Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,
A lot of casual hockey fans presume that NHL executives and scouts congregate at the WJC in search of talents, with the hope of finding as-yet-undiscovered talent. I’m sure it’s happen at some point, just not at any of the ten tournaments I’ve worked.
It’s really about checking the progress of well-known entities, watching them under the stiffest tests and greatest pressure. Fact is, most players here have been on the radar for at least a couple of seasons. Most of the best here are already drafted, e.g. Sweden’s first-line centre Oscar Moller is L.A.‘s property, Cody Hodgson Vancouver’s. NHL scouting directors already have thick files on John Tavares, Victor Hedman and others who are eligible for the first time in June are already. They’re not be discovered, just measured.
continued & don’t forget, the WJC Finals are tonight and can be viewed on the NHL Network in the USA and TSN in Canada. Pre-game starts at 7:00pm ET.
added 1:39pm, from the CP via NHL.com,
Steve Yzerman knew how Canada’s junior hockey team felt heading into the gold-medal game against Sweden at the world junior hockey championship Monday.
Yzerman, the executive director of the Canadian men’s Olympic team for 2010, has played in and won Stanley Cup finals and Olympic finals. The 43-year-old visited the junior team’s dressing room after their pre-game skate Monday.
“I told them to keep cool, but I don’t know exactly how you do that though,” Yzerman said. “The big games, the key is to figure out a way to be calm and relaxed. The more times you go through it, the more ways you figure it out.
“It’s not an easy thing to do.”
from the ChronicleLive,
Newcastle Vipers have lost their top scorer after Todd Griffith resigned from the club using social networking website Facebook to inform fans he had quit Rob Wilson’s side.
His controversial exit comes in the same weekend that he slotted home the vital penalty during a shoot-out last night in Murrayfield, which sent Vipers into the semi-finals of the British Knockout Cup after a 6-6 aggregate draw against Edinburgh Capitals.
The player – who once iced for Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL as a “try out” player – leaves Tyneside as their 16-goal top scorer, with eight assists to boot.
Canadian Griffith was one of a number of players who was on a two-week notice period which Wilson had exercised in order to raise performance levels.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
Kicking a soccer ball around in the bowels of Scotiabank Place, Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi hardly looks like the personification of evil that some diehard Team Canada fans now believe he is.
Last week, Svensson-Paajarvi told a Swedish Newspaper that (translated from Swedish):
“If we play Canada in the gold medal game again, we will win.” He also made a comment that, depending on your Swedish translator, was either: “If we go up 2-0, Canada will be s***ing their pants” or “If we go up 2-0, that will really change the game.”
I’ve heard it interpreted both ways. He also says if Sweden falls behind 2-0, they’re in big trouble. But nobody bothered to read that far.
from Damien Cox of the Spin,
Where in the world did this dopey tradition of a parade to the bench for high fives all around after every goal begin?
It’s childish. Watching NHL players do it like they were peewee players is laughable. What ever happened to the great tradition of the game in which a goal was scored, there would be a celebration near the net, and then they’d just line up and drop the puck again?
Having teams skate right in front of the opponents bench after a goal is simply taunting on a team-wide scale. Moreover, in a heated game, you’re just asking for trouble. Basically, you’re allowing teams to celebrate twice - once in a little hug session, once with a fly-by for high fives at their bench.
a bit more in regards to the WJC…
The Drive For Five is alive and well.
Jordan Eberle scored two goals and the shootout winner to end another classic showdown as Canada edged Russia 6-5 in their semifinal game at the World Junior Hockey Championship.
With the win, Canada advances to Monday’s gold medal final and faces Sweden for the second year in a row.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Glob and Mail,
Because it took place during the NHL playoffs in a remote part of Russia, not a lot of North American fans saw Canada’s 8-0 demolition of the host country in the gold medal game of the world under-18 hockey championships last April.
But the Russians haven’t forgotten the humiliation.
His equipment had not yet been shed after a 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic in a world junior championship semi-final on Friday when centre Evgeni Grachev mentioned the Creaming in Kazan and said that Mother Russia owed Canada some payback.
Meanwhile, five players on Canada’s world junior team, and head coach Pat Quinn, helped author the annihilation, and most admit that it was one of those games where the stars aligned and where everything turned up maple leafs.
continued and you can catch the Canada/Russia game on the NHL Network in the US or TSN in Canada at 7:30pm ET tonight. The other semi-final game begins at 3:30pm today with Sweden taking on Slovakia.
from the CP,
Slovakia pulled off the first big upset of the world junior hockey championship with three first-period goals and 46 saves from Jaroslav Janus to defeat the United States 5-3 in the quarter-finals on Friday at Scotiabank Place.
Adam Bezak, Tomas Tatar and Jozef Molnar scored in the opening period on only eight shots against porous American goaltender Thomas McCollum of the Guelph Storm.
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
No, the late Don Sanderson should not be turned into a martyr for the anti-fighting crowd.
On the basis of what we know, he might well have been the first guy to say that fighting was part of the game, and that he knew what he was getting into that fateful Dec. 12 night while playing for the Whitby Dunlops. He died earlier today, and his family, one imagines, wouldn’t want to see his memory manipulated for the purposes of anyone’s political agenda.
At the same time, however, it would be equally wrong to pretend for the sake of the pro-fighting constituency out there that this was somehow just an accident that was unavoidable and could happen to anyone who laces up a pair of skates.
We cannot simply ignore the terrible truth that a young man has been killed in a hockey fight, that hockey violence has claimed a life.
I hope the NHL doesn’t pick-up on this marketing idea. It sort of spooks me out.
from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,
Out on the ice, it was hockey skills and smiles. Nikita Filitov tore it up yesterday, racking up a hat trick and generating a scoring chance on practically every shift in Russia’s 8-1 steam-rolling of Slovakia at the Civic Centre.
After the game it was surprising English skills but no smiles. Not when talk with Filatov turned to the death of his “best friend in hockey,” Alexei Cherepanov….
“He is all the time in my mind,” Filatov says.
Understandable. This is Filatov’s first international tournament since Cherepanov’s death. Filatov won’t come out and say it but it’s apparent to anyone familiar with this Russian team: Cherepanov would have been expected to lead this team, but it now falls to him. Cherepanov would have worn the captain’s K, but that’s now sewn over Filatov’s heart.
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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