Canada-Norway: First-period blog

February, 16, 2010
02/16/10
8:14
PM ET

A recap of the first period between Canada and Norway:

Scott Burnside: Pierre, a bit of an underwhelming start for Team Canada, don't you think? Maybe a few nerves for the Canadians playing in front of their fans here in Vancouver? What a great atmosphere, though, when they came onto the ice. My ears are still ringing. I thought the best unit through the first period was the Eric Staal-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry unit. Talk about size. But so far, the star is Norwegian netminder Pal Grotnes.

Pierre LeBrun: Grotnes has been dynamite; huge glove save on Sidney Crosby. But as always with Team Canada, no country takes longer to come together in these tourmanents than the Great White North. They were able to overcome it in Salt Lake City, but never came together in time four years ago in Torino. That's why an opening game against an underdog like Norway is the perfect start. They can try different things and struggle through their usual battle for chemistry without really paying the price.

Burnside:True. How great a story though if the Norwegians can hang even for a tie. I don't see it happening, but you're right about the Canadians. There doesn't look to be much frustration, just issues of timing. Getzlaf had a golden chance to score on a late power play, but couldn't convert. That's not usually a problem for the Anaheim center.

LeBrun: Well, as you know Scotty, I did cover a Norway upset over Canada at the 2000 World Championships in St. Peterburg, Russia, so nothing shocks me anymore in these tournaments. But I suspect you'll see the floodgates open here in the second period as the Canadian forecheck and physical play begins to take a toll on the smaller Norwegians.

Scott Burnside

ESPN Senior Writer

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer

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