Kukla's Korner Hockey
Follow Game 3 of the Super Series with Brad Holland of NHL.com…
The series has shifted to Omsk, Russia, but one hometown boy won’t be in the lineup. Unfortunately. Cherepanov is out for the series after Brandon Sutter caught him in the trolley tracks early in Game 2.
There are times, as in the NHL when a “mediocre” team dumps payroll and aging stars and suddenly adopts a new identity and begins winning games, that losing a superstar isn’t a bad thing. Now, obviously, I’m not suggesting the Russians are better without Cherepanov. But the time might just step up for him, playing a little less pretty and a little more gritty.
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from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s one thing to win world junior tournaments in the comfort zone of Vancouver or the U.S., where Canadian teams might as well be at home unless they’re facing the Americans. It’s quite another to fly to Russia and deal with all the adverse circumstances from strange food to multiple time zones, heat, fog as thick as Don Cherry’s head and a crowd that is definitely not on your side.
And yet Canada is performing so consistently at these things, it’s beginning to look like this country has opened a wide margin over its rivals at the junior level - and if that is true, we might see a similar dominance with a team led by Sidney Crosby at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
from the Vancouver Province,
UFA, Russia — Pfffft.
That’s Russian for the 2007 Super Series.
The eight-game series pitting Canadian junior hockey stars against their Russian counterparts in an attempt to commemorate the 1972 Summit Series just hasn’t generated much interest here.
That’s no surprise to the national Russian journalists, who are outnumbered by their Canadian counterparts in Ufa.
The games are being broadcast live on the country’s NTV-plus satellite system, which only has 560,000 subscribers. The games are then re-broadcast 35 hours later on a Russian national network.
continued and thanks to Jason Botchford of the Province who has delivered numerous stories on this series from Russia…
from the Vancouver Province,
UFA, Russia — At street corner stores here everywhere they sell Babushka dolls which are a set of similar wooden dolls of decreasing sizes that are placed one inside another inside another.
They have something similar in Canada — the Sutter family. Two of them are in Russia to take part in the Super Series and the similarities run deep. Both are acting like pros, both are playing to win and both are enjoying their last few games together before they go their separate ways in hockey to try to make marks in the NHL.
Team Canada head coach Brent Sutter has long been reluctant to talk much about the special relationship he has with his assistant captain, who is also his son, Brandon Sutter.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
I still have the shoes I wore that night.
And I still get goose bumps every time I see a replay of Mario Lemieux go high glove side to clinch the 1987 Canada Cup.
Almost 20 years to the day after sitting in Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum as a teenage fan to witness my generation’s version of the Paul Henderson goal, memories of the greatest game I’ve ever seen linger like the smell of the cheese-stained Nikes I bought just before the game.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
METULLA, Israel—On Hockey Night In Israel, Sherry Bassin walks out the back of the Canada Centre, turns left, turns right and then points up the hill past the barb-wired fence.
“See that,” he says with emotion, his eyes searching up the hill. “That’s Lebanon. That’s the Hezbollah flag. That’s how close we are….
“One game, in the recent world (B) championships, Jean Perron felt sorry for the goalie,” said Canadian businessman Sid Greenberg, one of the tournament founders and patrons. “He pulled Gusin early in the third period, after the 97th shot against.”
“I didn’t take him out because he was playing badly,” said Perron. “He was playing amazing. I just didn’t want to get him killed.
Perhaps the largest name on the Canadian roster was Benjamin Rubin, best known as the Quebec junior player who is attempting to find balance between religion and a career in hockey.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
But every time a new great game comes along, that New Year’s Eve game has managed to remain “The Greatest Hockey Game Ever Played” point of reference.
And the New Year’s Eve game in the Montreal Forum in 1975 still has a phenomenal “I was there” value. So if I have to pick a game, as was the assignment for this series, why not claim this game?...
Outside the Forum, scalpers were asking $150 for a pair of tickets an hour before game time. That was an insane amount of money to pay to go to a game at the time. Those of the standing room-stuffed crowd of 18,975 who paid that kind of money had no complaints.
What made this game great was that, in the end, it turned out to be about the glory of the game. Hockey that night, in the building which was the cathedral of the sport, was, with apologies to the Brazilians and soccer, The Beautiful Game.
The Montreal Canadiens and the Soviet’s Central Red Army ended up in a 3-3 tie.
from The Ice Hole at the Province,
I was off to the Intourist, the source of so many stories from 1972, the home for Team Canada then and their ghosts now.
It’s where the players were allegedly fed crow and horse steaks.
There had to be someone still there from 1972, someone who remembered the Canadians, someone who could confirm or officially kill one of hockey’s greatest urban legends.
The Intourist was a 22-story glass, aluminum, and concrete cell-like hotel that was the brainchild of Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev, who envisioned it like a skyscraper he saw in Manhattan (yeah, that was a swing and a miss Kruschev).
From Spector at his FoxSports blog today:
Thirty-five years ago this September, the greatest international series in hockey history took place when a group of Canadian NHL stars faced off against the elite players from the then-Soviet Union.
This year, starting August 27th and running until September 9th the best under-20 junior players from Canada and Russia will face off in their own eight game series.
The 1972 Summit Series was a seminal event in Canadian hockey history. Its reinvention in the form of the Super Series promises excellent entertainment, despite having little chance of carrying the same historical importance. As Future Considerations noted recently, “this is not your Daddy’s summit series.” Quite true, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some resources to check out for the upcoming games.
from the Toronto Sun,
Ron Ellis had a special speaking engagement yesterday afternoon and the former NHL player knew exactly what he was going to say.
Ellis, who wore Canada’s colours in the 1972 Summit Series against Russia, was scheduled to address the Canadian juniors yesterday afternoon before the team departed for Moscow. The times have changed, but for Ellis, the message he was given nearly four decades ago remains the same.
“Back then it was the big bad Russians, communism versus our way of life, and now a number of Russian kids play in the (Canadian Hockey League and NHL),” Ellis said. “These are all top players and goal-scorers, and somebody is going to have to do some backchecking. That’s what happened with our club. We had to take on different roles.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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