Patrick Sharp will watch from the stands today as Canada tries to win their second game in as many days. They’ll take on Austria today—a team that scored four goals against Sweden but couldn’t find a way to keep the puck out of their own net, leading to an 8-4 loss.
Canada is coming off of a defensively impressive contest against Norway that left a little to be desired on the score board. Sharp getting the hook isn’t in response to his play, however. Head coach Mike Babcock had already announced that Matt Duchene would be getting into the lineup today prior to the contest against Austria, so this shakeup shouldn’t come as a surprise.
— Antti Mäkinen (@sirmakinen) February 14, 2014
For Team Canada, anything besides Gold medal in Sochi would be considered a disappointment. Whether or not that’s fair is up for debate, but that’s the way it is when you are utilizing the reigning Art Ross trophy winner as a 13th forward and the NHL’s Norris Trophy winner from a year ago isn’t a shoo-in to play on a nightly basis.
A dominating performance from this group could force Babcock to keep his lineup intact, though it appears that he’s trying to keep his players as fresh as possible despite an intense play schedule.