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WJHC Discussion

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posted on Dec, 25 2006 @ 07:37 PM
Well it is Christmas time again which can mean only one thing, It's time to hit the couch and watch the World Junior Hockey Championships. In Canada, it is a major tradition. We watch the tourney with dedication to support the young guys who are out to do battle for our country.

I believe going into the tourney this year, Canada who is the defending champion, goes in as the favorite. Our defensive core of Letang, Parent, and Staal is second to none. Even with the Johnson tandum on the American team.

So anyways, rather than inundate everyone with my opinions, let's open the door and hear some thoughts. I fully expect my fellow Canadians to come out in full force here, but I would love to see some content from other countries.

Team Canada faces off tomorrow at 12:30PM EST. They take on host Sweden. We actually went down in defeat to those boys in the pre-lim game last week.

posted on Dec, 26 2006 @ 06:57 PM
The United States went down in defeat today to the Germans. I was up early this morning watching the game, and was overwhelmed with a strange feeling. A feeling that, even though the Americans were dominating the game, they had no chance of winning. The Germans opened the scoring mid-way through the 1st, and laid back on the league for most of the game. With about 6-7 minutes left in the third, the Americans tied it up with a PP goal. It carried into Overtime where the German team finally locked up the win with a bit of a weak goal.

My impression of the American team?

In a word, selfish. Guys like Erik & Jack Johnson (Not related) were lackluster in the opening game. Jack took too many stupid penalties, and Erik was too busy trying to throw the big hit or make the end to end rush. The American squad is plagued with what they have been the last two tournaments. They can not put the name on the front of the jersey, ahead of the name on the back. It is something we Canadians take for granted, because our boys know they are playing for the Maple Leaf. I credit that to our coaching, and nothing but.

The one impressive point for the American squad was the goaltending. I was surprised that Frazee did not get the start, being a veteran and experienced, I assumed he would be between the pipes. However the coach, Ron Rolston, decided to go with Jeff Zatkoff. The guy stood on his head when the odd shot did come around. It is no easy task to go 8 or 9 minutes without facing a shot, then face a two on one or a three on one. I would expect him to get the start against the Canadian squad tomorrow at 1pm EST.

In the Finland game, Tukka Rask made 7 saves on 11 shots. The only hope Finland had on any success was Rask standing on his head day in and day out. After the opening game, it doesn't appear this is going to be the story of the Finnish team. However, it is early and more than enough time for him to turn this around.

Onto the Canadian game. The boys came out rocking in the first period. Aggressive, but controlled. They scored first and had plenty of opportunities. Staal, Parent, Bourdon, and Letang led the way on the point. Their defense was impregnable at times, but in the later stage appeared to be faltering. Up front, we have a core group of guys that play in both ends of the ice. We cut guys like Esposito and Tavarez who can fill the net, but picked up guys like Gagner and Neal, who can play in both ends. I think Gagner took too many penalties, but the kid is young and emotion got the best of him.

The second and third periods, our squad did not belong in the game. We were out played, out hit, out manned, out everything. The difference in the game was Carey Price. I'm happy to point out he is a Canadian draft pick. But he stood on his head from the opening face off until the final buzzer echoed. I was actually surprised at the level Price played. He has matured over the last season or two, and turned into the goaltender we all expected.

Looking forward to the American game tomorrow.

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