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Thread: World Cup 2016

  1. #51
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Interesting comments on the World Cup from longtime NHL veteran Dainius Zubrus, who is now 37 years of age and was recently interviewed over at IIHF.com:

    (Note the mistake made by the interviewer in calling the 2004 World Cup the 'inaugural' World Cup)

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

    Back in 2004, you played for Russia in the inaugural World Cup. What are your memories from that tournament?

    That was the highest calibre of hockey that I’ve ever played. I was with Russia, but I’d watched the Olympics and tournaments like that. Every team brings their best players. They have time to run a mini-training camp beforehand. You could tell that the hockey was at the next level. There was no third or fourth line grinding. Passes were crisp and everybody was skating and scoring. It was good hockey.

    I was of course hoping that we would have done better. I thought that was my last chance to play at that level, because I knew I was going to play for the Lithuanian national team. 2004 was the best tournament I’ve played in. I was really happy I did it.

    Who were some of the players who stood out to you the most on that ‘04 Russian team?

    Those guys, I knew them well, even from before. Even a guy like Darius Kasparaitis, we’re from the same hometown, and he’s played for Team Russia his whole life. We never got to play on the same team. Even just playing with him was kind of fun. Of course, Alexei Kovalyov was still at the age where he was really good. He could take over the game, and he scored some big goals. I remember to this day there was a goal he scored against Team USA, where he just beat the guy in the slot and put the puck in from an almost impossible angle. It was a nice goal.

    There were other good players there too. Alexei Yashin and Viktor Kozlov played well. We had a good mix of players. I wish we would have done better, but I still remember it as the highest calibre of hockey I’ve ever played.

    What’s your opinion of the unconventionally put-together World Cup teams like Team North America and Team Europe?

    I think it’s great, honestly. I think it’s awesome because it gives players like Anze Kopitar, one of the better players in the league, a chance to play in a tournament like that. It gives us a chance to play at the world level and see how we can do, guys from countries where hockey is not as big and is maybe in the process of growing. It can help as well. There are a lot of countries in Europe. So I love the fact that somebody came up with an idea like that.

  2. #52
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    What’s your opinion of the unconventionally put-together World Cup teams like Team North America and Team Europe?

    I think it’s great, honestly. I think it’s awesome because it gives players like Anze Kopitar, one of the better players in the league, a chance to play in a tournament like that. It gives us a chance to play at the world level and see how we can do, guys from countries where hockey is not as big and is maybe in the process of growing. It can help as well. There are a lot of countries in Europe. So I love the fact that somebody came up with an idea like that.
    I wonder how much of that is honesty and how much a courtesy platitude. Oh well, even if he does genuinely find it a good idea, Kopitar makes a pretty bad example. He's already been to the Olympics.
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  3. #53
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Based on most of the posts I am seeing, I think we need a specific Anti-World Cup thread, it certainly seems to be a popular trend :) geez folks give the thing a chance before judging it so negatively

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    I wonder how much of that is honesty and how much a courtesy platitude. Oh well, even if he does genuinely find it a good idea, Kopitar makes a pretty bad example. He's already been to the Olympics.
    Yes, he played in the 2014 Olympics.
    He has also represented Slovenia in four elite level WCs since 2005.
    But the fields for the Olympics and the Worlds is 12 and 16 teams respectively.
    The World Cup only has eight teams.
    Instead of having 4-8 additional teams from the 'lesser' nations, the NHL opted for a composite team.
    Well, that is their prerogative, isn't it?
    You may well hate the idea but Zubrus was right in the sense that this is the only way a player like Kopitar was going to be able to participate in a small field tournament.

  5. #55
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    geez folks give the thing a chance before judging it so negatively
    My main beef with the World Cup is that in its success may hinge the NHL's participation in future olympics. If it does well enough, the league bigwigs may just figure, "we've given people some international hockey to watch and it's been a success, what do we need the five rings for?" And that simply won't fly with me, especially when they choose to include plasticy collection teams that should stay far away from international hockey.

    If the World Cup was just some fun extra thing they added on top of the regular ongoings, then I still wouldn't give it much weight due to the collection teams, but could approach it far more neutrally regardless. But now? No way can I endorse it.

    There's a bigger picture here, gang. If it's meant to be a replacement for the olympics, people should reject it until it better resembles the olympics. Everybody who says we should give this thing a chance will get nothing but a big sarcastic "thanks" from me if the people running the league announce in the end that they've chosen to withdraw from the olympics for the time being, "but hey, we gave you this splendid World Cup event and intend to keep on having them".
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    My main beef with the World Cup is that in its success may hinge the NHL's participation in future olympics. If it does well enough, the league bigwigs may just figure, "we've given people some international hockey to watch and it's been a success, where do we need the five rings for?" And that simply won't fly with me, especially when they choose include plasticy collection teams that should stay far away from international hockey.

    If the World Cup was just some fun extra thing they added on top of the regular ongoings, then I still wouldn't give it much weight due to the collection teams, but could approach it far more neutrally regardless. But now? No way can I endorse it.

    There's a bigger picture here, gang. If it's meant to be a replacement for the olympics, people should reject it until it better resembles the olympics. Everybody who says we should give this thing a chance will get nothing but a big sarcastic "thanks" from me if people running the league announce in the end that they've chosen to withdraw from the olympics for the time being, "but hey, we gave you this splendid World Cup event and intend to keep on having them".
    Well said. We are looking at a power struggle between the NHL owners and the IIHF/IOC.

    If the World Cup is an extra event to spice up the NHL preseason that's fine. If it is the NHL owners way of saying they don't need to release players for the Olympics then I'm not going to give it a chance !!

    Geoff

  7. #57
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    My main beef with the World Cup is that in its success may hinge the NHL's participation in future olympics. If it does well enough, the league bigwigs may just figure, "we've given people some international hockey to watch and it's been a success, what do we need the five rings for?" And that simply won't fly with me, especially when they choose to include plasticy collection teams that should stay far away from international hockey.

    If the World Cup was just some fun extra thing they added on top of the regular ongoings, then I still wouldn't give it much weight due to the collection teams, but could approach it far more neutrally regardless. But now? No way can I endorse it.

    There's a bigger picture here, gang. If it's meant to be a replacement for the olympics, people should reject it until it better resembles the olympics. Everybody who says we should give this thing a chance will get nothing but a big sarcastic "thanks" from me if the people running the league announce in the end that they've chosen to withdraw from the olympics for the time being, "but hey, we gave you this splendid World Cup event and intend to keep on having them".
    The main argument the NHL owners have with the IOC is their stated refusal to pay the travel and insurance costs for the players which amounts to many millions of dollars. Although I have enjoyed very much NHL players participation in the Olympics, I can't really blame the NHL for insisting on the cost coverage. The NHL, as we know, shuts down its leave in mid season to accommodate the Olympic participation with no real cost benefit (unlike for example NBA players in the Olympics taking place during their off season).

  8. #58
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    The main argument the NHL owners have with the IOC is their stated refusal to pay the travel and insurance costs for the players which amounts to many millions of dollars. Although I have enjoyed very much NHL players participation in the Olympics, I can't really blame the NHL for insisting on the cost coverage. The NHL, as we know, shuts down its leave in mid season to accommodate the Olympic participation with no real cost benefit (unlike for example NBA players in the Olympics taking place during their off season).
    I'm aware of this, and I agree that the IOC covering the insurance and other expenses is completely fair (I hear it's around 10-15 million dollars, which is a pittance in the grand budget of the organization) - but something tells me that even if they did agree to pay it in the end, the NHL would just come up with another excuse to withdraw if they were so inclined. In fact, it could be that the IOC's refusal to pay is a negotiation tactic: They'll agree to it in the end, but only so late that the league can't come up with another excuse - or if they do, it'll make 'em look awfully fickle in the process.
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  9. #59
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    I don't think it is any secret Bettman & Co were not happy when it was announced that S Korea was hosting the 2018 Olympics.
    Pyeonchang is in the same time zone as Nagano, which means a 16-13 time difference in NA.
    That means a lot of the games will be played in the wee small hours of the morning, including medal round games.
    Not exactly prime time viewing which the NHL (and American TV networks) wants.
    Vancouver and Salt Lake were tailor made, Turin and Sochi were OK, but far east Asia is worst case scenario.
    So if the IOC is not going to cover travel and expenses (which I believe they did previously) then that certainly would be a dealbreaker.
    And no I don't think Bettman is bluffing.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    I don't think it is any secret Bettman & Co were not happy when it was announced that S Korea was hosting the 2018 Olympics.
    Pyeonchang is in the same time zone as Nagano, which means a 16-13 time difference in NA.
    That means a lot of the games will be played in the wee small hours of the morning, including medal round games.
    Not exactly prime time viewing which the NHL (and American TV networks) wants.
    Vancouver and Salt Lake were tailor made, Turin and Sochi were OK, but far east Asia is worst case scenario.
    So if the IOC is not going to cover travel and expenses (which I believe they did previously) then that certainly would be a dealbreaker.
    And no I don't think Bettman is bluffing.
    Not questioning that but the Olympics is the best way to introduce people to a sport that may be new to them. Having a star player that may be in someone's market that they can connect to and watch at their home (arena) brings a fan or family's money that they wouldn't have had before.

    Let's face it, how many Americans watching Olympic bobsleigh say it's a cool sport but have no idea there is a season long World Cup (and Euro & North American Cups as well) every year?
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  11. #61
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trim View Post
    Let's face it, how many Americans watching Olympic bobsleigh say it's a cool sport but have no idea there is a season long World Cup (and Euro & North American Cups as well) every year?
    There is?? ;)

  12. #62
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Hey, positive news for the World Cup. If you're the NHL, of course.

    NHL and NHLPA make scads of money in World Cup
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  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trim View Post
    Hey, positive news for the World Cup. If you're the NHL, of course.

    NHL and NHLPA make scads of money in World Cup
    Campbell's rather one sided article really makes the European federations look like victims.
    But what does the NHL precisely get, in $ and cents, from allowing its players to participate in the Worlds every year?
    Or in the Olympics, which involves shutting down the league completely for half a month and then scramble to fit in the remaining schedule.
    What kind of compensation does the NHL get for doing that?

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    But what does the NHL precisely get, in $ and cents, from allowing its players to participate in the Worlds every year?
    What kind of compensation does the NHL get for doing that?
    Nothing but then they don't "allow" players to participate in the Worlds by halting their schedule. The players going have free time with their team no longer competing and, one could argue, they're available to the NGB by having nothing else to do.
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  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trim View Post
    Nothing but then they don't "allow" players to participate in the Worlds by halting their schedule. The players going have free time with their team no longer competing and, one could argue, they're available to the NGB by having nothing else to do.
    Ok, that's true for the Worlds but they do have to halt the schedule mid season for the Olympics.
    And run the risk of losing a player (like John Tavares) to a season ending injury.
    Now the IOC wants the NHL to assume all the insurance costs and other expenses.
    Getting exactly what in return?
    I would venture to say they got a lot less than what is being offered the respective federations.
    Campbell's article makes the NHL look like the evil greedy villains here but let's remember the IOC is the most corrupt and greedy sports governing body in the world (well, next to FIFA anyway).

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    I can't seem to find out what the international broadcasting is for this outside of North America. Any word on who would show this in UK. Will NHL tv cover it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    I don't think it is any secret Bettman & Co were not happy when it was announced that S Korea was hosting the 2018 Olympics.
    Pyeonchang is in the same time zone as Nagano, which means a 16-13 time difference in NA.
    That means a lot of the games will be played in the wee small hours of the morning, including medal round games.
    Not exactly prime time viewing which the NHL (and American TV networks) wants.
    Vancouver and Salt Lake were tailor made, Turin and Sochi were OK, but far east Asia is worst case scenario.
    So if the IOC is not going to cover travel and expenses (which I believe they did previously) then that certainly would be a dealbreaker.
    And no I don't think Bettman is bluffing.
    So the NHL didn't realize what time zone Nagano was in when they allowed players to go to the 98 Olympics for the first time?

    I could not disagree more that the NHL thinks having the Olympics in Asia is a bad thing. Asia is the biggest potential market for sports leagues these days and they all want to get in on the action. The NHL is already on TV in China, where a small viewership is still multiple millions of people. The NHL is on in the afternoon in Asia rather than the middle of the night in Europe so there's more potential even if you ignore the massive population numbers. The KHL knows what they're doing, and the NHL is run by pretty smart people as well. There's no way they're turning their noses up at two new massive markets in the next two Olympics.

    So I do believe Bettman is very much bluffing, especially after the NHL is reminded by the poor ratings for the World Cup that they don't really have anything better to turn to.

  18. #68
    IHF Member Geoff's Avatar
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    Yes the time change is a factor but, more importantly, the NHL wants the money that comes from selling an Ovechkin Russia jersey or shirt, a Lundqvist Sweden jersey or shirt, etc.

    They don't get that from the IIHF events or the Olympics.

  19. #69
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Helix- View Post
    The NHL is already on TV in China, where a small viewership is still multiple millions of people. The NHL is on in the afternoon in Asia rather than the middle of the night in Europe so there's more potential even if you ignore the massive population numbers.
    It's not actually on TV because the games are on state-run (what else?) CCTV5+ which is their internet sports channel. In the past two years, I can only remember two games being on TV - the gold medal game from the last IHWC and the final game of the Women's Division I, Group B tournament they hosted a year before that.

    Actually, most of the time it would be early morning. The west coast games are late morning running into lunch breaks.
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  20. #70
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Training camps for most teams start Sept 5. Canada has 3 roster replacements due to injuries:
    Jay Bouwmeester replaces Duncan Keith
    Logan Couture replaces Jamie Benn
    Corey Perry replaces Jeff Carter

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  22. #72
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Pre-tourney games:

    Sept 8:
    Russia 4, Czech Rep 3
    Finland 3, Sweden 2 (OT)
    North America 4, Europe 0

  23. #73
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Sept 9:
    USA 4, Canada 2 - don't tell the players this was an exhibition game. This was as feisty and intense as I have seen in a while. Nasty, somewhat dirty hits (Kesler major and game misconduct for hitting Weber from behind into the boards). US goaltending the difference as Canada held a 43-25 shots on goal advantage. Price looked like a goalie that hasn't played in 7 months - somewhat shaky

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Sept 9:
    USA 4, Canada 2 - don't tell the players this was an exhibition game. This was as feisty and intense as I have seen in a while. Nasty, somewhat dirty hits (Kesler major and game misconduct for hitting Weber from behind into the boards). US goaltending the difference as Canada held a 43-25 shots on goal advantage. Price looked like a goalie that hasn't played in 7 months - somewhat shaky
    For an essentially meaningless tune up game the play was pretty ferocious.
    I thought Canada dominated most of the hockey game except the latter half of the first period when the Americans got their 2-0 lead.
    Price didn't really look like Price but the fact he was playing has to be encouraging for Hab fans.
    The rematch in Ottawa will be interesting.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Pre-tourney games:

    Sept 8:
    Russia 4, Czech Rep 3
    Finland 3, Sweden 2 (OT)
    North America 4, Europe 0
    Watched most of the NA v Europe game.
    Have to say youth was served in this one.
    Team Europe has a number of older players in the tournament and they had trouble keeping pace with the speedy North American youngsters.
    The 'Young Guns' could be a significant factor in this event while Team Europe might find the going tough with their comparative lack of speed.

  26. #76
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Pre-tournament games Sept 10:

    Czech Rep 2, Russia 1 shootout
    Sweden 6, Finland 3
    Canada 5, USA 2

  27. #77
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    Team NA 5 Team Europe 1...after one period.
    Europe didn't look very good in the first game in Quebec City but they look much worse so far today.
    Putrid is a word that comes to mind to describe their play.
    The goaltending is weak, the defense looks practically immobile and the forwards have exerted next to nil pressure on Team NA.
    If they look this ineffectual against essentially a team of overage juniors then God help them when they face the big boys.
    It's a team comprised of players from eight different nations and it kinda looks like it.
    Next to zero cohesion shown so far...coach Ralph Krueger has an uphill battle on his hands.
    If things don't improve drastically then it is probable Team Europe will go winless in the event.

  28. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    Team NA 5 Team Europe 1...after one period.
    Europe showed some pride with the 7-4 score loss (7th goal for NA empty net). A lot of people are making a huge deal of the speed of the young gun NA team. I would agree except for 2 factors that may be giving us a overly generous impression. They haven't faced a good team yet but they will with a tough schedule of games when it counts against Russua, Sweden, and Finland. Also their games against Europe have been anything but physical and they have been allowed to roam at will from end to end. That won't happen against the opposition I just mentioned. The jury is still out on them I believe

  29. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Europe showed some pride with the 7-4 score loss (7th goal for NA empty net). A lot of people are making a huge deal of the speed of the young gun NA team. I would agree except for 2 factors that may be giving us a overly generous impression. They haven't faced a good team yet but they will with a tough schedule of games when it counts against Russua, Sweden, and Finland. Also their games against Europe have been anything but physical and they have been allowed to roam at will from end to end. That won't happen against the opposition I just mentioned. The jury is still out on them I believe
    Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos compared the intensity level to the two Canada-US games, saying it was like 'a country club' by comparison.
    No doubt the competition for Team NA will get a lot stiffer.
    But they look like they are up to the task.
    About half of the roster is made up of 23 year olds, the maximum allowable age.
    By the time a player turns 23, they generally are moving into the prime of their careers.
    Also, in goal they have a Stanley Cup champion in Matt Murray.
    They may not win most of their games but I believe they will be competitive.

    Don't know if the same could be said for Team Europe.
    13 of their players are over 30 which if I were to guess makes them the oldest team in the tournament.
    Having a bunch of greybeards worked for the '67 Leafs but I'm not sure it works today.
    While Team NA is made up of kids with bright futures, Team Europe is made up mostly of players whose best days are clearly behind them.
    They'll go as far as Jaroslav Halak can take them and he'll have to be stellar every game in order for them to have a chance.

  30. #80
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    Reports leaking out that Canada will announce tomorrow that Tyler Seguin has a knee injury and is out of the tourney. They would be allowed to replace him according to tournament rules. Wondering if Taylor Hall, who was arguably Canada's best player the past 2 World Championships, would get the call? With Carter, Benn and now Seguin all out due to injuries it's lucky the team has the depth to replace these players. Word is Giroux is also banged up and this team's forward lineup is starting to fill up the hospital ward.

  31. #81
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    Well that was fast. Hockey Canada announced tonight that Ryan O'Reilly (Buffalo Sabres) has replaced Seguin

  32. #82
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    Pre-Tourney games

    Sept 13: USA 3, Finland 2
    Sept 14: Czech Rep 3, Team North America 2
    After period 1: Canada 1, Russia 0
    In period 2: Team Europe 3, Sweden 0

  33. #83
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    Final scores
    Team Europe 6, Sweden 2

    Canada 3, Russia 2 OT

  34. #84
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    Ovechkin had this to say re: the tournament and the Olympics: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ovechki...192419182.html
    Twitter: @CSmeeth

  35. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conesy View Post
    Ovechkin had this to say re: the tournament and the Olympics: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ovechki...192419182.html
    his stance hasn't changed and that's a good thing. He considers the Olympics the ultimate sporting event and rightfully so. Whether the NHL agrees with him remains to be seen.

  36. #86
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    Sept 17:
    Europe 3, USA 0 - based on the media before this game, this has to be considered a significant upset. But come to think of it, it seems anyone can beat anyone on a given night in this tourney. No real weak teams. US lacked offence and had trouble creating scoring chances. The Euros played a disciplined defensive game which is the mainstay strategy of their head coach. Perhaps their 6-2 pre-tourney win over Sweden was a warning of things to come. They have to be feeling pretty confident after this win while the US has put themselves in a hole early. Not many games here to make it up

  37. #87
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    After Period 1: Canada 3, Czech Rep 0 - the speed of this game is at least twice as fast as the USA - Europe game. And despite the score I am hugely impressed with the Czech team. Canada is somewhat fortunate to be up by 3 goals as the Czechs hemmed them in their zone for some good stretches and had a dangerous transition. Price very calm in the net. For Canada, the line of Crosby, Bergeron, and Marchand are playing like monsters - pretty well unstoppable

  38. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Sept 17:
    Europe 3, USA 0 - based on the media before this game, this has to be considered a significant upset. But come to think of it, it seems anyone can beat anyone on a given night in this tourney. No real weak teams. US lacked offence and had trouble creating scoring chances. The Euros played a disciplined defensive game which is the mainstay strategy of their head coach. Perhaps their 6-2 pre-tourney win over Sweden was a warning of things to come. They have to be feeling pretty confident after this win while the US has put themselves in a hole early. Not many games here to make it up
    Watching this game I find it even more unbelievable that Phil Kessel wasn't even invited to play for Team USA.
    Clearly, the Americans could have used his help...any help.
    The Young Guns team has I'm sure taken players off the USA roster they could have used.
    The speedy American kids gave the older Team Europe fits.
    The Americans allowed Europe to dictate the pace of the game which was deliberate and slow.
    Under Tortorella, the Americans seem to be regressing instead of improving.
    I don't know if his edgy style works for Team USA...it sure didn't for the Canucks.

  39. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heatleysucks View Post
    Watching this game I find it even more unbelievable that Phil Kessel wasn't even invited to play for Team USA.
    Clearly, the Americans could have used his help...any help.
    The Young Guns team has I'm sure taken players off the USA roster they could have used.
    The speedy American kids gave the older Team Europe fits.
    The Americans allowed Europe to dictate the pace of the game which was deliberate and slow.
    Under Tortorella, the Americans seem to be regressing instead of improving.
    I don't know if his edgy style works for Team USA...it sure didn't for the Canucks.
    Tortorella made some pretty questionable personnel choices that are coming back to bite the US in the ass. I know a lot of people were wondering if he was the right coach for the team, and critics won't be getting any quieter after last night.
    Twitter: @CSmeeth

  40. #90
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    Final: Canada 6 Czech Rep 0. - Canada's ability to run 4 effective lines out there over and over wore down the Czechs. They couldn't keep up the pace against Canada they employed in period 1. Price now hasn't allowed a goal since the QF at Sochi, that's a stretch of over 3 games.

  41. #91
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    Sept 18:
    Sweden 2, Russia 1 - what a game! Russia scored with just over 30 seconds left to get within 1 and thought they had the tieing goal with 7 seconds (Ovechkin) but the play was ruled no goal as it was batted in with a glove. I see there isn't much participation on this forum from many perhaps due to the previous discussions about the various dislikes for this tournament format. That's too bad because the level of hockey has been extremely high and entertaining. And I think as the tourney goes on and the elimination games become critical, it will be raised even higher. Call this tournament whatever you want but the hockey is great and that's good enough for me

  42. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Sept 18:
    Sweden 2, Russia 1 - what a game! Russia scored with just over 30 seconds left to get within 1 and thought they had the tieing goal with 7 seconds (Ovechkin) but the play was ruled no goal as it was batted in with a glove. I see there isn't much participation on this forum from many perhaps due to the previous discussions about the various dislikes for this tournament format. That's too bad because the level of hockey has been extremely high and entertaining. And I think as the tourney goes on and the elimination games become critical, it will be raised even higher. Call this tournament whatever you want but the hockey is great and that's good enough for me
    Saw the disallowed goal, which was ruled no goal immediately.
    The replay showed Ovechkin waving at the puck with his stick after knocking it down with his hand.
    Unfortunately there was no definitive camera angle showing that he indeed touched the puck with his stick.
    The call stood and Ovie naturally was furious, using a few non Russian cuss words.
    Too bad for Russia but based on the play, especially the first two periods, Sweden deserved to win.

  43. #93
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    Sept 18:
    North America 4, Finland 1 - the more you read about the NA team and their speed and skill, you start to wonder how much is truth and how much is just media hype. After watching tonight, no need for the hype they are the real deal. The Finnish defence looked confused and desperate against these kids who skated like the wind. It's just 1 game but this team sure looks like a definite contender in this tournament

  44. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Sept 18:
    North America 4, Finland 1 - the more you read about the NA team and their speed and skill, you start to wonder how much is truth and how much is just media hype. After watching tonight, no need for the hype they are the real deal. The Finnish defence looked confused and desperate against these kids who skated like the wind. It's just 1 game but this team sure looks like a definite contender in this tournament
    With no player older than 23, Team NA is obviously the youngest in the tournament.
    But Finland is the second youngest overall with a significant changing of the guard.
    It was mentioned on the Sportsnet telecast that it was the Finnish D corps had one 30 year old and the remainder was between 21-25 years of age.
    The game was very similar to the Canada-Czech game in that Team NA matched the relentlessness of the Canadian attack.
    Much was made of starting Pekka Rinne instead of Tukka Rask.
    Really, even if Finland had gone with Tukka Rask in net it wouldn't have made a lick of difference.

  45. #95
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    Canada 4 USA 2

    As just about everyone seemed to be expecting would happen, Canada delivered the coup de grace to Team USA's fading World Cup hopes.
    Although they played much better than their listless 3-0 loss to Team Europe, the Americans never really seriously challenged Canada, despite taking an early lead.
    This team was supposed to have been constructed for the express purpose of beating Canada, with the emphasis on aggressive physical players.
    Instead, not only did Team USA fail to beat Canada it might not win a game period.
    Team USA will play out the string against the also winless Czechs who have one point from their OT loss to Europe.
    Hard to say how motivated the Americans will be in a game strictly for pride.

    There has been some criticism of the scathing attack Team USA has come under in the wake of their early exit.
    Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has called the relentless barbs tossed at the American team, many of which came from former players, 'piling on'.
    To be perfectly fair, the criticisms were long and loud before the puck dropped for the first pre tournament game.
    Most of the criticisms centered the choice of John Tortorella for coach and the work of the management team.
    The players selected and omitted from the team, though, drew the greatest ire.
    Phil Kessel, whose omission created perhaps the biggest firestorm of controversy, responded to the loss with his own tweet.
    I happen to think it was rather cleverly and humorously worded, without mentioning anyone or anything related to the tournament,
    He did however make his point....emphatically.

  46. #96
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    NA 4, Sweden 3 OT - say what you want about the format with these non-national teams, this NA team has been a huge success. Their enthusiasm mixed with their speed and skill has arguably made them the most popular team for the fans to follow.

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    Kinda funny that the 2 marketing teams have done well at this thing. Team Europe and team NA. But aside from that anomaly I guess it's bad news for the organizers that the US is done. I feel for them though, they played the 1 bad game to start and then lost to Canada and were done. I assume the NHL was hoping for a Canada - USA final. Instead we may have Sweden - Russia. Stupid tournament that doesn't compare to the Olympics. Still some great hockey and a few surprises.

  48. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Wagon View Post
    Kinda funny that the 2 marketing teams have done well at this thing. Team Europe and team NA. But aside from that anomaly I guess it's bad news for the organizers that the US is done. I feel for them though, they played the 1 bad game to start and then lost to Canada and were done. I assume the NHL was hoping for a Canada - USA final. Instead we may have Sweden - Russia. Stupid tournament that doesn't compare to the Olympics. Still some great hockey and a few surprises.
    The NA team is still the talk of the tournament, even though they're officially eliminated.
    Every game they've played, win or lose, has been electric.
    It's a pity 6 minutes of bad luck, bad shifts and bad goaltending against Russia has put them out of the semis.
    Otherwise, they dominated that game.
    I think Canada actually got a break facing Russia instead of the whiz kids.
    Canada is superior to Russia in almost every facet except possibly goaltending.
    And Bobrovsky has to be sensational in order for Russia to win because that defense will almost certainly allow 40-45 SOG.

  49. #99
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    What have the ticket sales been like ? Has the crowd atmosphere been good at the matches , even those without Canada ? Will the NHL owners regard it as a success ?

    Thanks

    Geoff

  50. #100
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    You mean someone else other then me & Heatleysucks is posting? :)

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