re having a helluva season! I added Luongo in there for some mentorship, and veteran presence. But really, this is Price’s job too lose. Especially with his 2014 Olympic performance still freshly lingering.

Moving on to the Defense, we’ll start with the left side. Because let’s face it, you know Babcock loves a balanced “lefty/righty” lineup. You can’t knock the job his defense did in 2014, it was historic. So he’ll definitely run the same type of game plan, I am sure.

Possible LHD: Duncan Keith, T.J. Brodie, Marc-Eduard Vlasic, Dan Hamhuis, Mark Giordano and Jay Bouwmeester

Possible RHD: Drew Doughty, P.K. Subban, Brent Seabrook, Shea Weber, Alex Pietrangelo, Brent Burns, and Kris Letang

The Defense always seems to drum up just as much debate among Canadians, as which forwards were omitted. So take my prediction with a grain of salt haha! I think that the pairings could look something like this:

Keith – Weber
Giordano – Doughty
Vlasic – Burns
Extra Skater: Letang

Now the forwards…..the forwards….WE HAVE SO MANY AWESOME FORWARDS!!!!!! I remember growing up, my Dad would always tell me:

“Son, Canada is so good, we could dress 3 teams and win all 3 medals!!” – Papa Burrito

I’d like to think that the rest of the world is catching up though. But on with the forwards!!! I’m not going to break it down by positional possibilities, because there will most definitely be a few guys playing out of their natural position. But I will make my predictions for possible line combinations.

Possible Forwards: Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos, Taylor Hall, Ryan Johansen, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, John Tavares, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Claude Giroux, Matt Duchene, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Ryan O’Reilly, Jordan Eberle, Joe Thornton, and Logan Couture

Again, just like my defensive prediction, take this with a grain of salt as. But here is what I think the forward lines just might look like:

Hall – Crosby – Stamkos
Benn – Seguin – Johansen
Carter – Toews – Bergeron
Duchene – Tavares – Giroux
Extra Skater: O’Reilly

I’d like to think that this possible roster boasts a combination of size, speed, grit, and skill. It does have the Babcock trademark balance of left and right shot defensemen, and I’m not sure if you could find a better trio of goalies. All in all, I don’t know about you, but I am really excited to see the return of the World Cup.

Again, the great thing about being fans, is that we can debate the rosters all day. But it’s anyone’s guess until they make the announcement on March 2nd. I do know one thing though…it sure would have been nice to see McDavid’s name on there, possibly lining up with Sid and Serious…

Speaking of which, stay tuned for my 2016 World Cup of Hockey Team North America Under 23 team report.

Thanks for tripping with me, I’m going to look forward to your feedback!

Follow me on the Twitter @kosmicburrito

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