Rich Chere says Mike Babcock is over-coaching Team Canada, changing lines and goalies too frequently.
Just about everyone watching last night’s Germany/Canada game had the same thought: ‘I could successfully play goal for Team Canada against the Germans.’ Germany just wasn’t much of a threat. Babcock probably could have safely given Brodeur another start without much risk.
But I get that Babcock was probably thinking more about the upcoming matches against much tougher opponents like Russia. He lost faith in Brodeur and since this is now a single elimination tournament, there’s not a room to stick with a goalie who might be struggling — even if that goalie is one of the best in the game.
In terms of over-coaching, I see Chere’s point, but I’ve also seen some under-coaching by Babcock. Watching Team USA in the Olympics, Babcock had to know they were playing a very high-risk, offensive game. Team USA has basically used a defenseman as a forward the entire tournament. Seeing that, if Babcock had played Team USA tighter, taking away their space, he could have contained Team USA and let Canada wait for their spots.
Instead, Babcock let himself get sucked into a shootout and wound up stifled by an incredibly hot Ryan Miller.
Babcock shouldn’t have overestimated Team Canada’s offensive abilities, especially once he realized Brodeur wasn’t having a great night and Miller was having a career game.
If Babcock is smart, he’ll clamp down on Russia early and try and forecheck them off of their game. Team Canada hasn’t played anyone defensively yet but today against Team Russia is probably a good time to start.