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OZZ
27th December 12, 12:24 PM
Yes..yes..the most celebrated hockey tournament of the holiday season and my own raison d'etre during the holidays.
Its especially important for Canadians this year, due to the NHL lockout, but its always been a favorite of mine.
By Canadian standards, we are in a bit of a slump - no Gold for 3 years running now. Anything other than Gold is considered a failure, which puts enormous pressure on the teens who represent the finest hockey nation on earth year after year. I have personally seen the pressure contribute to 3rd period collapses - and comebacks - many times in this tournament.
Goaltending is not the only problem, but I do think that Canada has been surpassed by other nations in goaltender development over the past decade. European countries have adopted the French-Canadian butterfly and morphed it into a hybrid - butterfly style that has been emulated and tinkered with the world over.
The good thing about the lockout - a number of young, eligible players who would normally be playing for their NHL squads are able to suit up for Canada this year. This has resulted in what is being referred to as the ' lockout line ' - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ( of the Edmonton Oilers), Mark Schiefle (Wiinipeg Jets prospect) and Jonathan Huberdeau ( Florida Panthers prospect). The most elite line in the tourney, they will carry the bulk of the offense and are expected to shine.It will be hard for opposition countries to shut these kids down.
Malcolm Subban of the OHL's Belleville Bulls - brother to Montreal Canadiens D-man P.K. Subban - is the starting goaltender and will be given free reign as long as he doesn't falter. Switching goalies every other game or going in without a designated number one hasn't really worked out for Canada in the past few tournaments. In fact, the last time Canada won Gold was when there was a clear number one who started every game - Carey Price back in 2010.
Other nations have also benefited from the lockout, freeing up players who would otherwise be in North America. Most notably, the home team Russians who will have Nail Yakupov in the lineup.
Watch the Fins - who are always competitive and are sporting one of the best young goalies in Europe today - Columbus prospect Joonas Korpisalo. They played very well last year and could challenge for first in Group A.
In their first game against the Russians, Slovakia looked strong and lost a heart-breaker in OT with 6 seconds on the clock. They have looked more and more competitive the past few years and shouldn't be sluffed off by anyone.
The USA was almost relegated last year after a poor showing and will be looking for some redemption this time around.
Bottom- dwellers Latvia and Germany will fight it out to see who gets relegated next year.
In the end, expect to see yet another Canada - Russia semi-final in Group B. And probably Sweden and Finland in Group A.
I'm hoping to see Canada - Finland for the Gold Medal game.

OZZ
27th December 12, 12:29 PM
For all info and schedule - go here :
http://www.tsn.ca/world_jrs/

Spade: The Real Snake
27th December 12, 01:03 PM
Yes..yes..the most celebrated hockey tournament of the holiday season and my own raison d'etre during the holidays.
Its especially important for Canadians this year, due to the NHL lockout, but its always been a favorite of mine.
By Canadian standards, we are in a bit of a slump - no Gold for 3 years running now. Anything other than Gold is considered a failure, which puts enormous pressure on the teens who represent the finest hockey nation on earth year after year. I have personally seen the pressure contribute to 3rd period collapses - and comebacks - many times in this tournament.
Goaltending is not the only problem, but I do think that Canada has been surpassed by other nations in goaltender development over the past decade. European countries have adopted the French-Canadian butterfly and morphed it into a hybrid - butterfly style that has been emulated and tinkered with the world over.
The good thing about the lockout - a number of young, eligible players who would normally be playing for their NHL squads are able to suit up for Canada this year. This has resulted in what is being referred to as the ' lockout line ' - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ( of the Edmonton Oilers), Mark Schiefle (Wiinipeg Jets prospect) and Jonathan Huberdeau ( Florida Panthers prospect). The most elite line in the tourney, they will carry the bulk of the offense and are expected to shine.It will be hard for opposition countries to shut these kids down.
Malcolm Subban of the OHL's Belleville Bulls - brother to Montreal Canadiens D-man P.K. Subban - is the starting goaltender and will be given free reign as long as he doesn't falter. Switching goalies every other game or going in without a designated number one hasn't really worked out for Canada in the past few tournaments. In fact, the last time Canada won Gold was when there was a clear number one who started every game - Carey Price back in 2010.
Other nations have also benefited from the lockout, freeing up players who would otherwise be in North America. Most notably, the home team Russians who will have Nail Yakupov in the lineup.
Watch the Fins - who are always competitive and are sporting one of the best young goalies in Europe today - Columbus prospect Joonas Korpisalo. They played very well last year and could challenge for first in Group A.
In their first game against the Russians, Slovakia looked strong and lost a heart-breaker in OT with 6 seconds on the clock. They have looked more and more competitive the past few years and shouldn't be sluffed off by anyone.
The USA was almost relegated last year after a poor showing and will be looking for some redemption this time around.
Bottom- dwellers Latvia and Germany will fight it out to see who gets relegated next year.
In the end, expect to see yet another Canada - Russia semi-final in Group B. And probably Sweden and Finland in Group A.
I'm hoping to see Canada - Finland for the Gold Medal game. (http://www.bookcaseangel.com/images/hockey-animated-gif.gif)

OZZ
30th December 12, 08:55 AM
Not into getting up at 4am for a preliminary - round contest. CDA vs USA was on earlier this morning. I'm trying to avoid the sports page until the replay is on at noon.
I may get up at 4am for the Gold Medal game, but that's it.

OZZ
3rd January 13, 07:42 PM
FUUUUUCCKK !!!

NoBowie
3rd January 13, 07:46 PM
no Gold for 4 years running now? Heh.

Oh. Google: U.S. defeats Canada 5-1 in World Junior Hockey semi-finals.

That's what you get for jailing simple folk who accidentally bring their concealed weapons over the border when they are attempting to bring tourist money to your economy.

OZZ
3rd January 13, 08:01 PM
Now we get stuck playing for Bronze for the 2nd year in a row..
I didn't see the game but apparently the Canadian boys were never in it from the start. We beat the US in the round-robin too..I don't get it. I thought we would be reclaiming Gold this year for certain.
The Swiss almost upset the Russians last night too, but lost in a shootout.I was watching that one. That would have been a monumental defeat, and there would have been a lot of angry home fans.
A Bronze or Silver in Canada when it comes to hockey might as well be a last-place finish.
Very disappointing.
Small consolation - at least Canada won the Spengler Cup this year.

Spade: The Real Snake
3rd January 13, 08:52 PM
WHOOOOOOHIOOOOOOO THE SPENGLER CUP

TWO CANUX
ONE CUP


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