Go Canada Go!

This is Jordan Eberle scoring one of the most famous goals in the game’s history. The timing (perfect) and the degree of difficulty (impossible) add to the appeal of this photo. Tonight in Buffalo, a new chapter will be written.

I believe there are several reasons for the immense popularity of the World Junior championships. For one, we all have way more leisure time than in the past (certainly compared to 1970) so the potential market is mammoth for advertisers. This means more money is available, which means that networks are going to improve the coverage.

Add to that the exceptional talent on display during the lockout season (a spike season for the WJ’s) and the fact that TSN is run by smart people and you have one of the major events on the Canadian sports calendar.

I don’t think the Americans (or enough of them) have discovered this tournament and that’s a shame. Those American kids played a home game that didn’t feel like one; I doubt their performance had anything to do with the semifinal’s outcome (Canada was perfect) but it has to be galling for the USA to see that kind of invasion.

I’m tearing up thinking about it.

Team Canada plays the Russians tonight in the Gold medal game. Canada plays in the final game every year it seems, but it’s a battle every time. This version of Team Canada appeared to lack skill at the beginning, but those fears have eased as the tournament rolled along.

Russia is a wildly inconsistent country in international play. Sometimes they play lights out and other times they look disinterested. The Russian club that came over for the CHL series this season was stronger and that was the first indication that something might be brewing for Mother Russia.

This group started slowly and then improved as the tournament wore on, a classic Canada trick going back many years.

The Swedes play the USA in the pissed off game at 1:30pm today; the Russians and Canada play at 5:30 pm. TSN has the television, Team 1260 the radio.

Bless you boys. Win today and you can sing the anthem and bring home the Zeta-Jones. 

  • Jodes

    The Hockey Gods aren’t liking us here Alberta one must say.. To be a fan of the WJ’s and the Oilers today.. Painful, truely painful.

    Now one has to wonder, what team will we see next year here?

  • Lowetide

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team play a perfect game and then play a game like this one. Wheels came off and they couldn’t get it back on the road.

    Congrats to those Russian kids, and to our side too. Played their hearts out.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      not even joking here, but the turning point literally was the 2nd intermission.

      It was like a switch went off during the intermission. And man oh man did the switch go on for the Russians.

      I was like a 13 year old boy looking at his first boobie. Mouth open, not blinking, wondering in my head what the f was happening in front of me…

      epic

  • Jerk Store

    Anyone else yelling at the TV for Cameron to call a time out after the Ivan’s 2nd goal? When he finally did after the 3rd he is losing his mind. If the lads weren’t panicked before the t.o. they sure the hell were after. But give the Ruskies credit it does mean something to them. Let’s face it the other team wants to win too! Thanks for the effort though boys, you carried yourselves with class. Glad I have my ducats for next year. Revenge will be sweet. (I hope).

  • Oilers4ever

    What a disgrace to Canadian Hockey this is.. Biggest let down in WJH Gold Medal Game history easily… Say what you want about the dmen and such slacking in the third but the whole team fell apart, the coach was a dumbass for not calling a timeout after the second goal by Russia and sorry.. but Olivier Roy in net and they win tonight because Visine in the ole eyes there might as well have been a sieve trying to stop water in the 3rd.. terrible.. easily should have 2, maybe 3 of those….

    Oh well.. we could be Sweden with no medal I guess…

    They better get a new coach for next year….

  • Oilers4ever

    Coulda shoulda woulda … but I thought they should have pulled the goalie when they gained the zone at 1:40 to go, realizing you may not get it in deep again.

  • Oilers4ever

    Yes indeed Lowetide…. “Tonight in Buffalo, a new chapter will be written”. THE CHOKING OF TEAM CANADA !!! Many can share the blame from the coach down !!

  • Seriously....Gord?

    I do believe the Russians are Back! Not that they were really ever gone in recent history. In a tourney where with elimination matches, anything can happen as they are one off events. We’ve been lucky against the Russians a few times, schooled them a few, and today got schooled. Good for them…Next year…they’re toast. (11-1 odds against the Russians taking gold). Should have dropped some money on that.

    • Seriously....Gord?

      LT

      Very few Russian kids, (currently signed with the KHL) will make the trip over here to play hockey. For the most part, those that do are black listed from international hockey, unless the have some family/hockey “guanxi”.

      Most will stay for the money they would get in the KHL. Especially a star or 1st 2nd rounder….what would you do an entry level contract to play in the AHL for 100,000 or play for a 500,000-1.5 million. Perhaps a top 5 pick will make the jump because the ELC can be worth a few million to start.

      There are so few Russians (Eastern Europeans) playing in the NHL. prob under 100, and about 40 Russians.

  • Tough loss. Unlike some of you savages here (lol… seems to be the minority so far, thankfully), I am not going to go on a tirade on how the kids or the coach screwed up. I’ll just talk about the positives… which unfortunately has pretty much everything to do with Russia (1st/2nd period aside). They played a fantastic 3rd period and deserved the win. Bobkov played really well after replacing Shikin. Tarasenko is a heck of a player, and it’ll be a shame if he never comes over to North America.

    Great job by the Russians.

    The Canadians were beaten and battered and were not considered the favorite to win the tournament. These aren’t excuses to cover them for the 3rd period meltdown, but all-in-all, I’m still proud of them.

    These kids will have millions of armchair coaches pointing out how they blew it, and what they would have done differently. It won’t be a fun time for them right now, so I don’t think we need to pile on.

    • Shaun Doe

      Not sure if anyone else mentioned it but don’t forget that the majority of that team was 19 year olds. Experience and maturity are a factor in these short tourneys. They were a hungrier, more skilled and possibly better prepared team. Hats off

  • Jerk Store

    @ Jodes

    Which player was that exactly? Maguire was yapping out of his ass that Ellis did not put his on. Turns out they could not put it over his helmet during the presentation and 10 seconds later he had it on. So please enlighten me as to which kids you saw. Even if a kid was disappointed and did react that way, please let me know how you reacted as an 18 year old you saw your life’s passion and the opportunity to represent your country crash around you over 12 minutes. Say you are representing Canada at the International d-bag Championships – as a point of reference.

    • Jodes

      Some I’m a d-bag for having a opinion Jerk? Big man behind a keyboard aren’t you? How old are you 12?

      Racki, there’s disappointment, then there’s sportsmanship.

      They had nothing to be ashamed of. They gave it their all.

      • Agreed on the disappointment and sportsmanship, however I think you’re reading way too much into it.

        I actually didn’t see any players other than Ellis (like Jerk Store mentioned).

        But really though, yes.. nothing to be ashamed about.. and certainly no reason to say they shouldn’t ever wear the Canadian jersey again, IMHO.

      • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

        having an opinion doesnt mean nobody else can call you on it if it is wrong (or perceived to be wrong)

        for example, i could say “in my opinion, the sky is purple”. can i assume that because it is my opinion nobody will rip me apart for it? hell no. people are free to have opinions, i dont think anyone is saying otherwise. however, if you throw it out there you have to expect some push back, especially on a topic rather sensitive.. in my opinion anyways (haha)

  • Jerk Store

    @ Lowetide

    Unquestionable talent but the risks are real and the stigma is justified. Between the KHL, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, the Olympic debacle, seeing Kabanov’s antics and the Cherapanov tragedy, there have been very few good news stories in terms of Russians in the NHL (btw what is going on with Semin this year?). L.T. What will have to happen to make drafting Russians a reasonable risk in the first couple of rounds? But sure, you probably take a mid to late round risk on a lot of these kids.

  • Jerk Store

    Jodes

    Yes I am 12. You are accusing kids of having no class because you chose to listen to Pierre Maguire yapping aimlessly instead of seeing for yourself. Please answer the question, you accused these kids as a group of showing no class and suggested they be banned from wearing a Canadian jersey for not wearing the silver. Which kids were they? I am fine with people having an opinion but making unbased accusations about a group of teens who have been repping their country admirably is idiocy not stating an opinion. In my opinion.

  • Jodes

    Cable, I’m not “pushing back” because someone had an opinion, I was responding because of the nature of their comments towards me. Ie “d-bag”.

    Regardless what I feel about the situation, there is no need for name calling don’t you agree?

    Now with that aside, I guess I should have waited a day or so to post, instead of getting caught up in the moment.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      im probably the wrong guy to ask, i didnt really have an issue with the d-bag reference… however, i am of the opinion that if i am going to be active on the boards here at the ‘nation, i have to be willing to take some abuse, and in turn i give some once in a while. (obviously, to a degree, the odd idiot, fart catcher, d-bag reference etc).. if you dont, then thats fine too…

      i am still curious as to which other players you saw to warrant the whole “not wearing their medals” fiasco anyways. I, like others, only noticed Ellis at the start, but i honestly wasnt paying much attention to it.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I’m no doctor but i feel a couple more images of Catherine Zeta-Jones may be in order LT, no words/story is required, these images alone may soothe our wounded souls.

    Thank you for your consideration sir.

  • Jerk Store

    @ jodes

    I find it interesting that you are aghast and offended by what was, admittedly an inflamatory adjective – however you had absolutely no problem calling a group of 18 and 19 year olds “classless players who should not be allowed to wear a Canadian jersey”. Especially when there was not one kid who actually did that. I have asked three times for you to identify these “players” you have chastised for not wearing their silver medals – and am still waiting. Save the hypocritical outrage, please. If you are going to make sweeping untrue statements you best be prepared for some negative comments. Bottom line …”Do unto others..”

  • Jodes

    Oh really? Watch this link.. Pay close attention to #2.. It doesn’t look like he’s wearing his medal now does it? Look at the 59 second mark..That’s Coltan Tuebert btw..

    I was also looking online, and I may be off on this one, but I think #22 is also not wearing his medal:

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/juniorhockey/blog/buzzing_the_net/post/WJC-2011-Canada-s-collapse-Russia-s-rally-an;_ylt=Av0VlfDwP44jQ0qkUrmKIXUJfwM6?urn=juniorhockey-304024

    But I’m sure you’ll find something else to argue about..

    Can we move on now Jerk?

  • Jerk Store

    Only that Colten Teubert had an alibi – playing for Manchester Monarchs last night. Thanks for being current. You are right about one thing. I am ooot.

    “Never argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”

  • Jodes

    Okay, my apologies, I saw #2 and when I went to look for the roster, thats who it said #2 was.

    Whoever was wearing #2 did not look to be wearing a medal.

    Now, can we move on?