Monday, January 05, 2009



If it was an either/or -- Canada winning or Mikael Backlund playing a great game -- I'd prefer the latter.

It's been clear to me since about 2002 that I'm a Flames fan first, then an NHL fan, and then a hockey fan. Team Canada winning the Gold Medal Game in Salt Lake City was super exciting, but I was actually more excited that Iginla scored 2 goals and had a big part in it. I think the last WJC that got me revved up at all was the one at the end of '95/early '96, when the pain of the Nieuwendyk contract impasse & late December trade was mitigated entirely and promptly by Jarome's breakout in that tourney.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be a total Debbie Downer here, but a couple more things:

**Props to the Contrarian Goaltender for pretty much pegging Canada's goaltending situation before Selection Camp even started ("Let's just say I don't particularly trust our nation's junior scouts in terms of separating the goalie from the team.")

**The 10-minute 4v4 OT in the Canada-Russia semi should be required watching for anyone who thinks that bigger ice and/or full-time 4-on-4 are magic bullets for increasing excitement and scoring.

I tuned in with ~80 seconds left in regulation (right when CAN pulled Tokarski for the extra attacker), so I have no opinion on the quality or excitement of the game proper. But the OT was duller than dull, and featured approximately zero scoring chances. The difference in pace and tactics relative to an NHL regular-season OT (where you can only win, not lose) could not have been more stark. Russia looked like the inferior team with tired-er legs, but nevertheless had little trouble (IMO) keeping Canada and the puck to the outside, what with the outside being 7'-6" wider on each side.

At any rate... Go Canada. (I hope Keith Aulie is a MONSTER.)


Be a real Canadian ... Put on your touque, grab a molson product and cheer for Eberle ;)

Yeah, you gotta like that Eberle kid... I haven't seen a goal that big scored with quick hands since Joffrey Lupul won Game 7 in OT over the Caps this past spring.

Nice stupid penalty by the Flames' draft pick leading to a Canada PP goal!

Ugh, hockey fan third hey? Sounding like a Leaf fan. I admire your honesty, but liking a team more than the sport they play is idol worship and best left to 9 year olds.

it is my understanding that this year's juniors was played on NHL sized ice.... ?

I think your assessment of the OT just goes to prove that emotional investment in the game itself is much more a provider of excitement than actual gameplay.

Does anyone else think John Tavares looks like Ryan Smyths younger brother?

Yeah, the ice surface was NHL sized, not larger. They didn't change Scotiabank Place all around for the tourney.

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