Chris Kunitz has received a lot of negative attention over the last few days for not clicking on Canada’s top line. He was brought to the 2014 Winter Olympics because of his chemistry with Sidney Crosby, but hasn’t shown head coach Mike Babcock a lot of positive things through Canada’s first two contests.
He’ll be demoted from his perch on the team’s top line, and will instead play on the fourth line. Which is really like playing on the top line of any NHL club because John Tavares will be his center and either Patrick Sharp or Rick Nash will be his other wing.
It’s tough to be a Canadian forward.
Kunitz wasn’t the only player pulled off the Crosby line though. Martin St. Louis will take in the Finland game from the stands. No. 87 will now skate with Patrice Bergeron and Jamie Benn.
New lines! Bergeron-Crosby-Benn, Marleau-Toews-Carter, Duchene-Getzlaf-Perry, Kunitz-Tavares-Nash/Sharp
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 16, 2014
Kunitz has also been pulled from the top power-play unit. Instead, he’ll play with the second group. Again, it’s more like getting moved from PP1A to PP2A since he’ll be skating with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
Kunitz reunited with Getzlaf and Perry on second PP unit.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) February 16, 2014
We’ll see how long these lines stick. Babcock has never been afraid to juggle lines to shake things up with the Detroit Red Wings, and we’re stating to see some of that with Team Canada.