Kukla's Korner Hockey
THIRD-PERIOD OUTBURST LIFTS TEAM CANADA INTO FINAL
Down 2-1, Team Canada scored four consecutive goals – including three in the third period – to defeat Team Russia and advance to the final of the World Cup of Hockey 2016.
* Team Canada improved to 8-3-2 in 13 all-time meetings with Team Russia/USSR in the World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup. This marked the first time the countries met in an elimination game in such a tournament since 1987, when the Canadians won Game 3 of the Canada Cup final, 6-5, on a goal by Mario Lemieux with 1:26 remaining in regulation (off a pass from Wayne Gretzky).
* The line of Sidney Crosby (1-2—3), Brad Marchand (2-0—2) and Patrice Bergeron(0-2—2) combined for 3-4—7, including the tying and go-ahead goals by Marchand. Overall, that unit has totaled 8-8—16 in four games this tournament (Crosby: 3-4—7, Marchand: 3-2—5, Bergeron: 2-2—4).
* Crosby registered the opening goal for the third time in the Team Canada’s four games (also vs. CZE and EUR). Teams that score first improved to 11-2 thus far during the World Cup of Hockey 2016.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- ... In the week before the Leafs opened camp, two hockey men closely associated with Lupul’s career, told me that he was having difficulty dealing with not being wanted. Neither indicated he was physically unable to play.
So here’s what I wonder now, not necessarily buying the Leafs version of events on Lupul failing the physical exam: If he is healthy enough to play, why not go the Players’ Association and challenge the Leafs position on this? And if he isn’t healthy enough to play, why hide and skip the Leafs golf tournament and avoid interviews?
All this doesn’t pass the smell test and likely it’s not the last we’ll hear of it.
- The World Cup sourpuss award goes to Buffalo’s Jack Eichel, who didn’t much care for being relegated to also-ran status on Team North America and didn’t seem to be one of those check-your-ego-at-the-door kind of kids.
- There’s Bob Cole. And there’s Danny Gallivan. And then there’s the rest of those who call hockey games. And please don’t tell me Foster Hewitt. He was the first famous hockey announcer, the pioneer of the craft. When you listen now, you realize he was nowhere close to Chris Cuthbert, Doc Emrick, Jim Hughson or Gord Miller.
- I wonder if the people of Ottawa have watched Erik Karlsson in the World Cup. There may be softer players in the tournament, but I haven’t seen one of Karlsson’s level who wasn’t wearing American colours.
more on Lupul plus addtional hockey notes...
Team Russia faces Team Canada in the first semi-final game at the Wolrd Cup of Hockey.
The puck drops just after 7:00pm ET and is on ESPN2, CBC and TVAS.
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
The World Cup of Hockey is down to the nitty-gritty, with the semifinals this weekend and the best-of-three final series opening Tuesday night. Those who called it nothing but a cash grab have been proven wrong as the hockey and the storylines have been sensational.
Even before the final faces off, there's plenty to look back at and learn from. Here's what's been filling my notebook from group play:
One and done?
After Team North America's unfortunate elimination and Team USA's opening loss to Team Europe, you heard a lot of chatter about the tournament format and how one loss shouldn't be a death knell. One thing that could have been done was advance the two group winners and the best second-place team to the semifinals and then have a one-game playoff for that final semifinal slot.
Under that scenario, Canada, Sweden and Russia would have advanced and Team North America would have met Team Europe in the play-in game for the right to claim the fourth semifinal berth. That would have dramatically cut the impact of tiebreakers deciding stay-or-go-home scenarios.
Team USA essentially lost its chance to advance with its opening loss to Team Europe. Team North America will forever rue the four goals it gave up to the Russians in a six-minute span, because they ultimately proved to undo its other 179 minutes of breathtaking hockey.
continued plus more World Cup topics...
from Tal Pinchevsky of the New York Times,
When the two-day Quebec Hockey Summit took place in Montreal in 2011, it touched on issues including head injuries and ways to improve the game.
But the prominent topic of conversation in panels featuring former N.H.L. players like Luc Robitaille, Guy Carbonneau and Bobby Smith was a potential crisis looming large over the province: Where have all the Québécois N.H.L. players gone?
The province known for grooming many of hockey’s most charismatic stars has hit something of a developmental rut over the last two decades. Gone are the days of dominant French Canadian stars like Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Gilbert Perreault, Guy Lafleur, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur.
That may have never been more evident than at the N.H.L. draft in June, when 14 players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League were selected, by far the lowest total since 2004. Of those 14 players, only eight were born in the province.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Hockey Night in Canada.
On home soil.
In front of a raucous red-and-white clad capacity crowd at the Air Canada Centre and a national television audience watching at home from coast to coast.
Yes, we know there are cynics out there who feel the 2016 World Cup of Hockey is nothing more than a lucrative cash grab for the National Hockey League and the NHLPA. If you are in line with this way of thinking, you certainly are entitled to your opinion.
Having said that, if you are a hockey fan and can’t get cranked up for the on-ice theatre that is set to take place in downtown Toronto on Saturday when these two long-time foes clash in a one-game, winner-take-all semifinal, well, you don’t have a pulse.
Don’t take our word for it. Just ask Team Canada’s Corey Perry.
By Tim Dolan,
After a thrilling first week of action, the World Cup of Hockey is one step closer to crowning a tournament champion. To date, the tournament games have been intense, highly competitive, and emotional for both sides -- and the excitement should only increase from here on out.
from Darren Dreger of The Dreger Report at TSN,
If you weren't thoroughly entertained by Wednesday's exhibition of speed, skill and the fearless attack Team North America used to topple a powerful Team Sweden, we can't be friends.
Everyone from Wayne Gretzky to the most hardened hockey columnists acknowledged that this team of young guns, initially described as a gimmick, turned the World Cup of Hockey into world-class entertainment.
“Great hockey. The best game I've seen in a long time and one of the few games where the purpose was to put the puck in the other guys’ net,” said Hall of Famer Bob Clarke. “You're not supposed to try and check the other team to death...Who wants to watch that?”
continued plus USA Hockey talk...
from Jamie Strashin ov CBC,
As thousands of children across Ontario prepare for another hockey season, their parents will be receiving some mandatory off-ice training. Before any player steps onto the ice this season, their parents are required to complete an online Respect in Sport course.
The program has already been rolled out in other provinces across Canada as organizations rally to combat bad parental behaviour. This is the first season for it in Ontario.
"Parents are a key component of the sports experience," said Wayne McNeil, co-founder of the Respect Group, the company providing the course. "They are the reason why referees and officials quit. In a lot of cases, they are the reason their own kid either quits or has a bad experience in sports."
The course costs $12 and lasts about an hour. It covers topics such as using guilt on your child, making "the bigs," losing perspective, achieving balance and avoiding burnout. Each section is supplemented with vignettes illustrating bad behaviour.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
With all due respect to T.S. Eliot, when it was finally over, it ended not with a bang but a whimper, a long, mournful whimper.
Of course, Team USA had been emotionally, if not technically, gone long before the final whistle blew on a 4-3 loss to a Czech Republic team most had considered the weakest in the eight-team World Cup of Hockey.
Thursday's loss, naturally, put that debate to bed as the Americans finished a desultory 0-3, putting the final piece of punctuation on this most lamentable of international tournaments.
Three games, no wins, five goals scored, two by defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Zero goals for defending NHL scoring champ and MVP Patrick Kane.
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