Hey look, an American skater all alone in front of the net. Imagine that. (Andre Ringuette, hockeycanada.ca)
It was about as disastrous a performance as could be imagined. The US outplayed Canada right from puck drop, dominating them in every facet of the game. But it wasn’t just that the US played a great game, although they certainly did. The bigger problem was that Canada played their worst hockey of the entire tournament at exactly the wrong time.
It wasn’t a game worth waking up or staying up for; the game was out of reach by midway through the second period, as the US went on to win 5-1. Even Canada’s lone goal was a joke, as the puck went in well after the ref had already, albeit mistakenly, blown his whistle. In sum, it was an awful game that showed Team Canada was both poorly constructed and poorly coached. And I watched it. Like a chump.
Read the rest of this entry »
Maxim Shalunov is a draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks (109th overall, 2011) who’s played as high as the KHL with Traktor Chelyabinsk as a 19 year old. Naturally, he cracked Team Russia’s roster for the World Juniors.
He found himself on the bench with his team down 3-2 in the third period of a quarterfinal game versus Switzerland, watching his teammates on the powerplay as the game crept below the 100 seconds-remaining mark. One of those teammates, Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay pick), snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for his squad, and the Russian juniors lost their mind with excitment. TSN got a great shot of it, in which Shalunov is front-and-center.
You can check out the video of that reaction here (0:55 second mark) – in the meantime, here’s a short .GIF.
Couldn’t have cared less.
I have no idea if he was pissed being on the bench in such an important situation, if he’s such a pro he was thinking “our job’s not done,” or if he’s the most stoic human in the world, but that was some sight to behold. I had a bigger reaction from my couch.
(S/t to @TheScottLewis)
(Image from TSN.ca)
No JB on the vodcast today, but my boys John Noon and Jake Goldsbie took care of the recap and analysis nicely for you.
* The US rout of the Czechs
* John Gibson’s performance in goal
* Johnny Gaudreau’s hattrick
* The Swiss almost beating the Russians
* The play of Nail Yakupov
* And much more!
You can listen to it here:
And download it here.
It should have never gotten to this point (IIHF)
Correct me if I’m wrong here, but wasn’t Russia, with its wealth of super-talented forwards and its excellent goaltenders and competent defenders and the whole advantage that’s supposed to come from hosting this tournament, meant to be the team to beat? So why, then, does it struggle so mightily against, oh I don’t know, every team it has played in this entire tournament save for the lowly Germans, who look primed for yet another relegation? The problem reared its ugly head again today for the Russians when they needed a shootout, an actual shootout, to beat Switzerland 4-3, and really required a fair bit of luck to even get that far.
Just how bad was the Russians’ performance today? Well, the Swiss outshot them 44-36, which you gotta figure is, like, not good. That includes getting outshot 13-8 and 16-9 in the second and third periods, respectively. In fact, the Russians only got things going with an 8-4 shooting advantage in OT because of hooking penalty on Christian Marti that gave them a 4-on-3 for two minutes.
And it’s not like things didn’t start well enough for Russia, as they got a goal and two power plays in the first 10 minutes of the game. But on that second one, Cristoph Bertschy scored a shorthanded goal, because why wouldn’t he? The teams traded goals again in the second period as well, and through 40 minutes, it was 2-2, and I doubt too many people would have said that would be the case headed into this one. I might attribute some of it to Eliot Antonietti’s backchecking, because he singlehandedly broke up a pair of full-on Russian breakaways as clean as you like. The third time, though, he took a hooking penalty. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy New Year’s Eve! Today Noon, Goldsbie and I broke down the World Junior action as per usual, including:
* Canada’s victory over Russia
* Jonathan Drouin’s exceptional play
* Bad goal celebrations
* The Czech’s OT win over the Swiss
* The US drubbing of Slovakia
* And much more Read the rest of this entry »
Canada's high-powered offense picked apart the weak Americans for two whole goals.
As with the game against the Russians, the US was arguably the better team on the ice with the obvious caveat that it didn’t score the most goals.
Coming into the tournament anyone with a functioning brain — i.e. not a sandbagging member of the Canadian media eager to sell what should in theory be another credible run at the gold medal as some sort of underdog story that is in any way interesting — would have told you Canada is the clear favorite in this and theoretically any other World Junior Championship. All that stuff about how they’ve never lost a game during an NHL lockout and how they have a handful of NHL-ready players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Dougie Hamilton, Jonathan Huberdeau, and maybe Mark Scheifele if you’re being generous, are pretty good arguments for this being the case.
But with that having been said, this US team, which has largely underwhelmed in its last two games, dictated the terms in this one. Apart from an uninspiring first period, during which Canada mustered its meager two goals, there’s a very credible argument to be made that the Americans were the best team on the ice and, results aside, perhaps in the tournament. This, like the Russia game before it, was a tilt they should have won.
Both Canada goals came on miscues by American players, and in quick bursts, rather than the kind of sustained pressure that you might expect from The Most Talented Team In The Tournament. Nugent-Hopkins’ strike to make it 1-0 came on a rare Canadian faceoff win (the US won 40 of 70, 57.1 percent) and JT Miller, who has been invisible for most of his three games despite his top-line role, lost the Oilers phenom in coverage. Not sure how you let that happen, but the finish was predictably lethal. Read the rest of this entry »
- As a general rule, getting to horizontal a foot *before* hitting the ice is less than ideal. (BTW: this is allowed to be funny because the kid’s okay.)
Hallo! We’re back with another Vodcast recap of the day’s World Junior action. Our next one will be on Monday when we recap Canada/USA and Canada/Russia.
In today’s podcast, we hit on:
* Canada surviving an early-game scare from Slovakia
* J.C. Lipon’s suspendable elbow
* Anthony Camara’s non-suspendable hit (above)
* The Russians beat the Americans
* The Finns got upset
* One of the hosts wears a cat shirt, and it’s NOT me
* And much, much more. Enjoy.
You can listen to it here:
And download the audio here.