Home > Uncategorized > Canada blanks Austria 6-0 . . . in 140 characters or less

Canada blanks Austria 6-0 . . . in 140 characters or less

Jean Levac/Postmedia Olympic Team Fans celebrate Canada’s fourth goal against Austria as Roberto Luongo looks up at the video replay during second-period action of the men's hockey preliminary round held at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Friday. Luongo made 20 saves, including a handful of quality ones, in Canada's 6-0 shutout win that also featured a natural hat trick by Jeff Carter. Canada next faces Finland on Sunday in another 9 a.m. PT puck-drop.

Jean Levac/Postmedia Olympic Team
Fans celebrate Canada’s fourth goal against Austria as Roberto Luongo looks up at the video replay during second-period action of the men’s hockey preliminary round held at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Friday. Luongo made 23 saves, including a handful of quality ones, in Canada’s 6-0 shutout win that also saw Jeff Carter net a natural hat trick. Canada next faces Finland on Sunday in another 9 a.m. PT puck-drop.

That’s more like it, more like the Canada everybody — or at least Canadians — expected to see in these Olympics.

After a slow start and somewhat unsettling 3-1 win over Norway in Thursday’s opener, Canada made amends and restored confidence — for fans and themselves — with a dominant 6-0 victory over Austria on Friday morning.

Larry Fisher
Larry Fisher

In following up on yesterday’s theme, I live tweeted today’s game and here is that mash-up of thoughts courtesy my Twitter feed (LarryFisher_KDC):

9:01 a.m. = I’m up and at ‘er on time, albeit barely, for Canada-Austria. Your starting goalies: Roberto Luongo and some guy named Bernhard Starkbaum.

9:03 a.m. = So what do we know about Starkbaum? I know nothing. My friends Google and Wikipedia know he’s 27 and plays for Brynäs IF in Swedish League.

9:05 a.m. = Canada debuting its black jerseys today and looking every bit as sharp as yesterday’s reds in an opening 3-1 win over Norway.

9:06 a.m. = The puck has dropped with Canada promoting Martin St. Louis to the top line alongside Sidney Crosby and his wingman Chris Kunitz.

9:08 a.m. = Jeff Carter drops down depth chart, while Patrick Sharp-Dan Hamhuis serve as healthy scratches to make room for Matt Duchene-P.K. Subban.

9:09 a.m. = Luongo just made a real solid stop off Philadelphia Flyers rookie Michael Raffl, staying square to the shooter on quick developing rush.

9:10 a.m. = In comparison to Norway, there’s a lot of familiar names on Austria’s roster, led by Islanders tandem of Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner.

9:11 a.m. = Grabner had hat trick in Austria’s tournament-opening 8-4 loss to Finland on Thursday, so he’s hot hand and their offence can be dangerous.

9:13 a.m. = Drew Doughty again! 1-0 Canada. Bit of a stinker there for Starkbaum who lost puck through traffic but credit Doughty for getting shot off and on net.

9:14 a.m. = Just prior to that, Starkbaum robbed John Tavares on a one-timer, but now Canada is on the board early and should get into their groove.

9:16 a.m. = Colour commentator Glenn Healy had this gem prior to goal: “Austria has 3 NHL players and everybody else would ask Crosby for an autograph.”

9:18 a.m. = Crosby just won that neutral-zone faceoff with authority…something tells me he’ll be on the board before end of 1st. 11 mins left.

9:20 a.m. = Former Rangers D-man Thomas Pöck has been very noticeable for Austria, activates into rush on reg basis. Might be auditioning for NHL job?

9:22 a.m. = Boom! Shea Weber the sniper! He just teed one up from top of circle and blasted puck past a stunned Starkbaum to give Canada 2-0 lead.

9:24 a.m. = The best offence is good defence, they say, but not sure this is actual meaning: 4 of Canada’s 5 goals scored by Dmen (2 for Doughty+Weber).

9:26 a.m. = That Weber goal was an absolute rocket! The former @Kelowna_Rockets really leaned into that shot, which was teed up for him by Corey Perry.

9:29 a.m. = Canada’s power play has ended (according to clock), but Austria remains under siege in defensive zone. Lots of pressure, chances.

9:31 a.m. = I’ve liked what we’ve seen from Matt Duchene so far, he was factor in Weber goal and has had lots of jump. But can’t see Sharp staying out.

9:33 a.m. = Then again if this holds up as dominant win, not sure if Babcock will tweak the winning lineup much for Finland even with rest/practice off.

9:35 a.m. = Grabner just pinged the post behind Luongo on a shot from the slot. Close call there, but Canada leads Austria 2-0 after 1st period.

9:37 a.m. = Thomas Vanek and P.K. Subban were 2 players I expected more from in that opening frame. Both were underwhelming, but Subban barely played.

9:38 a.m. = On the goalie front, just wondering out loud here, but did Babcock give Luongo the tougher game as a test/tune-up for Finland?

9:38 a.m. = Or did Babcock give Price the 1st start as a means of informally named him No. 1? What can we read into that — if anything?

9:39 a.m. = Personally, I think if Luongo could, umm, not allow any goals against Austria (don’t say the jinx word) then he’ll be the guy going forward.

9:42 a.m. = What does Don Cherry have on his head? It’s not real fur, some sort of toy/costume? Memo to Grapes: It’s Valentine’s Day not Halloween!

9:51 a.m. = Jeff Carter might have found new home in lineup, starting 2nd flanking Jonathan Toews and Rick Nash. This was Sharp’s spot. Time will tell.

9:52 a.m. = Hold that thought…Carter just took a penalty on opening shift of 2nd, which might not help his chances of holding down that spot.

9:54 a.m. = Oddly, Austria isn’t starting their NHL trio on this power play. Announcer Jim Hughson references that as well — why no Vanek-Grabner-Raffl?

9:55 a.m. = Carter comes out of penalty box and scores! 3-0 Canada, as Carter cleans up Patrick Marleau shot off post after Crosby made it all happen.

9:57 a.m. = That was Crosby’s 1st point of tournament, took him almost 83 minutes…but he’s been much better today as well and points will pile up now!

9:58 a.m. = Jeff Carter again! This time on a wraparound to make it 4-0 for Canada. Austrian goaltender looked like a fish out of water on that one.

9:58 a.m. = @sportsfanspeaks I think we both spoke too soon haha (in reply to comment “Can’t say Carter’s doing a lot so far to justify what he’s even doing in Sochi… Wait, I think I hear Ed Snider…” after I insinuated Carter’s penalty may hurt chances of staying in lineup over Sharp … to which @sportsfanspeaks concluded: “That sound you now hear in the background is Ed Snider shutting up…”).

10:00 a.m. = These black jerseys — as eye-appealing as they are — really show who the spilly drinkers are! Glaring water stains. Looking at you, Sid! (to which @linsiechev commented: “It’s actually a decal that is a maple leaf motif haha”).

10:03 a.m. = Goal differential is 1st tiebreaker after group stage so don’t expect Canada to lighten up or take it easy on Austria in 2nd half.

10:05 a.m. = Canada also doesn’t want to go Globetrotter or develop any bad habits, so expect more of the same. 8-0 not out of question at this point.

10:14 a.m. = Highlight of career for Starkbaum right there, stopped Crosby on a 2-on-1 after he took pass from St. Louis and fired into chest.

10:15 a.m. = Hat trick for Jeff Carter, 5-0 for Canada! Right place right time for Carter a couple times. Cleans up another rebound for 3rd goal of game!

10:16 a.m. = That’s a natural hat trick for Carter who has 3 straight goals in 2nd period to blow this game open!

10:16 a.m. = Shootout practice now for Corey Perry…marginal call, not likely a penalty shot in the NHL but here we go!

10:17 a.m. = Starkbaum with new career highlight! Makes glove save off half-hearted effort by Perry…didn’t exactly bear down to bury that one!

10:19 a.m. = It’s all Canada now. No wind left in Austrian sails or so it appears. Getting another power play here with Jamie Benn off for high-sticking.

10:22 a.m. = Ryan Gelzlaf makes it 6-0 with SH goal, dangles through Austrian defence and backhands puck past Starkbaum. Carter on doorstep waiting for another gift.

10:28 a.m. = Second period in books with Canada leading Austria 6-0. This is what most expected against Norway, but Canada’s now firing on all cylinders!

10:30 a.m. = Trivia time: Carter becomes first Canadian to get a natural hat trick in Olympics since 1956. The last player? Paul Knox, also vs Austria.

10:32 a.m. = FYI: Paul Knox, who turned 80 in November, was a right winger who played one NHL game for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 1954–55 season.

10:33 a.m. = From Wikipedia, Knox was a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen who won the bronze medal for Canada at the 1956 Winter Olympics.

10:34 a.m. = And to answer the obvious question: No, I have never heard of Paul Knox…until now! #learnsomethingneweveryday

10:43 a.m. = 3rd period underway…with a split screen of Patrick Chan’s figure-skating performance. #goodthingitsbigscreen

10:45 a.m. = Not to take anything away from Patrick Chan or figure-skating fans. I hope he doesn’t fall and wins gold, but still, this is hockey country!

10:47 a.m. = That said, with Canada blowing out Austria 6-0, I might actually be paying more attention to Chan right now…and he’s looking good! #Ithink

10:48 a.m. = More impressive, Carter’s hat trick came in less than 6 minutes of ice time. Talk about making most of minutes. #thatsproductive

10:49 a.m. = Hughson just echoed my earlier sentiment regarding Luongo: “If he goes clean rest of way, better chance of starting vs Finland as incumbent.”

10:50 a.m. = Luongo just made a breakaway save as we return to full screen…that might cement his starting role on Sunday!

10:51 a.m. = The split screen was looking pretty small for Chan’s scores and I didn’t feel like pausing game to investigate but think I saw 2nd place!

10:53 a.m. = Love him or loathe him, Luongo’s been good today and has had former Vancouver teammate Grabner’s number! I bet he’s Babcock’s go-to guy now!

10:56 a.m. = 2 Canadian players I’ve rarely heard mentioned so far in Sochi: Chris Kunitz and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Ironically, or not, my 2 non-Olympians (on predicted roster).

10:57 a.m. = That said, I’m sure Kunitz will chisel couple points off Crosby sooner or later. And as defensive Dman, no mention is good thing for Vlasic!

11:00 a.m. = Poor reporting on my part, but Starkbaum’s day was done after 2 periods, replaced by Mathias Lange who is making Olympic debut in clean-up!

11:02 a.m. = And Lange has looked pretty good in his defence so far, no pressure whatsoever but keeping Canada scoreless in 3rd, with 6 mins left.

11:08 a.m. = 2 minutes to go…both Luongo and Lange trying to keep puck out for goose eggs now. The difference? Luongo’s played 60 mins to Lange’s 20.

11:09 a.m. = Granted, Lange almost has as many shots (and/or scoring chances) against as Luongo in his one period of action.

11:10 a.m. = Have to think both those goalies are their country’s starters going forward. Luongo finishes off 23-save shutout in 6-0 win for Canada over Austria!

11:11 a.m. = They just showed Carter collecting game puck from Lange’s glove…for himself I would assume? #selfishplay? #thatsakeeper #hattrick #1ststar

11:12 a.m. = (retweet: Cody Nickolet ‏@WHLFromAbove “Changes I’d make: Sharp in for Kunitz. Price in for Smith, backing up Luongo.”) to which I replied: “I completely concur on all fronts. Duchene deserves to stay and Subban brings more than Hamhuis IMO. Leave Carter with Toews!”

11:13 a.m. = (retweet: Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie “So who starts in G for CAN on Sun vs. FIN? Sure looks like table is set for Luongo. Coming off shutout, Babcock’s schedule rotation in 2010.”) to which I responded: “looks rather obvious at this point…time for Canadians from far and wide to get back on the Bobby Luo bandwagon!”

That’s all for now, folks. I may or may not be back to elaborate in greater depth later tonight or tomorrow in advance of Sunday’s showdown with Finland — the real start to the Sochi Games for Team Canada!

Larry Fisher is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, B.C. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dieter
    February 15, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Great blog!

    • February 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks for the read(s) and the comment(s) Dieter! Enjoy the Olympics!

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