Canada v. Switzerland Post-Game: Relentless (Tambellini Version)

The Swiss were overmatched but competitive.  The second period began with the shot clock reading 17-8 Canada and the scoreboard 2-0.  And then it happened.  Drew Doughty got caught pinching, the Swiss were in 2-on-1 and the score soon followed suit.  The Canadians were reeling, the Swiss filled with gumption and belief.  As the end of the period drew near the Swiss dumped the puck in and forechecked hard as they had all game.  Chris Pronger got hit in the corner and didn't like it.  He decided that it was personal "pay-back time" and was about to be called for roughing when the Swiss scored on the delayed call.  It was in off a skate, but it was in and the score was tied.

It was going to be all Canada.  Everybody in the building knew it.  The Swiss are hanging on to Jonas Hiller's coattails for dear life as the end of the period draws near.  And then a penalty.  Less than three minutes to go and some poor sap is in the box for hooking, hoping and praying that the Canadian power play - one goal in ten minutes to that point - can be held off.  Hiller and the PK do the job on Crosby, Getzlaf and Perry.  Then it's Thornton, Heatley and Marleau who are shut-out.  The shot clock reads 18-3 but the scoreboard is unmoved.  If only they'd shot more. 

The battle was lost but the game puttered on.  The dejected Canadians were outshot 3-1 in overtime and only looked dangerous in the literal sense.  Rick Nash should have been but wasn't penalized for his participation in the long jump using Jonas Hiller's head as the sand.  But the Canadians did nothing with their good fortune.  Nine of thirteen forwards saw the ice in a five-minute overtime.  None of them scored.  The go-to guy for this team?  Everybody. 

In the end, the game went to the shoot-out and after Martin Brodeur and Jonas Hiller stopped the first three skaters Sidney Crosby stepped up to shoot for the second time.  I guess there is a go-to guy after all.  He scored the goal and sent the crowd into ecstasy, the exclamation point coming with a fourth and final Martin Brodeur save.   It was a win. "Payback time" for the loss in Turino.  But it sure didn't feel like it.

After the jump we'll talk tactics, bench management and how this "win" effects Canada in the overall standings.

I understand that Gabriel Desjardins has hacked us into some advanced data, which is pretty great news.  Nonetheless, I decided to continue my work providing some play-by-play of who is getting used when.  It's listed below and afterwards I'll talk a little bit about some specific things I noticed in the game supplemented by the data.  The players will be marked by their jersey numbers for ease of writing but I'll provide a legend first:

2 - Duncan Keith
6 - Shea Weber
7 - Brent Seabrook
8 - Drew Doughty
10 - Brenden Morrow
11 - Patrick Marleau
12 - Jarome Iginla
15 - Dany Heatley
16 - Jonathan Toews
18 - Mike Richards
19 - Joe Thornton
20 - Chris Pronger
21 - Eric Staal
22 - Dan Boyle
24 - Corey Perry
27 - Scott Niedermayer
37 - Patrice Bergeron
51 - Ryan Getzlaf
61 - Rick Nash
87 - Sidney Crosby

First Period

61-87-12 and 27-06 for NZ FO
37-87-16 and 22-27
37-16-18 and 22-20 ends in Swi penalty


15-19-11 and 08-20 OZ FO PP
61-87-12 and 22-06
21-51-24 and 22-06 OZ FO PP penalty ends


21-51-24 and 22-06
10-16-37 and 07-02
15-19-11 and 07-20
15-19-11 and 08-20 DZ FO
61-87-12 and 08-20
61-87-12 and 27-06
21-51-24 and 27-06
21-51-24 and 07-02 OZ FO ends in Swi. penalty

21-51-24 and 22-06 OZ FO PP
61-87-12 and 08-20
15-19-11 and 07-02 penalty ends

15-19-11 and 07-02
15-16-11 and 07-02 ends in Cdn. GOAL

10-16-18 and 27-06 NZ FO
15-19-11 and 22-20
21-37-51 and 08-02 DZ FO with 37 going to bench after DZ clear
21-51-24 and 08-02
61-87-12 and 08-02
61-16-12 and 27-06
18-16-37 and 22-20 DZ FO
18-16-37 and 22-20
15-19-11 and ??-?? ends in Swi. penalty

15-19-11 and 22-06 OZ FO PP
15-19-11 and 22-06 OZ FO PP
61-87-12 and 27-20 OZ FO PP
21-51-24 and 07-02 penalty ends

21-51-24 and 07-02
21-51-24 and 06-02
10-16-37 and 27-06 OZ FO Icing
15-19-11 and 22-20 OZ FO
15-19-11 and 22-20 OZ FO
15-19-11 and 27-06
61-87-12 and 07-02
21-51-24 and 07-02
18-16-37 and 08-20 OZ FO Icing
21-51-24 and 08-20
21-51-24 and 27-06

Second Period

61-87-12 and 27-06 NZ FO ends in Swi. penalty

15-19-11 and 22-06 OZ FO PP ends in Cdn. GOAL

10-16-18 and 22-20 NZ FO ends in Swi. penalty

15-19-11 and 22-06 OZ FO PP
21-51-24 and 22-06
21-51-24 and 27-06 penalty ends

21-51-24 and 27-06
61-87-12 and 27-20
61-87-12 and 07-02
10-16-18 and 08-27 OZ FO
15-19-11 and 07-02
21-51-24 and 22-20
21-52-24 and 27-08
61-87-18 and 27-06
10-16-37 and 07-02
15-19-11 and 07-02 DZ FO
61-87-12 and 22-20
21-51-24 and 22-20
21-51-24 and 27-08 OZ FO ends in Swi. GOAL

16-10-18 and 22-20 NZ FO ends in Cdn. penalty

11-37 and 27-06
18-10 and 27-06
18-10 and 22-20
11-37 and 22-20
21-61 and 07-02 penalty ends

21-18-61 and 07-02
15-19-11 and 27-06
61-87-12 and 27-06
61-87-12 and 27-06 DZ FO
21-51-24 and 07-02 DZ FO
18-16-37 and 07-02
18-16-37 and 07-02 NZ FO
15-19-11 and 27-06
15-19-11 and 27-06 NZ FO
61-87-12 and 27-06
61-87-12 and 27-06 DZ FO ends in Swi. penalty

15-19-11 and 22-06 OZ FO PP
61-87-12 and 27-06
61-87-12 and 27-06 DZ FO Icing, penalty ends

61-87-12 and 27-06
61-87-12 and 22-02
21-51-24 and 22-02 NZ FO
21-51-24 and 22-02 DZ FO
18-16-37 and 27-06 DZ FO
15-19-11 and 22-20 ends in Swi. GOAL

61-87-37 and 07-02 NZ FO

Third Period

21-51-24 and 27-06 NZ FO
15-19-11 and 22-20 OZ FO
15-19-11 and 22-20 OZ FO
61-87-37 and 08-02 OZ FO Icing
21-51-24 and 06-02
10-16-18 and 22-20 NZ FO
15-19-11 and 08-02
61-87-16 and 27-06 OZ FO
61-87-16 and 27-06 OZ FO
21-51-24 and 22-20
10-18-12 and 07-02 DZ FO
15-19-11 and 27-06 NZ FO
15-19-11 and 22-20
61-87-16 and 22-20 DZ FO
61-87-16 and 08-02
21-51-24 and 08-02
21-51-24 and 08-02 DZ FO Icing
10-18-12 and 27-06
15-19-11 and 22-20
61-87-16 and 08-02 NZ FO
61-87-16 and 08-02 OZ FO
21-51-24 and 27-06
61-87-16 and 22-20 OZ FO
10-18-12 and 27-06
10-18-12 and 27-06 DZ FO Icing
15-11-18 and 27-06
15-11-18 and 27-06 DZ FO Icing, TO Canada before start
15-19-11 and 08-02
21-51-24 and 08-02 OZ FO
61-87-21 and 22-20
61-87-16 and 22-20 ends in Swi. penalty

51-87-24 and 27-06 OZ FO PP
15-19-11 and 08-22
15-19-11 and 08-22 OZ FO
61-87-16 and 27-06
61-87-16 and 27-06 OZ FO penalty ends

61-87-16 and 27-06
21-37-51 and 22-20 DZ FO

Overtime

87-61 and 22-20 NZ FO
51-21 and 27-06 OZ FO
37-11 and 08-02 DZ FO with 37 to bench on clear
11-15 and 08-02
87-61 and 08-02
37-51 and 22-20 DZ FO with 37 to bench on clear
51-21 and 22-20
51-21 and 27-06
19-11 and 27-06
19-11 and 27-08
19-11 and 08-02
87-61 and 08-02
51-21 and 27-06

End of Game

So, some items of interest.  The RW on the Nash and Crosby line changes again.  Through the first two periods they played with Iginla but they took one shift with Bergeron to close the second period and then they open the third period with Bergeron.  But Bergeron is quickly replaced by Jonathan Toews who then remains on RW with that line until overtime.  He stayed with that group for their last shift on the power play near the end of regulation so it seems Toews really upped his stock in this one. 

As for Bergeron, he started as the RW on a line with Toews (the LW was sometimes Morrow, sometimes Richards) until getting the bump.  After he gets replaced by Toews on the 61-87 combo he sits for the entire third period until the last ten seconds when there's a defensive zone faceoff to close out regulation.  Sending him in cold like that is pretty ballsy.  Getzlaf is there as the second center in case Bergeron gets thrown out.  Getzlaf is 48% on the draw at EV this year so he probably wasn't the best choice for that but we'll let that go.  Bergeon then gets used that way twice more in OT (and was used that way once in the first period).  Lots of opportunity for that guy to be the goat but not a lot of opportunity to be the hero since he always skates off after the puck is cleared.

On to Iginla.  He sits for the first part of the third period until they settle him into a line with Morrow and Richards about seven minutes in.  Those three got three shifts in the third period together and, along with Corey Perry, were the only four forwards not to see the ice in OT.  Hilariously, Iginla's first shift of the third came in the DZ.  That same shift was also Brent Seabrook's first (and only) shift of the third period.  Seabrook got caught up ice and it would have resulted in a 2-on-1 for the Swiss if they hadn't gone off-side.

The defensive pairs were much more stable in this game.  They played Niedermayer with Weber, Pronger with Boyle and Keith with Doughty or Seabrook depending on which one was in the dog house at the time.  Seabrook played most of the minutes in the second period after Doughty got caught pinching (sound familiar) but Doughty took the honour for the third.  They must trust Doughty since they used him for a DZ draw in the OT when they didn't need to.  Strange choice but that's what they wanted I guess.  The only defender not used in the OT was Seabrook. 

In terms of the overall standings this game is devastating for Canada.  It's very likely that the Canadians will now finish no better than third in the overall standings.  If that's the case it's again likely that any path to the gold medal now involves games against three of Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Russia and the United States.  Had they finished first or second overall, it would likely have only involved two.  A costly, costly loss.  They're now left to hope that the Russians/Czechs and Swedes/Finns have an overtime game.  The goal differential is still very good (+9) so they're still very much alive on the tiebreakers.  Next up is the United States where a win is essential.  A regulation loss in that game means it's four games to the gold instead of three and the quarterfinal game becomes a back-to-back.  So let's win that one!

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