Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
From a historical point of view, Canada has a big advantage going into this latest clash with the best of American hockey.
The United States, you see, has never been able to do it twice. At least not twice in a row.
Look it up. There was the big men’s Olympic upset in 1960 at Squaw Valley, but it took another five Winter Games for the Americans to take the gold again in Lake Placid.
Their women won the inaugural ’98 Olympic event, but couldn’t follow that up in 2002, 2006 or 2010.
And their national junior team? It won this world tournament for the first time in 2004 in Finland, but couldn’t repeat the next year on home ice in North Dakota as the province of Manitoba infiltrated Grand Forks.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
With Team Canada set to play the U.S. in the WJHC semi-final on Monday, Bob McKenzie offers some thoughts on who has the edge in goal and why the American power play has the potential to be lethal.
Between The Pipes
From what we’ve seen so far, the U.S. absolutely has a sizeable advantage in the goaltending department, no question about it.
Team Canada’s goaltending has not been stellar, it has not been great. In fact, they’ve given up at least one bad goal in each of the games that they’ve played.
BUFFALO, NY (January 2, 2011)Tea—- With their 4-1 quarterfinal win over Switzerland today, Canada has advanced to the semifinal round of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. They will now face the defending champion United States team tomorrow night at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for $140 (lower bowl) and $95 (upper bowl). Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.buffaloworldjuniors.com by ca,lling 1-888-467-2273, or at the HSBC Arena Box Office.
The winner of tomorrow’s USA/Canada game will play for the gold medal on Wednesday night at HSBC Arena. Only single seats remain for the gold-medal game. Finland and Russia play in tonight’s second quarterfinal beginning at 7:30 p.m. The winner moves on to play Sweden at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon in the first semifinal game. Tickets are still available for this game.
“You realize what’s important in life. As I said earlier, I have in the back of my head that there are people who are going through worse things in life. I’m not going to hang my head and feel sorry for myself. I’m still going to be here for the guys.
“Family and life are most important. I have a good perspective on my life.”
-Jaden Schwartz, member of Team Canada’s World Junior team after suffering a brroken ankle. More from Tim Wharnsby of CBC.
from Andrew Podnieks of IIHF.com,
Canada’s junior players often eschew the high fives at the bench in favour of elbow hugs, knocking elbows together instead of gloves after a goal. They are the only team at any level to do this.
“It started last year,” said captain Ryan Ellis, a member of the team in 2010. “Some of the western boys started doing it, and we’ve been doing it this year as well.”
Brayden Schenn, a Saskatoon native and the scoring star for Canada the last two games, shed further light on the ritual. “It started with a group of Brandon boys called The Wagons, a group that played in the summer. We just adopted it last year and kept it going this year.”
Young fans of the game can’t possibly fathom an earlier generation when the entire players’ bench would empty after most goals. This was the 1970s. The NHL brought an end to this practice, though, because it often led to bench-clearing brawls, the scored-upon team none too happy, and the scoring team delighted.
It was in Canadian junior hockey that players came up with a solution to the problem. They wanted to celebrate a goal as a team, but weren’t allowed to leave the bench, so the five skaters on ice would skate by their players’ bench and high-five their teammates on the bench.
We’re renaming our weekly look at the Southeast Division’s AHL affiliates because, frankly, there isn’t really much passing on of original news in these updates. But they’re sticking around because the feedback’s been solid. (I just don’t want to mislead anyone with the News from… headlines.
Now then, following the mid-season name change of the Hartford Wolf Pack-to-Connecticut Whale, News from the Farm is now Southeast AHL Affiliate Update. (Not catchy at all, I know.)
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,
What if they held a hockey tournament in the middle of the forest and no one noticed? That was an accurate description of the world junior hockey championship until TSN decided in 1991 to make the annual event into something on the order of the Super Bowl. Or bigger. The prescient decision to commit the entire network to the efforts of under-20 players over the length of the Christmas and New Year’s holiday break proves yet again that television defines the event, not the other way around.
Certainly, the tournament is no indicator of NHL success as the John Slaneys, Justin Pogges and Marty Murrays have shown. Canada’s dominance of the junior event hasn’t necessarily predicted Olympic dominance either. But captured in the moment by TV, the juniors’ passionate embrace of the Maple Leaf blurs rational description.
In the days before it obtained its current full complement of the NHL’s TV package, TSN was looking around for a signature hockey property to fill its schedule. CBC had carried some of the earlier world junior tournaments since their inception in 1977, but the event was overshadowed at the Corp. by Hockey Night in Canada. It also fell on the holidays, leading some to think no one would watch during a time saturated with traditional football bowl games.
from the Naples News,
He’s the only player on the Florida Everblades roster who actively uses Twitter, he writes a blog for his college town paper and often interacts with fans via Facebook. Forward Mike McKenzie is the epitome of fan-friendly. But McKenzie’s background has a lot to do with his appreciation for being a professional hockey player and why he’s so open with fans of the game.
McKenzie, 24, is the son of Bob McKenzie, the former editor of The Hockey News and one of the leading hockey analysts in North America. The younger McKenzie essentially grew up at NHL arenas, often tagging along with his father inside locker rooms, and experiencing both the good and bad side of professional sports.
“When I was little my goal was to be a professional player,” McKenzie said. “And I always made a promise to myself that if I made it that far that I’d be generous with the fans and treat people with respect.”
from Ryan Pyette at the Toronton Sun,
Canada’s Jaden Schwartz wants to make sure his big sister Mandi gets a nice world junior souvenir as she starts another tough battle against a rare form of leukemia.
The 18-year-old Colorado College forward wants to bring a gold medal home to Saskatchewan.
“It’s tough, but it makes me want to win it for her even more,” Schwartz said Saturday after Canada’s final pre-tournament practice at HSBC Arena. “This is Christmas and it’s a time you want to be with your family, but I’m trying to keep my focus on the task at hand.
“We’re not here on some vacation. We’re here to play for Canada and win a gold medal.”
Well that time of year has arrived again!
No, not Santa Claus bringing home the goods.
No, this is better, well at least for one international hockey team that can wrest World Junior Hockey Gold from its opponents.
I’d love to hear any predictions on who will win gold.
In the meantime, I hope everyone has a great holiday season with their loved ones!
Head Coach: Keith Allain
Key Players: Chris Kreider, Nick Leddy, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Bourque
Last Years Result: Gold Medal Win over Canada
Head Coach: Jost Richard
Key Players: Nino Niederreiter, Benjamin Conz, Sven Bartschi, Inti Pestoni
Last Year’s Result: Lost to Sweden in the Bronze Medal Game
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Tags: adam+larsson, brayden+schenn, calvin+de+haan, chris+kreider, evgeny+kuznetsov, jared+cowen, kyle+palmieri, nick+leddy, nino+niederreiter, richard+panik, robin+lehner, ryan+bourque, ryan+eliis, sami+vatanen, teemu+pulkinen, vladimir+tarasenko
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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