A bit more consistency is something the Canadians are looking to get from all aspects of their lineup heading into Thursday’s quarter-final against Switzerland. “I think we all in that room know that we haven’t played 60 full minutes yet,” said forward Jamal Mayers.
The interim reports are out. Here’s a look at the Canadian performance by position:
Grade: A. Hard to find much to gripe about here. Canada is averaging nearly five goals a game and most of that offence has come from the forwards.
The top line of Shane Doan, Rick Nash and Matthew Lombardi has played together since the third game against Slovakia and have combined for 11 goals in the tournament.
Mayers, Jason Chimera and Jay McClement all have good speed and have formed an energy unit that has supplied more scoring than coach Andy Murray could have expected.
Mike Cammalleri and Eric Staal have also been solid contributors while teenager Jonathan Toews has been a bright spot, particularly on the power play.
Grade: B-plus. It’s all about playing defence by committee for this team. The formula has worked thus far.
Olympic champion Eric Brewer probably logs the most minutes, but has been boosted by a strong supporting cast. Former world champion Nick Schultz seems to be at his best on the international ice while Dan Hamhuis has looked steady and confident.
Cory Murphy, who spent the past six seasons in Europe, has also fit right in. He’s the quarterback of the power play and has repeatedly demonstrated why the Florida Panthers recently signed him to a two-year contract.
Grade: B. Dwayne Roloson and Cam Ward each made their international debut during this event.
They’ve been given three starts apiece and have been good when called upon. Neither is among the statistical leaders for goaltenders, but neither has given up a back-breaking goal during a close game.
You need good goaltending to win this event and the Ward-Roloson combo has played well enough to give Canada the feeling that a gold medal is possible.