Dany Heatley, right, dominated against Latvia, but Canada may need more secondary scoring as it goes deeper into the tournament. (Mike Dembeck/Canadian Press)
At the world hockey championship
By Alan Adams, Special to CBC Sports
HALIFAX - Where is Team Canada's depth?
You can say all you want about racking up 12 goals in two games at the world hockey championship in Halifax, including Sunday's 7-0 win over Latvia that followed a 5-1 triumph over Slovenia a couple of days ago.
But in case you missed it, the vast majority of the offensive production has come from the omnipresent trio of Dany Heatley, Ryan Getzlaf and Rick Nash. That's an 18-foot, 10-inch, 651-pound unit that's too big, too fast and too talented to stop on any given night.
For the second straight game, Canada's big line had an eight-point performance. Heatley had a goal and three assists against Latvia to move past Steve Yzerman as Canada's top point producer at the world tournament, with 40 points. Nash scored twice and Getzlaf's contribution was a pair of assists.
But unless the likes of Martin St. Louis, Eric Staal, and Jason Spezza start contributing offensively, the Canucks will find it tough to defend the national pride on home soil and win a second straight world crown.
Unless the aforementioned NHLers get going, the pre-tournament hype about the Canadian line-up having seven of the NHL's top 21 regular-season scorers is nothing but a good marketing ploy.
The road to the top starts to get tougher on Tuesday when Canada plays the United States. The U.S. is the midst of a generational change and it's a young team that would like nothing more than to rub it in the face of their northerly neighbours. There is no pressure on the States.
It's not the fault of Ken Hitchcock that the soft hands have gone AWOL in Halifax, but he can't keep sending the big boys over the boards in an effort to get goals.
Tougher competition looms
Mike Green has shown Hitchcock that he can jump into the attack from his spot on the blueline and add some offensive creativity in the process. The goal he scored against Latvia was brilliant.
But he's a defenceman. He's not Martin St. Louis, or Eric Staal or Jason Spezza.
When Hitchcock assembles his team on Monday to begin on-ice preparations for the United States, he will have a few other issues to address, besides his AWOL scorers.
There were far too many defensive breakdowns against Latvia, and a more skilled team, a team that's much quicker on transition (insert Team USA here) will make you pay the price for such folly.
Every coach will tell you there are two sides to the puck, the offensive side and the defensive side.
Offensively, Canada is being carried by three players.
Defensively, the Canucks have been inconsistent.
The easy games are over. The Canadians have had more than enough time to clear out the cobwebs, shake off the rust and work on line combinations.
It's time for Canada's depth to stand up and be counted.
More from Alan
- Sluggish Canada settles for silver
- More than gold at stake for Canada, Russia
- Canada sets up dream final with Russia
- Russia close to being a world power again: Fetisov
- Leclaire focused - not stressed - ahead of semi
- Game Norwegians no match for Canada
- Where would Canada be without Dany Heatley?
- Rout helps Canada into quarter-finals
- Team Canada a work in progress
- Blue-line could be Canada's undoing
- Where is Team Canada's depth?
- Slovenia no match for Canada
More on the world hockey championship
- Russia takes world hockey gold in overtime
- IIHF names top hockey moment, all-century team
- Teemu Selanne retires from Team Finland
- Finland blanks Sweden for bronze medal
- Canada to play for world championship
- Impressive Russians beat Finland in world semifinal
- Roy leads Canada to easy win over Norway
- Canada unbeaten at hockey worlds
- Controversial goal helps Finland top U.S.
- Staal scores 4 in Canada rout
- Ovechkin scores pair in Russia win
- Nash scores late to save Team Canada at worlds
- Heatley gives Canada win over USA
- Germany upsets Slovakia at hockey worlds
- Heatley passes Yzerman in Canadian romp
- Sweden avoids another Belarus upset
- Heatley nets hat trick for Canada
- Schedule & Scores