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Bob McKenzie
1/5/2007 6:34:40 PM


I think that Team Canada head coach Craig Hartsburg had a major challenge, and it's one that I sensed back at the evaluation camp. There were so many returning players to the team that there seemed to be an air of complacency and comfort and it wasn't a good thing.

Hartsburg managed to turn that attitude around and he did it by pushing a lot of different buttons. He didn't just throw players out on the ice. He ran a short bench for a good part of the tournament because he had different players that didn't necessarily fit the roles that he needed at the time.

Sam Gagner is a 17-year-old that couldn't be played on a regular shift. Hartsburg also didn't have enough faith in Kenndal McArdle for a regular shift. Because of that, he had to change things up.

He made some key adjustments for the gold medal game. He moved Andrew Cogliano to a line with Ryan O'Marra and Tom Pyatt. He also shifted Jonathan Toews to a line with Steve Downie and Brad Marchand.

Toews' new line cycled the puck a lot better and it was a better fit than it was with Cogliano there. For his part, Cogliano scored his first goal of the tournament and was a much better fit with his new linemates.

Hartsburg pushed the right buttons for Canada in the final and it all worked out, which is good because he was coaching in the shadow of Brent Sutter, who led Canada to two straight gold medals.

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