Iginla sparks Canada's opening win over Norway
VANCOUVER -- Operating in front of the most impressive sea of red since
So what did 8-0 blowout before all those jersey-wearing fans mean -- beyond Canada, which was held scoreless in the first period, getting a second straight day of practice?
Some quick thoughts:
• At first glance, Canada is maybe 20 percent better than Team USA, which earlier defeated Switzerland, 3-1. The Americans faded in the third period when they gave up a goal and let the redoubtable Swiss climb back at least into the fringes of the match. The U.S. also allowed up a passel of odd-man rushes. There might not have a raft of style points for Canada, at least until Norwegian goalie
Maybe it just took a while for Iginla, starved of a proper center in Calgary, to get used to someone with Crosby's copious gifts. "You have to be ready," Iginla said of his battlefield promotion. "It's pretty exciting to play with Sid. Every pass is in my wheelhouse, the saucer (passes) land." "I think it's important to have a whole bunch of hungry players here," coach
"He's a high, high-end player," Babcock said. "He has ice running through his veins."
• The Sharks line was a solid idea. When the rest of the Team Canada forwards were feeling their way through the first period,
Switzerland will be a more entertaining examination of Canada's bona fides, assuming the Swiss play the same aggressive style as they did against the U.S. If they go into a sclerotic shell like the overmatched Norwegians, switch the channel to short-track speedskating.