P.K. Subban and Matt Duchene are Team Canada’s scratches for its Olympic opener today against Norway.
Coach Mike Babcock said Subban and Duchene will both play against Austria in Canada’s second game on Friday.
Team Canada ran the same lines during a noon skate at Bolshoy Ice Dome’s training rink nine hours before the puck drops for its portion of this tournament. Marty St. Louis rotated in as the 13th forward, while Dan Hamhuis took his spot on penalty-killing units as the seventh defenceman.
Asked how patient he’ll be about line combinations, Babcock said: “I don’t know. I’m just going to watch.”
Babcock will also watch as Carey Price starts in goal to make his Olympic debut. Roberto Luongo will serve as the backup before he starts versus Austria.
Lars Haugen will start for Norway, playing his first game since Dec. 8. The KHL goaltender has been out with a lower-body injury.
Team Canada opened the 2010 Olympics against Norway, winning 8-0, though it didn’t score until two minutes into the second period following a slow start.
“That’s sure not we want,” Babcock said. “We want to start on time and get after it right from the get-go. These games are all different, I can’t predict that. I just know we’re going to prepare our group and we’re going to come out and put our foot on the gas.”
Subban, whose candidacy was the subject of much debate leading up to the selection of the 25-man roster, was ready for anything.
“I’m going to take whatever role I am given and excel at it,” Subban said. “That’s your job as a pro. That’s your job as an Olympic hockey player and representing your country. As a citizen of Canada, that’s your job. It’s your duty to do that.”