Print and Go Back Hockey [Print without images]

Sunday, February 16, 2014
Canada to again start Carey Price

By Pierre LeBrun

SOCHI, Russia -- Veteran winger Martin St. Louis will be a healthy scratch as Carey Price gets the start in goal as Team Canada faces Finland on Sunday night in its preliminary-round finale.

Price gets the nod over Roberto Luongo and it appears he's now been given the keys to the tournament as long as he delivers.

All along, head coach Mike Babcock revealed Sunday at the pregame skate, the Montreal Canadiens goaltender was going to be their guy in this tournament.

"We had a plan coming in and we haven't changed our plan," Babcock said of Price as his starter. "I've said this many times, at the Olympic Games you're allowed one change."

The decision to scratch St. Louis, who last game played on the top line with Sidney Crosby, was not an easy one. Babcock said it's been difficult every time he's told his scratches, including sitting Patrick Sharp and Dan Hamhuis last game, Matt Duchene in the opener, and now P.K. Subban twice.

"I told Sharpy he wasn't going, I told Subban, I told Duchene, these are great players, great people that are committed to us winning a medal," Babock said when asked about telling St. Louis he was out. "It's all about the medal. Don't get me wrong, it's personal, when you tell a guy [he's not playing], it's personal. But it's not about that, it's about Canada. What I do know about this tournament, when you win at the end you made the right decisions, if you don't, you get second-guessed."

Meanwhile, Babcock took out the blender for his forward lines, most notably splitting up Penguins linemates Chris Kunitz and Crosby.

Crosby skated between Jamie Benn and Patrice Bergeron at the pregame skate, while Kunitz was down on the fourth line with John Tavares, Rick Nash and Sharp on the rotating four-man unit.

"This isn't about Kunitz. Kunitz has played hard," said Babcock.

Jonathan Toews centered Patrick Marleau and Jeff Carter while Ryan Getzlaf was back with Corey Perry and Duchene, the only line that stayed intact. Benn and Bergeron had been playing with Tavares on a very effective line.

"Benn, Bergeron and Tavares have been a great line," said Babcock. "But the great thing about it, is that I can put it back at any time. I've got those lines set up where the wingers and go back and forth seamlessly. Kunitz and Nash can go tonight with Crosby in a heartbeat. So we'll see what happens."