Matt Duchene won’t be in the lineup for Canada when they take on Norway for their first game of the 2014 Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey tournament. It’s been clear since the Canadians announced their final roster that some tough lineup choices would be in store for head coach Mike Babcock, and that’s apparent by his first round of scratches.
— Antti Mäkinen (@sirmakinen) February 13, 2014
It’s a tired refrain, but P.K. Subban and Duchene would be unquestionable must-play guys for any other nation besides Canada—that they’ll be watching this game from the stands must be somewhat intimidating for other countries. Anyone can win on any given day, but the Norwegians are badly outmatched in this contest and things could potentially get ugly.
Even a close contest would be an accomplishment for Norway, while a victory over Canada would be the biggest in the nation’s hockey history.
It’s important to note that Babcock is running through the motions here and getting a grasp on which group of guys he likes the best. While Subban and Duchene will both sit out in this first game, they’ll have a chance to get into action for Canada on Friday against Austria.