Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe O’Connor of the National Post,
Canada’s 6-5 overtime loss to the United States in the gold-medal game at the world junior championship was a coin-toss, not a tragedy. Anything can happen in overtime. Except when it happens to be an American team that is doing the winning and the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner—on Canadian ice—it tends to sting. And this is one particular pain that could get worse, and much more common, with potentially no cure in sight.
Consider this: The night before the Americans claimed gold in Saskatoon, their under-17 national team did the same thing in Timmins, Ont, beating Team Ontario at the world hockey challenge. America’s women, meanwhile, have won three of the last four world championships by dispatching Canada in the gold-medal game. All that needs to happen now is some calamity in Vancouver, when the Canadian men face the United States, and Mr. Harper might reconvene parliament with a royal commission charged with examining why our game is no longer ours alone.
“(Canadians) take any loss hard. Whether it’s world junior, Olympics, world championship, intersquad game, exhibition game. We’re all competitors and we all love to win.
“Certainly with the buildup to Vancouver 2010, this was kind of a stepping stone. Will it put a little more pressure (on us)? I’m sure it will.”
-Chis Pronger talking about Canada’s loss in the WJC. More ‘pressure’ talk from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star.
from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,
How big is the world junior hockey championship?
Let’s start with the gold medal game on Tuesday outdrawing the 2009 Grey Cup, which set an audience record of its own.
And let’s add that the Canada-U.S. showdown ranks as the most watched telecast of any kind in Canada since 2005.
The TSN audience is also the sixth largest for a Canadian telecast dating back to 1994.
After almost two decades in the NHL and a couple of seasons in Russia, Jaromir Jagr is fast approaching his final appearance for the Czech Republic just over a month from now at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Jagr will be one of the most experienced members of the squad, led by the legendary player and Olympic champion Vladimir Ruzicka.
He was actually Jagr’s teammate when the Czech Republic won their only Olympic gold at the Nagano games in 1998.
While Jagr’s mind is now on the Continental Hockey League, the upcoming Winter Olympics promise to become something special for the Czech.
continue for a video of Jagr talking abou the KHL and the upcoming Olympics…
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
Years ago after a U.S. team was humbled by a lesser light at the world junior championships, the late American hockey legend Bob Johnson said to me, with frustration dripping from his voice, “You would think that in a country of 280 million people we could find one kid who could play some goal for us.”
When Washington Capitals prospect John Carlson scored the overtime game-winner to beat Canada 6-5 to win the gold medal Tuesday in Saskatoon I thought about how much Badger Bob would have loved watching this American team perform.
Team USA with a victory chant after winning the World Junior Hockey Championship.
Below watch extended highlights of the Gold Medal game…
Great game that went to OT.
Winning goal scored by John Carlson.
added 10:48pm, from TSN,
A furious comeback was all for naught as John Carlson has scored in overtime to give Team USA a 6-5 victory in the Gold medal game at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship over Canada.
The victory gives the Americans only their second Gold medal in tournament history and snaps Canada’s streak of five straight Gold medals.
It appeared as though all the momentum was on the Canadians side after Jordan Eberle scored twice with less than three minutes remaining to force the extra frame, however Carlson beat Marin Jones high for his second of the game.
from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,
I dialed up the scouts in my Rolodex this last few days. The grumpiest were still in Saskatoon. The slightly less grumpy were ones who were home from the tournament and thawing out. Happiest - or at least as happy as a scout gets - somehow avoided the tournament assignment.
One of the great disconnects between fact and public perception is that the world under-20s is a priority assignment for NHL scouts leading up to the draft in June. Such is rarely the case and maybe in no year has it been so far down the list as this year.
Those NHL scouts who made the trip out to Saskatoon were mostly doing check-ins on prospects that their teams had already drafted. There weren’t really any great discoveries to be made in Saskatoon.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
It’s become fashionable for Canadians to suggest hockey has failed as a sport in the southern United States.
The pathetic plight of the Phoenix Coyotes, on top of the troubles experienced by teams in Florida, Atlanta and Nashville, have made it easy to make that argument.
Problem is, it’s only partially correct. The sport itself, you see, has deeper roots in those regions than ever.
When Canada takes on the U.S. in Tuesday night’s much anticipated gold medal game at the 2010 world junior hockey championship, there will be evidence on both teams that areas once regarded as non-hockey territories are now producing world-class players.
You’ll be witnessing, to some degree, the Gretzky Effect.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
If NHL players continue to participate in the Olympics at the 2014 Sochi Games, here’s a suggestion. Scrap the deadline for announcing rosters given the inability of the International Ice Hockey Federation to govern even the simplest element of this process.
The idea of naming rosters early in the process allows member hockey federations, along with the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association, to market players and generate revenue and buzz for the tournament. But to do so, there needs to be some guidelines about what happens to those rosters once they’re announced and, more importantly, someone to enforce those guidelines.
more and other hockey topics too…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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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