All-Playoff Team: Canada
The World is set to face off in the World Hockey Championships starting this weekend with players from the NHL as well as the other leagues playing for their country. Meanwhile there will be players in the NHL that won’t be able to play since they are going to be playing in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. So with that said, I am going to put on my fantasy GM hat and put together Team Canada made up of players still playing in the playoffs.
Jonathan Toews: Easy pick here as Captain Serious has been a staple on both the Canadian national team as well as the playoffs on a regular basis. The two-time Stanley Cup Champion has 8 points in 6 games so far in these playoffs
Patrick Sharp: Might as well keep the Hawks together as Patrick Sharp would be playing alongside Toews on this team. He may only have 5 points in the playoffs so far but with a line-mate like Toews that total could get much higher
Jason Pominville: Not many people would have had any Wild players on this list before the playoffs started but the Wild shocked the St. Louis Blues in the first round and Pominville lent a hand with 5 points (2G 3A) in the first round series.
Rick Nash: There was little doubt in whether or not Rick Nash should be on this team as the guy that got 42 goals this season is always a threat to score, especially on a team as deep as the Rangers.
Steven Stamkos: The Lightning survived a close Game 7 against the Red Wings in the first series, and because of that Steven Stamkos will be on this list and would probably be named Captain of this team. The 25-year-old still has a lot of hockey left in him and scored 43 goals, the fourth time in his first seven seasons that he has more than 40 goals.
Martin St. Louis: Playing on the second line on this team he has connections with both of his line mates. He currently plays with Rick Nash in New York, but he has played with Stamkos as well so the chemistry of this line would be indisputable.
Corey Perry: Easy choice here as well as Perry has been a staple on the top line in Anaheim as well as a part of Team Canada for most of his career. He had 7 points in the Ducks four game sweep of the Winnipeg Jets. Put him on a line with the next guy on this list and there will most likely be magic.
Ryan Getzlaf: The second guy on the third line is the captain of Anaheim, Ryan Getzlaf. Again a member of multiple Canadian national teams, he did not have as memorable a first round as some of the other players on this list. Only 4 points in the first round, he’ll be looking for a better series against the Flames.
Derick Brassard: Brassard had a career-year this past season when he set new highs in both goals and points with 19 and 41 respectively. He has a respectful 4 points in 5 games but with all the options that the Rangers have up front they just need Brassard to get a few points in order for the team to succeed.
Sean Monahan: There needs to be a nice balance of age on this team so with every Martin St. Louis there has to be just as many young guys which is where Sean Monahan comes along. He may only have 5 points in Calgary’s first series against Vancouver but he was always in the play somehow and became quite a pain in the Canuck’s side.
Brendan Gallagher: This was probably the hardest name to write down as no one really thinks of Gallagher when they are putting a list together of top Canadians. He is a pest that just gets under the skin of his opponents and that works for him and his team as he only has 31 PIM this season.
Connor McDavid: This may be a surprise or maybe it’s not but McDavid is lighting it up right now in the OHL conference finals against the team that everyone thought was going to walk right to the championship, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. So far in the playoffs he has 36 points in 13 games and his team is a win away from advancing to the OHL finals.
Mark Giordano: He has not played so far in the 2015 NHL playoffs but he is back skating and could return to his team during the series against the Anaheim Ducks. The Flames are supposedly the underdogs in the series and could really use Giordano on that backend holding down Perry and Getzlaf.
P.K Subban: Was there any doubt that Subban would be on this team after the year that he has had so far? Earlier this week he was named a nominee for the Norris trophy. The biggest question that the NHL fans had for the Habs was if Price would have been as good this year if he didn’t have Subban in front of him keeping the opposition away.
Duncan Keith: Another easy lock for this team as Keith is always at the top of the list when it comes to defensemen in the league, not just out of Canadians. The Chicago goaltending is questionable which means that they will need Keith to be able to play the way that everyone knows that he can.
Brent Seabrook: If Keith is on this team then why not take his buddy and teammate in Brent Seabrook to play with him on this team. Seabrook is a very quiet player on the backend and with Keith getting all the attention, Seabrook slips under the radar, plays a good game and if he plays well this next series then Chicago will move on.
Mike Green: Green has really fallen off the radar since his 76 point year in 2009-2010. Green has been injury-prone since then but he played most of the season this year and put up some good points (45). Look for Washington to move on if Green plays well in this series against the Rangers.
Dan Girardi: The defensive matchup in the next round could be Mike Green against this guy, Dan Girardi. Girardi is only one of the Rangers defencemen that could have a good series but last year he had only 7 points in the 25 games on the Rangers path to the finals. This year he is only two points away from that total in 20 less games. So the chances are good that he will surpass his previous total by the end of his playoffs, whenever that may be.
Carey Price: Is there any way that Carey Price is not on this list. He has been nominated for the Vezina trophy and will probably win and he is the favourite to also win the Hart trophy for MVP in the whole league. His numbers were extraordinary this year and Montreal and Canada are hoping that he can continue these numbers and lead a Canadian team to a Stanley Cup for the first time since 1993.
Devan Dubnyk: Where did this guy come from. A year ago he was the fourth goalie in the Montreal Canadiens system and this year he is a Vezina candidate and his team is in the second round of the playoffs thanks mostly to his stellar play. The Wild are going to need him to continue his play in order for them to beat Toews and his Chicago Blackhawks.
There are a lot of players that could be on this list and there would probably be a lot of debate as to who should be on this list and who shouldn’t. Either way, if this were the team that we sent to play as Team Canada they would probably be one of the top teams in the whole tournament.