Archive for the ‘hockey’ Category

Why Canada may not win gold

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

The World Junior Hockey Championships are in Ottawa this year. It’s so close to home, I find it almost embarrassing that I didn’t make the short drive to catch a game or two. I was fortunate enough to catch an exhibition game between Sweden and Czech Republic. Either way, I watched a lot of the action on the tube since Boxing Day when the tournament kicked off.

Team Canada has been playing an exciting brand of hockey year the past number of seasons… often leading to winning the championship (they’re gunning for their 5th straight). This season is no exception, however I can’t help but to notice how their defense has been particularly strong. That’s also not to say they have great players on the blueline, but I can’t say they’ve been particularly defensive. With this, here are the 2 reasons why they will struggle to win the gold medal.

1 – No shutdown duo
Schenn/Doughty, Parent/Staal, Phaneuf/whoever… The combination of Teubert/Hickey just don’t seem to be cutting it. They seem to make a lot of mistakes with and without the puck, not only against the top teams, but with some of the weaker teams. The likes of Meyers and even Subban seem to be proving themselves as more defensively responsible than these couple.

2 – Goaltender confidence
Much like reason #1, when you hear the name Tokarski, it just doesn’t ring confidence. Steve Mason, Carey Price, Jeff Glass, and M-A Fleury are all guys in recent years who you knew would make the clutch save more often than not. Tokarski doesn’t seem to fall into this group of tenders. He reminds me of Carey Price, seemingly pretty calm and plays a steady game. But I can’t help but I notice a lot of weak goals from the wings going in. He doesn’t seem to have that winning edge. Maybe it has something to do with the pro contract he signed during the tournament itself.

Of course, their offense this year has proven throughout the exhibition and tournament that they’re more than capable of winning on that reason alone.

With that said, GO CANADA GO!!!

Canucks make a splash

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

It wasn’t very long after my NHL Musings post that I noticed a rumour that Pavel Demitra was close to signing with the Canucks. After a couple of days, it’s been finalized, as reported by tsn.ca. I think it’s a great addition, I’ve always been a fan of Demitra and his days in St. Louis. I think he suffered a bit in the defensive minded Minnesota organization and I believe he will thrive a bit more, with the potential of playing with the Sedin’s.

NHL Musings

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

The NHL Free Agency period started earlier this month and while I wasn’t totally plugged in, my blackberry was going nuts throughout the first couple of days. A lot of deals were done (a total of $300 million plus) and some solid trades were made. One thing I like about it is I honestly can’t say that I find quite the same hype around the other sports.

My team of choice, the Vancouver Canucks, started the whole offseason with a relatively strong presence, particularly after the death of their bluechip dman Luc Bourdon. I liked their waiver pick-up of Kyle Wellwood, who is seems to be lazy but I feel he’s young enough to turn the ship around. Hopefully his injuries are behind him and he can help out the secondary scoring.

Some other decent deals was the trade for Steve Bernier from Buffalo for some draft picks, whom I feel might fill the void of the power forward that has been missing since Bertuzzi was dealt. Also, I can’t help but to notice the signing of Thunder Bay boy Ryan Johnson who is most known for his heart abnormalites a couple of seasons ago. After following him in St. Louis, he’s always been considered a reliable grinder and will fit in great.

However, much to my chagrin, GM Mike Gillis has not stepped up and made any more waves. It almost seems like they’re putting all of their eggs in the Mats Sundin basket. With that, they have also parted ways with vets Marcus Naslund (which I feel will only hurt the Sundin situation) and Brendan Morrison. While I’ve never been a huge fan of Morrison, I feel he’s definitely an asset that would not cost an arm and a leg to keep. While the off-season continues, I can’t help but to think that the Canucks are starting to follow the likes of the Maple Leafs in a bid to rebuild from the goaltender out. Fortunately, their blueline is still very solid and i think they’re a bit closer than the Maple Duds.