Canada depending on a 38 year old? 
Okay - this is getting a little ridiculous.

The paper in the Ottawa Sun on the weekend had a Canadian Press article headlined 'Moment of Terror' - the terror...
There was a collective gasp from the crowd of a few hundred at the University of Ottawa Sports Complex when Canada's star centre Mario Lemieux took a heavy fall. The spectators were able to exhale when Lemieux, who tripped on defenceman Ed Jovanovsky's stick during a drill, quickly got up smiling. The 38-year-old Lemieux, who is expected to be the key to Canada's power play at the World Cup of Hockey, has a history of back and hip problems and there is concern that either can flare up again at any time.

And tonight - after the U.S. wins the first exhibition game 3 to 1 in Columbus - the CP article states:
It was a sluggish effort by the Canadians, who were held without a shot on goal for the first 12:22 of the third period. Canada, with only 10 returning members from the Olympic gold medal squad of February 2002, was without one of their top two offensive units in Richards-Lemieux-St. Louis.

The other lines were (from the CP story) Joe Sakic between Jarome Iginla and Simon Gagne; Kris Draper centring Shane Doan and Kirk Maltby; Joe Thornton between Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau; Vincent Lecavalier centring Brenden Morrow and Ryan Smyth. These guys aren't good enough? We need Super Mario and the Lightning boys to get a shot on net? No - it's their first game in months and the result wouldn't have changed with Mario playing with Gretzky and Hawerchuk.

This team is good enough to win this tournament without Mario Lemieux. The Team 1200 here in Ottawa spent my drive home from work talking about the significance of Mario not playing the first game - was he hurt? - was he intimidating his own teamates? My goodness - the guy's fantastic but he's a shadow of his former self. I'm looking for the Sakic line and the Thornton line to shine - Heatley especially.

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