Credit: The Canadian Press

In the wake of Team Canada's defeat at the hands of the Americans at the 2010 World Junior Championships, it's time to re-examine the country's tactics to ensure the next five years are as successful as the previous five.


It's easy to play Monday (or, more accurately, Wednesday) morning quarterback, and the point of this piece is not to mete out blame- either on an organizational or individual scale- for what is essentially another consecutive top-two finish. However, general manager Brad Pascall and a coaching staff headlined by Willie Desjardins will have plenty to think about in the coming days. What issues might Hockey Canada wish to approach differently next year?

4. A Lack of Respect for Opponents

There's no question that since the beginning of the World Junior Championships, the 'developing countries' of hockey have looked to emulate Canada's approach to the game in the hopes of one day also emulating their success.

To that end, Canada was not a good 'Big Brother' during the 2010 edition of the tournament.
Starting with a Patrice Cormier elbow in the December 20th Canada-Sweden exhibition game and continuing on into the round robin, the Canadians were far from a shining example of sportsmanship.

Depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on, what happened then on January 3rd against the Swiss was a perfect example of poetic justice. In a tournament where Team Canada had garnered a reputation for making reckless contact in games with little meaning, Jeffrey Fuglister's last-minute hit in a 6-1 blowout ended the tournament for star defender Travis Hamonic.

That's not to stay Hamonic deserved what happened to him in any shape, way or form- he's as articulate and compassionate a young man as you'll find, traits he shares with his older brother- but it was an inevitable response from a European player and country tired of being bullied.

One might argue that it was only a matter of time before the Swiss and others garnered the physical firepower to fight back, and that's a fair point. But it was the exhibition antics of Team Canada that led to an escalation in the frequency and danger of hits from opponents.


3. Inexperienced Goaltending

The seeds of the team's next-biggest flaw were actually sown last year- and the year before that. In fact, it's an on-going cycle:

2005 WJC: Jeff Glass (19), Rejean Beachemin (19)
2006 WJC: Justin Pogge (19), Devan Dubnyk (19)
2007 WJC: Carey Price (19), Leland Irving (18)
2008 WJC: Steve Mason (19), Jonathan Bernier (19)
2009 WJC: Dustin Tokarski (19), Chet Pickard (19)
2010 WJC: Jake Allen (19), Martin Jones (19)

While it's difficult to look at the above pattern and say "It's not working"- five golds argue the opposite- only two Canadians have won the Directorate's Top Goaltender award since the streak began: Price and Mason, both legitimate NHL stars. Here are the others during that timespan:

2005 WJC: Marek Schwarz (also played in 2004 and 2006 WJC)
2006 WJC: Tuukka Rask (also played in 2004 and 2006 WJC)
2009 WJC: Jacob Markstrom (18)
2010 WJC: Benjamin Conz (18)

The advantage of taking at least one 18-year-old goaltender is clear. Playing at the U20s is unlike any other pressure situation a netminder will face during the course of his junior career- it's the Olympics, essentially, for that age group and having a returnee in net is as tangible an edge as an NHL team having a goalie who has been to the Stanley Cup Finals. To bring two entirely green netminders to the event year-in and year-out is an odd choice, and the juggling that has been necessary in the round robin and even medal rounds attests to this.

One need only look at the Americans. Had the team been run the same way as Team Canada, Jack Campbell likely doesn't make the squad. This means that he doesn't ingratiate himself to Dean Blais until perhaps New Year's 2011. Instead, Campbell will go to Buffalo next year with the experience of having beaten the Canadians on home ice to win Gold. He will be the clear-cut starter and the team in front of him can play knowing what he is capable of. Additionally, Team USA can feature up to nine returnees in 2011; those players will already be familiar with Campbell and his tendencies.

Canada, however, will again enter the tournament at square one with two goaltenders entirely new to the experience.


2. Little Incubation Time

Bar none the greatest weakness of Team Canada 2010 was its lack of chemistry. The opposite was true of Team USA, and that's in no small part because of the National Team Development Program.

While it would be pre-mature to revamp the entire Hockey Canada program on the basis of one second-place finish, a greater emphasis must be placed on building chemistry.
Note the word 'building'. Head coach Willie Desjardins understood the chemistry problem, and sought to make it a non-issue by bringing an entire forward and defense unit from the defending Memorial Cup-champion Windsor Spitfires.

However, the result was rather predictable. Adam Henrique and Greg Nemisz are outstanding players in the Ontario Hockey League, but they were quickly given lesser assignments when it became clear they could not play power versus power against the world's best. With no Plan B in place, Desjardins was forced to mix-and-match Taylor Hall, Nazem Kadri and Jordan Eberle with secondary players like Brayden Schenn and Brandon McMillan well into the Gold Medal game.
The only way to build or find chemistry is through practice and gameplay.

While Team USA's two best forwards- Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider- are not part of the NTDP, the majority of the roster had played together for a season and even two or three prior to arriving in Saskatchewan.

Team Canada needs to settle their roster earlier than the middle of December- ideally November, in time for the Subway/Insert Sponsor Here Russia-Canada Challenge/Super Series. That event could be replaced by a similar exhibition tour we saw Team Sweden embark on, perhaps pitting TC against Austrian or German professional clubs. After all, Russia will never bring their best, and why would they? It gives Team Canada an extra two months to get a read on their top players in game situations. The time and money would be better utilized prepping for the World Juniors.


1. A Lack of NHL Co-Operation

TSN rightfully pointed out the great sacrifices that Canadian Hockey League clubs make in seeding the World Juniors with talent- not only for Team Canda, but for almost every other nation as well. They are to be commended for their support, especially when losing a top player can mean the difference between a playoff berth or a high pick.

The National Hockey League? Not so much. It's entirely understandable that clubs would be reticent to release a John Tavares or Steve Stamkos as these players are core elements. But Atlanta's Evander Kane is 14th on the Thrashers in TOI per game with fourteen minutes.

Stamkos' teammate James Wright plays even less- just twelve minutes a night. Their respective teams could easily have spared them for two weeks and five games in late December.
While Canada is not alone in this- imagine how Victor Hedman might have looked in this tournament- they simply produce the majority of every NHL rookie class and will continue to be punished for it as long as junior-aged players with pro experience are allowed to participate (more on that below).

The counter-argument is that because the stakes are higher in the NHL, it doesn't make sense to release any regular roster player no matter the ice-time. But just why are the stakes higher for NHL teams? CHL clubs have an even thinner bottom line and one player can make or break a roster. Yet, these teams have no problem giving up a star player to help a national team, whether it be Team Canada or Team Latvia.


What the IIHF Must Do Differently

The issue of NHL cooperation isn't something that can be blamed solely on Hockey Canada. While they can impact their own selection process, they can't perform miracles (okay, well, maybe Jordan Eberle can). However, before the IIHF and NHL can seriously examine the issue, they must determine what the World Junior Championships really are: a best-on-best of the top U20 talent, or a best-on-best of the top junior talent.

If the NHL wishes the tournament to be a showcase of players in junior, it makes little sense to allow professional players to participate. A prime example is John Carlson, who has spent the entire year in the American League. If NHL teams cannot see a benefit to allowing Tavares and Duchene to participate, the same standard should apply to Carlson. He had as little to prove at the WJC as either did and is a big piece of the Bears blueline.

Such a rule change would have a substantial impact on European rosters, but again, it's all relative. Magnus Pääjärvi is a first-line player in Timra; he'll never, ever spend another day in SuperElit.

However, if the IIHF's chosen direction is to ensure the WJC is a true U20 best-on-best- as most would agree is the focus- then it must ensure every country can have as many of their top players available as possible.

It's impossible to schedule the tournament completely out of the way of the NHL, at least for two entire weeks. But by changing the number of teams involved from ten to eight, the event's length could easily be reduced to a single week with a three-day round robin, an off-day and then three days of playoffs. NHL teams would see their premier U20 talent miss just one or two games, a far more palatable situation.

One could go even further: by making the All-Star Weekend a week-long event during the holiday break ending with a New Year's Day Winter Classic, the WJC could go on completely unfettered.

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gmw said:

gmw
... hate to burst your over analysis....but we lost because petriangelo was stopped on an odd man rush...and then carlson made a good shot. this was overtime of the gold medal game..ease up.
January 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Guy Incognito said:

Guy Incognito
regarding injury risk at the WJC affecting NHL player release I don't see how the WJC is a higher injury risk than playing against men in the NHL. So I think borderline NHLers should go. There's no reason to send a guy like Stamkos who's already one of the best players on his NHL team, but I approve of the presence of guys like Carlson on the US and Pietrangelo for Canada.

I also think Kane would probably have been better off going to the WJC too. Instead of playing 14 minutes a game for Atlanta and not really doing much of note, spend a couple weeks playing with the pressure that Team Canada brings with it, and he'd be better equipped to handle the playoffs when Atlanta gets there. As I said before, I think his risk of injury is lower against the smaller players at the WJC anyhow. Kane isn't the only one, either - I only mention him because he was brought up below.
January 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Guy Incognito said:

Guy Incognito
... Why I think Canada lost (ignoring NHL players - we knew that going into the tournament so this is why the group that was sent lost to the opponents that were sent), all IMO of course:

1. The Americans won. They were their match in every way aside from inexplicably just standing around for the tying goal. In hockey sometimes you need the bounces to win, and Canada has had a lot of near-losses in their 5-year run. Statistics even out in the long run and Canada was due to lose to a well-matched opponent.

2. The Americans were too fast. In the round robin this really affected things on those short-handed opportunities and the turnovers they forced all over the place, but despite Canada mostly cleaning that up, the US was still able to get plenty of chances on the rush again, resulting in several goals.

3. Canadian goaltending was pretty blah. Several past Canadian teams have won by giving up about as many goals as games played (admittedly largely through solid team defence - so I'll add that defensive play was pretty blah too - Americans were getting scoring opportunities that the likes of Ovechkin and Malkin never could when the Russians were supposed to win). This year's gold medal game goals against was like half a tournament's worth or more. A great American once said "sometimes you just need a ****ing save". Canadian goalies weren't terrible, but they didn't steal anything at any time. Every shot that should by all right have been a goal against, was. As were a few that shouldn't. There was no Pierre McGuire orgasm soundbyte ("Dustin Tokarski!") this time.

4. Out-coached. As mentioned by others before, a time-out or goalie change (like the Americans did) early in the game might have made all the difference. I think long-term coaching was also sketchy. For example, Cowen had a bad showing in the tournament but he was mishandled all the way through. His game against the US in the round robin was bad, but Ellis' same game was exponentially worse. Yet Ellis didn't see his playing time affected while Cowen basically disappeared from the team. I think the wise course of action would have been to get him in there against Switzerland to gain confidence building up to the final. It was a must-win game, sure, but a 6-1 win and Cowen doesn't play in his home town? Rough. And to top it off, that meant the late injury to Hamonic would have significant consequences for the finals: Cowen couldn't really jump into this game with blown confidence and not having played in the semis, so Canada was basically rolling 4 defencemen against one of the fastest teams the WJC have ever seen. I think they had two camps before selecting Cowen to the team, so they know he can play and put him on the team for a reason. Failing to use him properly was a mistake.

5. Trading 3-on-1s in OT. My memory may be off, but it seemed to me that the US tended to score off the rush, while Canada tended to score from sustained offensive zone pressure. Seems they got a bit excited in OT with the back-and-forth that ended it. Admittedly, I don't say this if Canada scores on their chance. smilies/smiley.gif

Overall, one of the best games I've seen in a long time. We will be lucky if the pros bring the same kind of passion and intensity to the Olympics.
January 07, 2010
Votes: +0

lanky522 said:

lanky522
Puckhead fair enough... i didn't necessarily think that your intent was malicious, but it's still just one of those sketchy things that can come off very wrong if the wrong person reads it and it can create... issues. Sarcasm and joking is often fairly difficult to portray via text online, so lots of times I guess i just leave well enough alone so there's no confusion.

Anyways... i do see what you're saying, but like i say... it really is (as you say) just my opinion that Bugg would (or wouldn't) have written the article the same way had canada won.

regardless... it is interesting to see what was written on the heels of this year's tourney as opposed to what was written on the heels of last year's tourney (nothing. nada. zilch)... I would've been interested to see such articles as "what russia should have done differently" or "why the united states wasn't quite good enough" or something along those lines last year... but hey, whatever. no biggy.

Not trying to make waves, and i'm certainly not calling bugg a "poor loser" by any means... it's just something i noticed and found a little interesting is all.
January 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... If I could just weigh in here - I think the article is fantastic. I expected to find it to have an "air of sore loser" to it, and I expected it to come down hard on Canada and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a very well-thought out article and actually right on the mark in a lot of ways. Very thought provoking.

I think Lanky, you seem to want to be argumentative. And Shoeless, in his one line, strikes a similar chord.

"What the IIHF Must Do Differently" - Bugg added that part after I read what was a great article. That may be what rubbed some people the wrong way. But what he suggests throughout this piece is great for discussion.


I think it's great that USA won and frankly I hope they win two or three times over the next five years. It would be great for hockey and great for this tournament. I think Bugg agrees. This is not "poor loser", this is just analyzing - and aptly so - Team Canada. Yes, it wasn't done in the past, but no other team won five in a row. If Russia won the last five golds, perhaps a piece would have been done on why they finished sixth.

January 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Oilers rock 99 said:

Oilers rock 99
COMMON lets Look at the real reason!!! Matt,
Your artical is very indepth yet completly misses the obvious???the real reason canada loses in this tourny is that we do to good of a job in devoleping our young tallent so much so that the very best junior age players are often "stuck" in the NHL they have progressed so much that the NHL teams are relying on these guys and although other teams have the occasional guy in the same situation the canadians are far ahead on the true tallent curve

Stamkos-Tavaras-Duchane
Gagner-E.Kane-Benn
o'reilly-Boychuk-Hodgeson(although hurt probally not available if healthy)

Doughty-Del Zotto
Myers-L.Schenn

On this team Tourny MVP Eberle is a fourth Liner!! so the next time some one questions why the tallent on team canada is not good enough to beat the rest of the world Just remind them that Our Junior Talent is In the NHL!!

Disclaimer All these players are 19 and younger there may be a b-day cutoff that I'm unaware of but I think I made my point!






Bailey
Turis
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Puckhead said:

Puckhead
... No need to get all politically correct Lanky...I think you know how I intended my comments to come across, and if you don't then you really need to take a step back and breathe into a paper bag or something, there is no need for you step on your soapbox and defend those who are on some form of medication.

I quite enjoy your posts, and happen to agree with you most of the time, I just took issue with how you took Bugg's comments and turned them into a Canada vs. US rant.

For you to suggest that Bugg would have written the article differently had Canada won is your opinion, and nothing more. He was stating what he felt would make this a better tournament, and I don't see how who won makes a difference. Can the IIHF make it better? Of course they can, they are always looking at the product and trying to improve it, there is nothing wrong with that.

If you were cheering for Canada last night, you most certainly were not happy with outcome, but I haven't heard anyone saying the US didn't deserve it, or that Canada was robbed. Whenever your team loses, you look at why they lost, and how they can be better next time. That is what Bugg was doing, and that led to how the tournament could make also make changes.

The point is, if you feel strongly enough about your point, I am not going to change you mind, and we can agree to disagree, but in future, don't take things so personal, my points were made in a joking manner, and that is what makes these boards so great, that I don't have to write a retraction for something I didn't even write. It was not a personal attack, and hopefully you can see that.

Cheers,

Puck
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

TOCanadafan said:

TOCanadafan
... Some very good points have been made by Bugg. I do think the tournament should drop the number of teams to 8. And we needn't "pick them out of a hat" as one responder suggested we would have to. Teams would be relegated and promoted just as they are now. Perhaps only one team down and up each year instead of two. Although, I've heard that the Latvians and Austrians would never agree to such a change as they don't mind getting blown out 10-0 or worse as the players are exposed to NHL scouts and it's probably the only time in their lives that they get to play in front of 15,000 plus fans (if they play Canada).
One thing that definitely could not be changed, is the time of the year of the tournament. The tournament is only as popular as it is now because of when it is held. There are so many non-hockey fans who end up watching a couple of games only because they are off on vacation with family, and the commitment to becoming a fan of the team is so short term. You would probably lose 20 Canadian fans for every other fan you'd gain if you moved it.

My one question to the Canadian management team: We all saw how influential Taylor Hall was in this year's tournament (not the best, but definitely one of Canada's top 6 forwards), so I don't understand how they could not have taken Tyler Seguin or other high ranking undrafted players, in place of some of the less-talented roll players? I really do feel "roll players" have a very minor influence in a tournament format versus the long haul of a season. The chemistry issue will always be a factor, because I doubt even the Jr. clubs would allow for substantially longer training camps / prep-tournaments, and I'd rather have 10-11 studs put in the pot to mix, versus 5-6 just because we need a tough, experienced 19 yr old.

Congrats to both the Americans and the Canadians
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

lanky522 said:

lanky522
Puckhead Firstly. I don't think that it's appropriate to suggest that someone (who you've never met, don't know on a personal level, and know nothing about) is off of their medication.

I don't personally take any drugs, recreational or prescribed... but if i did, i'd hardly consider it a funny thing for you to say. It's actually fairly insulting to joke about, especially for those who are actually on medication.

Secondly. All i said in my post was that the article had an "air of 'poor loser' to it." I didn't say that bugg was a poor loser. It is just very interesting to me that at no point in the last 5 years (when canada was winning) did anyone suggest "What the IIHF Must Do Differently" or that there was an issue with "A Lack of NHL Co-Operation."

2/5 of the article detailed changes that should be made on the highest of levels. If the article left it at things that canada should do, I wouldn't have suggested bias of any kind. I hardly think that I'm "off my meds" for suggesting that an article detailing sweeping changes (on the international level) immediately following a championship loss has an "air of 'poor loser.'"

Let's ask this: If canada had won, would Bugg have suggested that changes needed to me made in the IIHF's scheme? I think not. So yes... an "air of 'poor loser.'" Sorry.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Ron said:

rjis4nu
2 damn good games I'm glad the USA won since I am American as well. But I know one thng, watching the two USA-Canada games were two of the most exciting games I have ever watched. Hopefully, The US will continue to improve so we can try for five golds in a row. This tournament has got to be the best tournament to watch in the world. Congrats to the two teams (oh and to Sweden for bronze).
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Puckhead said:

Puckhead
Someone missed his meds today....Lanky22 anyone? I don't see how Bugg's article sounds like 'poor loser', but clearly Lanky does. The point to the article, as can be grasped in the title, 'why Canada lost?' was to focus on exactly that, and I think he did a fantastic job bringing a lot of different points to light.

Lanky, the fact is, it was an amaziing game, that quite frankly could have gone to either team. In my books, the US are full marks for the win. They played their asses off, and deserved the Gold. You really need to relax on the I am a US fan, and the world is against me menttality. The US have been seeing major strides in their NTDP, as the Americans won the Under 18 last year, and the U-17, and U-20 this year.

Sore losers would lean heavily on the crutch that is the amount of top level talent not eligible for the U-20's, because of their NHL teams not willing to let them go. When you look at that list, it would not even be worth having this tourney, because it would be a cake walk for the Canadians.

Nobody is suggesting the Americans didn't deserve it, and with Canada going for an unprecedented 6th straight Gold, the talk of how good the US team was going in, was heavily overshadowed, but, with the tourney in Canada, what did you expect?

Congrats to the US, on what was quite easily the best WJC game I have ever had the pleasure of watching, but don't forget to take your meds...Cheers!
January 06, 2010
Votes: -1

lanky522 said:

lanky522
... Also, I'd like to say that it's pretty shifty that you're suggesting cutting teams and changing the IIHF's setup on the heels of Canada losing... You ask me and it's just poor sportsmanship following a defeat... Let's blame the system... Let's blame the IIHF's setup... That's clearly the reason the championship was STLOEN from Canada this year...

Give me a break. Sure you pointed out chemistry, and seasoning which can sort of be blamed on Canada, but for much of your article you pointed elsewhere, and quite frankly, it had an air of "poor loser" to it all... Instead of suggesting solutions that would make the WJC better... You suggested solutions which would make it easier for Canada to dominate... Which truth be told, is amazingly not the intent or the WJC or the IIHF.

So I guess I'm glad you're not the one making the strategic decisions behind this event.
January 06, 2010
Votes: -1

lanky522 said:

lanky522
... John and repenttokyo make crucial points that call into light the major flaw in your suggestion of making NHL players more available.

The NHL is paying these kids sometimes millions of dollars, and if they blow a knee or something at the WJC it's a SIGNIFICANT loss short and long term. Heavy rehab will be requred, the knee may be more susceptable to future injuries, etc. It's a big deal. What do the Canadian junior teams really have to lose? They'll get a fresh new crop of youth each year, and it's well known that the older players will move on. Since most players selected for the WJC are older, they likely only have one year of eligibility left for junior hockey, whereas guys like tavares have possibly 20 years or more to play for the NHL.

HUGE DIFFERENCE.

--------------------

Regarding the teams being reduced from 10 to 8... That sounds like a great idea... We're talking about removing Canada and sweden or Canada and Russia right? If not, I'm afraid you're guilty of the same thing many themselves are guilty of: thinking that they somewhat "deserve" to be in the tourney more than other countries. Is not the point of this whole thing so that players from the weaker countries can compete against the super powers? How exactly are the "weaker" countries ever going to get better if they don't play against the best?

Should the olympics cut out the Germans? Or austrians? Just because it'd be convienient? That's crap dude I'm sorry. Unless you'd be willing to throw all 10 names in a hat, and pick 8 to stay (leaving Canada exposed to exile) I think this suggestion is completely unfair and in utter disgusting contrast to what the whole IIHF is about.

--------------------

If you really want to solve the "problems" you suggest exist... What you should suggest is that the WJC take place in MAY-JULY... Basically have the selections made in April, and every kid could practice with their national team exclusively for a couple of months before the tourney began (concluding each year just before the NHL draft).

This would solve chemistry issues (every country would practice with the national team exclusively for a couple of months), it would solve most NHL player lending problems (the injury risk would still be there, but only major injuries received - the 2-3 month variety - would have any effect on the NHL team), and it would be great for reasons not mentioned above as well.

1) it would give young players, who are likely going pro, a "longer" season. It will prepare them better for the 82 game schedule than the current setup does (as most rookies in the NHL seem to sputter out by the 60 game mark).

2) culminating right before the draft, it would give NHL teams a lasting and final impression on players that they might look to draft or avoid.

3) it would give Canada and the other countries something to look forward to. Instead of Stanley cup, blah blah, draft... It would be Stanley cup, WJC, draft, pre-season, season, post-season ... Repeat. It'd be a whole year of hockey... Excitement around the WJC would also probably be heightened because it wouldn't be overshadowed by any other hockey related events...

--------------------

I don't know man... Just my 2cents... Seems to work out perfectly to me.

January 06, 2010
Votes: +1

John said:

MinorityReport
NHL to WJC It's up to the NHL team to release the player to play, I don't believe it is a blanket decision to keep them on their rosters.

Last season, the Los Angeles Kings released Oscar Moller to play in the WJC for his home team of Sweden, and at the time, Moller was playing some significant top-six minutes. He then got injured in the tournament (He had a shoulder injury and i'm pretty sure it was sustained in the WJC, but I might be wrong) and hasn't been given a scoring role since.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +1

Larry said:

Rollie1967
2nd guessing time I too thought they wouldve pulled Allen earlier- looked suspect on all the goals. Was surprised the US didnt start Campbell-wasnt impressed with Lee in earlier games.
Della Rovere did play in control-a sign of maturity perhaps, the same couldnt be said of Kadri, whose selfish play doesnt payoff vs talented teams like the US.
Pietrangelo looked great,too bad he missed half the game (bad call IMO). Eberle was fantastic, but the powerplay wasnt very effective,yes the US played great positionally on the PK,but Canada had no net presence,no big man infront. Eberle's goal was off a broken play and great pass from Pietrangelo that the US dman almost intercepted.
Great tournie- the best hockey of the year- even if my team didnt win. smilies/cry.gif
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Garbage Goal said:

Garbage Goal
... to clarify what I meant in my comment...while I still think Canada had their version of Carlson, I do not disagree that Canada has, without question, the worlds best U20 players. There are about 8-10 NHLers that if able to play, would result in half of the current team not making it, and one boring tournament.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Francois LeBlanc said:

poolsharks
... Gormley would have been quite a bit more responsible defensively AND he can contribute offensively. We'll get a confirmation of that next year, trust me.

In retrospect, the Spitfire boys (except Hall , of course, who I hope to see there next year)were a waste of two forward spots...

Glad to see Della Rovere under control for the whole tournament, he played well enough.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Ben said:

VintageVibe
... They lost because they depended on Ryan Ellis (i.e- a gremlin) as their 3rd dman. And because they couldn't stop coughing up the puck in the neutral zone.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Garbage Goal said:

Garbage Goal
... Obviously every NHL club is different. I do not think Canada is at a disadvantage because of they are missing NHL guys. Guys like Tavares, Stamkos, and other do not belong in this tournament once they've established their NHL careers. There may be a case made for E. Kane but there is a huge difference between 14 min TOI in the NHL and being a regular in the AHL.

I dont buy the John Carlson argument/point either. Pietrangelo has played 18 professional games and over 150 in the OHL. Carlson's played in essentially 1 season the lesser, but good, USHL, 1 season on the OHL, and 1 in the AHL. Pietrangelo scored a pretty big goal for Canada in the RR play the first time they faced eachother...so it seems Carlson equals or SHOULD have been less effective. Sounds like sour grapes but its understandable.

Lastly, would it be completely wrong to make it a late spring or early summer event? That would completely change the nostalgia of it all but think of the hockey starved cities that would eat that up during this period. Also, it would alleviate the NHL club argument that players will miss games if they are allowed to attend.

Wont ever happen but just a thought for discussion. Great article and 2 great games.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Jimmy Crack Corn said:

crackho1976
Team Management Great job by Team USA but unfortunately we were out coached. Allen should have pulled after the 3rd or 4th goal or at least call a time out. Also Gormley and Seguin would have been better options than Cowen and Nemisz imo since Team Canada has only 5 returnees next yr.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Jimmy Crack Corn said:

crackho1976
Bad Management Great job by team USA and their Coach who had the balls to do the goalie switch before things got out of hand. Too bad Canada didnt yank Jake Allen after the 3rd or 4th goal or call a timeout. Like Pierre MacQuire said putting in Campbell was risky but thats how you win hockey games.

With so few returnee's next yr i do not understand how Canada didnt take Seguin and Gorlmely. They could have easily equalled or done better than Cowen and Nemisz?????

Until next yr.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Repent Tokyo said:

repenttokyo
How can you claim that stakes for CHL teams are somehow the same as for NHL teams? These teams are WORLDS apart in revenue and investment. That is not a reasonable claim at all. The reasons NHL teams don't let their prospects, whom they are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, to play in a tournament where they could get injured are very clear, even if they WEREN'T contributing on the ice at the NHL level - which they are.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

rotisserie wannabe said:

rotisserie wannabe
Personal Stats in the WJ I think the personal stats for the tournament should somehow eliminate or at least cap the 'blowout' scores. Sure you can pile on the touney points against the Latvians, Germans, Jamaicans, or Swiss (oops), but who cares. I would like to see the personal stats against teams that are in the top 6.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +1

Tim Jarrold said:

TJ4
... Being Canadian, I really disliked the final score but how could one not enjoy the games that CAN/USA played? THAT was exciting!
As for the "running up the score", that will probably stop (or slow down) the minute that the IIHF eliminates the tie-breaker rule of (goals for)-(goals against). This rule shows no sportsmanship whatsoever.
Great viewpoints Matt.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

mdreb said:

Grognard
... USA! USA! USA! USA!
How about giving credit where credit is DUE!!
Canada lost in a hard fought game. The US beat the supposed best in the world.
January 06, 2010
Votes: -1

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
... So the Americans won because the Canadians lost? Whoa! How do you spell ethnocentricity?
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Superchief said:

Superchief
... Can't say I'm sad about a Canadian loss in the WJC since I am American. This is a story I am Very Happy to see! smilies/smiley.gif

GO USA!!
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Matt Bugg said:

mrbugg
... Cam: Good point. Fixed it, and expanded on the part about goaltending so as to be a bit more clear.

Andrew: Good points. It's important not to pile on Hockey Canada as you said; we could very easily win the next ten.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Andrew said:

Canuckk
... Not to be mean to the great players on Canada's WJHC team, but it was a good thing for the tournament's sake that they lost. Would anyone really watch or care about the tournament if we all knew that Canada would win before the tournament even started? It's nice to see our country produce so much high-end talent, but let's give the other teams a chance and not criticize Team Canada for not capturing their sixth consecutive gold medal.

One thing Team Canada should work on for next time, though, is to play with a more sportsmanlike attitude and playing style. Did Canada really need to score 16 goals against Team Latvia in the tournament opener? No, of course not - they should probably have stopped playing to score after maybe 10 goals. They shouldn't shatter the confidence of young players like that by absolutely pummeling them in a game and not retreating in the slightest when the score was already lopsided.

And yeah, like you mentioned Matt, Canada should work on playing less recklessly in the future. Physical is good, but recklessly physical is not. Guys like Cornier and Kadri were absolutely going too far physically and playing with too much of an edge. Sure, the tournament is basically a 19-year old's equivalent of the Olympics, but playing the way several Canadian players did and taking their physical game too far is just unacceptable and unsportsmanlike and should absolutely be corrected and worked on for the future.

The other good thing that will come out of Canada's loss: the team will be back with a vengeance in 11 months, and should make for a pretty exciting tournament.
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Cam said:

DeadSkinMask
... Great article Bugg, but one thing that jumped out at me was:

"A prime example is John Carlson, who has spent the entire year shuttling between Hershey and Washington."

John Carlson was only called up to join the Caps once this year. During his stay with the big club he played in 3 games in a span of 4 nights, then was sent back down.
I would hardly call this spending the entire year shuttling between the teams...
January 06, 2010
Votes: +0
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