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McKenzie: Facing U.S. will help Team Canada's psyche

2/21/2010 12:27:07 AM
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Team Canada head coach Mike Babcock turned some heads with some roster adjustments for Sunday's game against the Americans, as Mike Richards will likely skate with Sidney Crosby and Rick Nash will play on left wing.

I'm a little surprised that Nash is playing on the left side instead of the right side. I just think he's better on that right side.

But the most important thing is that Richards can play a give and go game with Crosby and add a physical presence to that first line.

That said, Jarome Iginla will work with Jonathan Toews and Brenden Morrow to provide a physical presence on the third line.

At the other end of the ice, the Americans have played the underdog card up to this point. But they're also playing very well.

For me, the biggest thing for the psyche of Team Canada is that it actually helps to take on the Americans. Call it arrogance or whatever you want. You tell the Canadian team that Norway or Switzerland is going to be good, but deep in their hearts they believe they should blow those teams out.

And when that doesn't happen, they'll obviously be wondering about themselves.

Against the Americans, the Canadian squad knows that if they don't bring their best - their 'A' game - against their opponents, they will lose and lose badly.

And then...that psychology is gone.

Bob McKenzie


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