Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

While we take some time to celebrate the arrival of a new year, a look back to a magical night of hockey 32 years ago tonight...

Have a Happy New Year!

Mission Accomplished at Davos

While the tournament may be the hockey equivalent of an off Broadway play (taking place as it does in the relative anonymity that seems to be the trademark of Switzerland) it was centre stage accolades for Team Canada on Monday.

The Canadian squad which was made up of mostly European based mercenaries toiling away for club teams on the continent, proved to be a dominant group over the course of the hectic six day tournament.

The Canadians went undefeated in Davos with a record of 5 and 0, taking the final match against the Russian Salavat Yulaev Ufa squad by a score of 2-1, their success was built on the stellar goal tending of last moment draftee Curtis Joseph, who seems to have shown that there may be a little life left in those pads after all.

Joseph held down the fort in the Canadian goal allowing only one second period goal to get behind him, while Kirby Law and Ryan Keller scored the necessary Canadian goals to secure the win. All the scoring took place in a frantic second period of play in which lucky breaks and a few bounces proved to be the difference on the scoreboard for Canada.

It was Canada's 11th victory in the 81 years of the Spengler Cup, their first since 2003. All of Canada's achievements have come since 1984 the first year that a Canadian team competed for the Christmas week tournament.

For some it's a chance to remind the folks back home that they're still playing hockey, sometimes lost in the shadows of the European leagues, for others like Joseph it's the opportunity to regain a profile for NHL GM"s, considering Cujo's run of success in Davos, somewhere in the 30 team NHL you would think is a team willing to give him another look and shore up a shaky goal tending situation.

Some might even suggest that he might not even have to take off that Maple leaf from the front of his chest, just change the colour of the sweater to be of assistance!

Hockey Canada site--Canada at the Spengler Cup

Legends of Hockey--December 30

Michel Goulet

Birmingham Bulls 1978-79
Quebec Nordiques 1979-1990
Chicago Black Hawks 1990-1994

Legends of Hockey home page


Other Sites of interest:

Wikipedia--Michel Goulet
Nordiques Legends--Michel Goulet
YouTube--Michel Goulet
RDS--Michel Goulet
Colorado Avalanche--Michel Goulet

Almost game time at Buffalo's neighbourhood backyard rink

It's traditional in many parts of North America that the first day of the New Year is greeted with a polar bear swim, where hearty souls jump into a lake, harbour or river for a brief invigorating splash and then dash.

On New Years Day the NHL version of the Polar Bear swim will be a regular season game played outdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadium, located within a gust or two of the lake effect winds and elements of Lakes Ontario and Erie.

The two teams have been preparing as best they can for such an experience, perhaps trying on the latest in Stanfields and ordering in those heated therma blades suddenly all the rage, rewiring them for a more all encompassing glow.

The game which has been in the preparation stages for a few weeks now will be played on a finely crafted sheet of ice, which has been undergoing the kind of attention that most Canadians would understand from their days of outdoor rink making. Layer upon layer of ice is almost in the final stage for the outdoor spectacular, which now is left in the hands of Mother Nature.

The latest reports for the Buffalo area on New Years Day have for temperatures near the freezing mark with the potential for several inches of snow and wind by game time to make things a little on the cool side, though nowhere near as frigid as the last time this outdoor experience was made in Edmonton in the Heritage Classic of November 23.

During that game it was said that the best seat in the house was the one on the bench beside the heaters, it very well may be the in demand seat once again on Tuesday when the Pens and Sabres take to the ice at the largest neighbourhood rink in Buffalo.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Danes look to derail Canada

Canada can still gain a bye into the semi finals of the World Junior Championships, but it will take a little help from the Czechs who will need to defeat the Swedes by five goals or less. Should the Czechs win by six or more they’ll advance to the semis, while the Swedes can move forward with a win over the Czechs.

Canada for its part will also need to take care of their own end of the competition on Monday, when they take to the ice against Denmark.

The Danes have been kind of like cannon fodder for the other World Junior participants, giving up fifteen goals thus far compared to just three of their own. So the possibility of an upset against an obviously angry Canada seems remote.

But, you just never know when a team is going to step up and have the game of their lives. However, the odds most certainly must be stacked against the lads from Copenhagen and beyond.

Canada received the ultimate in wake up calls on Saturday as they let an early lead turn into a shocking 4-3 loss, made even more dispiriting over the way that they seemingly just changed their game plan and allowed far too much flow to come from the Swedish side.

That loss should certainly be more than enough motivation to fire up the offense and take the play to the Danes, with all that excess baggage of streaks and domination now behind them, the team can get back to just playing the game with an intensity that seemed to be lacking at times on Saturday.

Upon that loss we suggested here that perhaps it was something that Canada needed to refocus on the job at hand. Rather than live off the streak and the platitudes of the talking heads and print side cheerleaders that had seemed to have almost already awarded the gold medals, the Canadian kids can now reclaim the tournament as theirs, not that of their predecessors.

They can make the first statement towards that goal on Monday against Denmark, an unfortunate experience we suspect for tne Danes who have had a rough go of it so far this month, but there will be no time for compassion now.

Canada needs to get their game back on track and Denmark will provide the sparring partner for what now appears to be a much needed tune up session, one that hopefully prepares this team for the bigger matches yet to come!

Winnipeg Sun--Canadian cockiness?
Winnipeg Sun--'Two great kids'

Legends of Hockey--December 29

Sprague Cleghorn

Ottawa Senators 1918-1920
Toronto St. Pats 1920-1921
Montreal Canadiens 1921-1925
Boston Bruins 1925-1928

Legends of Hockey home page

Other sites of interest:

Wikipedia--Sprague Cleghorn
Habslegends--Sprague Cleghorn
Renfrew Ontario--Sprague Cleghorn

Ovechkin puts it into overdrive

“Everybody had lots of points and it's good for fans but not for the goalies”

A sold out crowd at Scotiabank Place probably would agree with Alexander Ovechkin, who had a pretty impressive Saturday night as he scored four goals and helped on another, on the way to an 8-6 Washington Capital victory.

The Caps who seem to bring out their best games when they play the Sens took a commanding 3-1 lead in the second over the Sens, as Ovechkin showed why he’s considered one of the most exciting players in hockey these days.

The Senators while launching a comeback of sorts seemed at times to be ready to sit down in the crowd and watch Ovechkin as well, as he held a clinic of puck control and pinpoint shooting. Their efforts on the night did not impress head coach John Paddock very much, who described his teams performance as ridiculous.

By the time the game had come to an end the score was a tad more respectable at 8-6, with seven goals scored in the final twenty minutes, but that did not particularly reflect the flow of the play. The Capitals were by far the more impressive team on the night, jumping out to a quick two goal lead and then not panicking when the Sens got close.

Ovechkin’s five point night will be something that the Ottawa fans will be buzzing about for a while; it may even have overtaken the Ray Emery sideshow of the last few days.

In fact, Emery is either being eased back into the swing of things or is really in the dog house, as Paddock left Martin Gerber in the nets to face all 29 Capital shots, surrendering 7 of the eight goals, the final one an empty netter for the proficient Mr. Ovechkin.

By the time the third period had reached the midway point, Gerber probably was wondering what he had to do to get out off the firing lines. While Emery was probably trying to be as invisible as possible at the end of the Sens bench.

Streak Stopping Swedes Shock Canadians

Saturday provided a wake up call for the members of Canada’s world junior squad, that hard work will trump reputation when the time comes.

Perhaps it was all that talk about the “streak”, going for the blackjack as the folks on TSN said early Saturday, an almost pre-ordained destiny for Canada of waltzing through another world championship tournament.

While they will no doubt claim that they were paying no heed to all of that, Saturday resting on your laurels proved to be costly. The Swedes who slowly began to take over the flow of the game by the second period turned a third period blitz into victory as they scored a last second goal to avoid overtime and claim a regulation time victory 4-3 over a shocked looking Canadian squad.

Canada were the authors of their own misfortune on Saturday, having jumped into an early lead they allowed some sloppy play to bring the Swedes back into the game. Penalty trouble would give the Swedes a goal and some momentum, while the Canadians were lucky to pick up a goal on a controversial five on three situation.

At that point it appeared that they had once again rescued themselves from a near disaster, slowly finding their footing again, only to see things turn around with a terrible giveaway in the neutral zone that led to the final and go ahead goal with just seconds to go in the game.

As the Swedes celebrated their win, Canada could finally lay to rest a number of elephants in the room, the undefeated string stretching back to 2005, the shutout hockey that they had guarded thus far and the sense of invincibility that finally was knocked down on Saturday.

By no means is it the worst thing that could have happened to what are still just teenagers, it could prove to be the lesson that they needed to be taught that there is hard work involved on the way to a championship.

Craig Hartsburg could caution them as much as possible, but until they learned it on the ice they may never have believed it.

Rather than taking the short course to the championship round they’ll have to watch the scoreboard and perhaps have to fight their way to it, they begin the process next with a game against Denmark, a team that you probably wouldn’t want to be a member of going up against Canada.

They’ll be angry with themselves, perhaps disappointed in their play, but if they learn from the lesson in the long term it could be the most important moment for Canada in this tournament.

Globe and Mail--Sweden stuns Canada
Winnipeg Sun--A taste of adversity

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Legends of Hockey--December 28

Joe Mullen

St. Louis Blues 1979-1986
Calgary Flames 1986-1990
Pittsburgh Penguins 1990-1995 1996-1997
Boston Bruins 1995-1996

Legends of Hockey home page

Other sites of interest:

Wikipedia--Joe Mullen
New York Times--Joe Mullen
Greatest Hockey Legends--Joe Mullen
Boston College Eagles--Joe Mullen
The Sporting News--Joe Mullen

A Senatorial Snit?

"You don't get into rhythm by playing games. This isn't house league."--Ottawa Senators head coach John Paddock

Things appear to be on the boil in Ottawa these days as Ray Emery once again finds himself under the microscope after a couple of interesting incidents during practice time in Kanata.

Judging by the theatrics of the last few days, it would seem that Emery isn’t particularly partial to practicing and isn’t finding his status as second choice on the bench to his liking either.

Relegated to spot duty of late, media reports had Emery lashing out at some unfortunate water bottles on Thursday during the Sens practice and then reporting with just minutes to go on Friday.

The Friday situation resulted in his being sent home, owing to illness according to the press release out of the Sens offices.

Emery who was the go to guy during last years Stanley Cup run, was still recovering from wrist surgery at the start of the season and has been plagued by minor injuries and conditioning concerns during the first months of the season.

While he has found occasional nights in the nets this year, for the most part the call has gone to Martin Gerber who has quickly won the support of his Senator team mates who have said as much in recent days as the Emery outbursts became better known.

By Friday afternoon, the Toronto radio stations and sports networks based out of that city were rubbing their hands in glee with an apparent controversy percolating in the capital. Panel discussions weighed the pros and cons of cutting the Sens goaltender loose and contemplated how big a distraction it all may prove to be for the Sens currently riding a hot streak atop the Eastern Conference.

There hasn’t been much made out of the outburst in Ottawa itself, the players seemingly circling the wagons and keeping their comments close to the dressing room, with the occasional nod in favour of Gerber who has simply just gone out and done his job night after night.

The unsaid suggestion (and in a few cases the openly stated commentary) is that if Emery wants to get back to his form of last year, he needs to put in the effort on the ice. Something that apparently won’t be accomplished by knocking water bottles around and showing up late for practice.

If he's indeed trying to force the Sens hand into a trade situation as some suggest, he's probably approaching it all wrong. Besides looking out of shape and not very sharp on the ice, he's developing a bit of troublesome reputation, something that many GM"s may wish to pass on.

At the start of the year many suggested that Ottawa was going to have a problem in the nets this year, with two quality goaltenders needing plenty of ice time. Originally it was surmised that Gerber was going to be the one to be moved, but as the season has progressed and with the recent excitement that dynamic may have changed.

It might be better to quietly go about getting back into that playoff form of last year and then the Senators might be able to accommodate him, more importantly the phone calls will be a lot easier to make if he's concentrating on hockey and not hissy fits.

Globe and Mail--Sens go on without Emery
The Sun papers--Emery's exit imminent?
The Sun papers--Plot's sickening

Sun, Fun, Goals and Wins

Like many good Quebecois, the Montreal Canadiens seemed to find the Florida climate agreeable this time of the year.

Montreal spent the last few days in Florida and by the time it came to pack up and head back north, they had not only found time to work on their tans, but to pick up some points in the NHL standings as well.
Thursday night they picked up five goals at the expense of the Tampa Bay Lightning as they totally dominated the Bolts 5-2, Friday night it was on to South Florida and an appearance before the largest crowd in Panther history at Bank Atlantic Centre, where they once again put five goals in the net, and worked on their defence by surrendering only one on the way to a 5-1 victory.

Ten goals in two nights and an offensive explosion that suddenly has the team of Koivu and Huet playing like Richard and Worsley.

The Florida sweep improved their road record on their current road trip to 3-1-1 with one game left on Sunday in New York to play the Rangers.

The Florida swing has been almost like a night at the Bell Centre, with friendly crowds, boisterous in nature and seemingly weighted in favour of Les Habs, complete with the farewell song traditional at Montreal home games.

One thing is certain; Montreal fans at least have the right idea when it comes to following the team on the road. Rather than trek across the hinterlands to Toronto, Ottawa, Detroit and west, they head straight for the sun.

After all, with sixty minutes of cheering out of the way, nothing beats checking out the Miami night life and then heading for the beach the next day.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Sakic sidelined eight to twelve weeks

Colorado Avalanche fans have found that the Christmas cheer has quickly gone out of the season as word was released on Thursday that Avalanche captain Joe Sakic will have hernia surgery on Friday and may miss up to twelve weeks of action.

Sakic was sidelined Dec. 1 at Los Angeles because of a groin problem and when the situation did not respond to treatment further examination was called for, which resulted in the diagnosis of a hernia and the need for surgery to repair the problem.

Now that he's expected to be out for such a long period of time, the Avalanche have some thinking to do, whether they seek out an experienced hand to tide them over or let the younger players try to carry the load of the missing captain.

They could apply to the NHL for relief from the salary cap, teams can apply for relief for a player out more than 10 consecutive games or 24 days.

The team can exceed the cap up to the amount of the injured player's salary and by using as any replacement players as it wants for that period.

Many might suggest that it will take more than a few players to provide the kind of leadership and impact that Sakic delivered prior to his injury.

Denver Post--Hernia surgery today for Sakic
Rockey Mountain News--Sakic might miss up to three months
Rockey Mountain News--Sakic to have hernia surgery, out 8-12 months more weeks
Edmonton Sun--Sakic's season may be over
National Post--Sakic to have surgery, out 8-12 weeks

Legends of Hockey--December 27

Mike Gartner

Cincinnati Stingers (WHA) 1978-79
Washington Capitals 1979-1988
Minnesota North Stars 1988-1990
New York Rangers 1990-1994
Toronto Maple Leafs 1994-1996
Phoenix Coyotes 1996-1998

Others sites of interest:

Wikipedia--Mike Gartner
You Tube--Mike Gartner

Two wins in eighteen hours show Canada is more than up to the test

With 120 minutes of play now under their belts and no goals against, Team Canada takes a well deserved break on Friday, ready to rest up and then prepare for Saturday's match with Sweden at the World Junior Hockey Championships.

Thursday saw Canada take on Slovakia in a game that seemed to feature the referees as much as it did the players.

Some unusual calls dominated the flow of the game, with sure fire penalty worthy calls going unseen while other questionable calls resulted in penalties for both teams.

The frequent stoppages seemed to slow down the game at key times, but in the end when goals were needed Canada finally delivered as they found their mark three times on the way to the 2-0 shut out of the Slovaks.

The keys for Canada on Thursday were the play of Steve Mason with a 22 save shut out performance and the scoring touch of Kyle Turris, who scored both of Canada's goal on the way to their second victory of the tournament so far.

With the win, Canada now can count 20 consecutive wins at the World Junior Championships, a total which includes eight shut outs and 91-20 Goals for and against ratio over that period of time.

They can continue to add to their amazing statistical package on Saturday when they meet up with the Swedes who are 1 and 1 so far in the opening round of the tournament.

Goals Galore at GM Place

Thursday nights NHL match up between the Canucks and Flames did not suffer from the turkey dinner induced lethargy of many of the other games of the last few days.

While other teams exhibited signs of mentally still unwrapping their gifts, the Canucks and Flames just took to the ice much like they have over the last many years, ready to hit, ready to shoot and on this particular night ready, oh so ready to score..

Eight goals were scored between the puck drop and the final whistle, a fast moving show of end to end action and crushing checks. The game featured the most unlikely event of Calgary goaltender Mikko Kiprusoff being chased from the game early in the third period having given up five goals on just 19 shots, a most unusual performance from the normally solid Kipper.

His replacement for the rest of the night was Curtis McElhinney, who managed to hold the Canucks off the score sheet for the rest of the night as they found that their five goals were enough to withstand an attempted Calgary comeback.

With a 5-3 victory, the Canucks brought to an end the recent winning ways of the Flames who had put together a remarkable run of wins on the road prior to Thursday's game at GM Place.

For Vancouver, the possibility of the future mimicking the past is off to a good start, it was one year ago that the Canucks turned the post Boxing Day mark as the beginning of a run for their playoff aspirations.

Something that they no doubt hope will repeat itself as they prepare to welcome in 2008.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

HockeyNation Legends--December 26

Bill Durnan

Montreal Canadiens 1943-1950

Legends of Hockey home page


Other sites of interest:

Wikipedia--Bill Durnan
Hockeygoalies--Bill Durnan
Habslegends--Bill Durnan
Time--Big Bill Durnan
Eyes on the Prize--Bill Durnan

Hockey Canada features twin bill Thursday

The lure of potentially millions of hockey fans taking time with their families is proving to be too much for the CBC which has scheduled a rare mid week double header for Hockey Night in Canada on Thursday night.

With Canadians waking up early to watch the World Juniors and spending the afternoon catching up with the Spengler Cup, the CBC is hoping that they let the network provide the nightcap on a full day of hockey for the Great White North.

The early game features the Tampa Bay Lightning, troubled as they are on the road these days taking a break from their troublesome road show, for a home date with the Montreal Canadiens . Tampa which is struggling with their play of late hope to break their string of woe as they play the Habs in front of the home town friendlies at 7 pm ET, 4 pm PT.

The second match of the double header should prove to be an entertaining game with Vancouver and Calgary squaring off at 10 pm ET, 7 PT. The Canucks and Flames always provide an energetic game and with the Flames riding a wave of success of late they should be in fine spirits as the take to the GM Place ice.

Canada off to a good start at World Juniors

John Tavares provided the bulk of the scoring and Jonathan Bernier provided 44 saves to lead Team Canada to their first win and the beginning of their defence of the World Junior Championship.

Tavares who was featured on five of the Canadian power plays scored two of Canada's three goals on the day, more than enough to defeat the hose Czech Republic 3-0 at opening day in Pardubice.

The Canadians who played a little tentative in the early going, never seemed to be in any danger of losing control of the game once they jumped out to a 1-0 lead, able to combine their trademark physical play with some exciting offence and solid deensive play, it was the kind of game that they needed to play to get the tournament under way and their heads into the task at hand.

And while Tavares, the young star of the Oshawa Generals making his World Juniors debut is finding that the ice may not be what he is used to in the OHL, he's making the best of it when coach Craigh Hartsburg calls his name.

Matthew Halischuk scored the third Canadian goal, while highly touted draft possibility Steve Stamkos picked up three assists, something that surely won't hurt his stock for this springs amateur draft.

Canada has the short schedule on Thursday, having to be ready to face off against Slovakia early in the day, 17 hours after they played the Czechs.

The second game of the tournament for Canada starts at 9:30 am EST making for an early wake up call for those on the West coast where hockey will lead into breakfast at 6:30 am..!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hockey Historica Archive 2008--

We track the tournaments, drafts, trade and other items of interest for 2008 and beyond on this page.

IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships 2008--HockeyNation page

Spengler Cup 2007-2008--HockeyNation page

Hockey Historica Archives 2004-2007

Clean up time for the blog, all our loose ends on the left side margin are being moved today.

We bring together all the past tournaments, drafts and other past features on one entry for easier access and a cleaner look.

So bear with us while we make the transition!

The Reaper's Post--2006-2007 season

Super Series 2007--Schedule of Games
Super Series 2007--Results of Games
Super Series 2007--Archive of Stories

NHL Free Agency 2007--Sportsnet signing tracker
NHL Free Agency 2007--Sportsnet Free agents list

NHL Hockey 2007 Draft Day Archives--NHL site
NHL Hockey 2007 Draft Day Archives--The Prospects
NHL Hockey 2007 Draft Day Archives--The Mock Draft
NHL Hockey 2007 Draft Day Archives--One more sleep for the class of 2007

Quest for Stanley 2007--Round Four, The Finals
Quest for Stanley 2007--Archive of results for The Stanley Cup Final
Quest for Stanley 2007--Third Round results
Quest for Stanley 2007--Second Round results
Quest for Stanley 2007--First Round results

Memorial Cup 2007--Memorial Cup Scores
Memorial Cup 2007--Memorial Cup Newsroom

IIHF World Championships 2007--Results page

NHL Trading Deadline 2007--Sportsnet Trade page
NHL Trading Deadline 2007--Deadline Day trading log

CBC's Hockey Day in Canada 2007--January 13, 2007

World Junior Championships 2007--Swedish Home page
World Junior Championships 2007--HockeyNation findings

Spengler Cup 2006--HockeyNation updates

NHL Hockey 2006 Draft Archives--Free Agency and the Draft 2006

Quest for Stanley 2006--Round Four
Quest for Stanley 2006--Round Three
Quest for Stanley 2006--Round Two
Quest for Stanley 2006--Round One

IIHF World Championships 2006--Results Page

Memorial Cup 2006--Home Page
Memorial Cup 2006--The Path to London
Memorial Cup 2006--Results of the 2006 Memorial Cup

Olympic Games Torino 2006--Official website
Olympic Games Torino 2006--Official men's schedule
Olympic Games Torino 2006--Official women's schedule

World Junior Championships 2006--Hockey Canada Vancouver home page
World Junior Championships 2006--Results Page

Free Agency listings 2005--HockeyNation page

Spengler Cup 2005--Spengler Cup HockeyNation update page

World Junior Championships 2005--Results page
World Junior Championships 2005--Gold Medal Preview show
World Junior Championships 2005--The Medal round

Spengler Cup 2004--HockeyNation update page

World Cup of Hockey August 2004--HockeyNation Results page

Quest for Stanley 2004--The Path to Stanley 2004

Memorial Cup 2004--HockeyNation results page

IIHF World Championship 2004--HockeyNation results page

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship 2007

Canada seeks out their fourth straight gold medal as Team Canada begins play at the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic.

We'll follow the games from this page and list other information that we come across as well during the two weeks of the always high tempo hockey.

January 5--Gold Medal Game--Canada 3 vs Sweden 2 (OT Final) Canada wins gold, Sweden silver
January 5--Bronze Medal Game--USA 2 vs Russia 4 Russia wins the bronze
January 4--Semi Final--Canada 4 vs USA 1 (Final)
January 4--Semi Final--Russia 1 vs Sweden 2 (OT Final)
January 3--Fifth Place game--Finland 1 vs Czech Republic 5
January 3--Relegation round--Switzerland 5 vs Denmark 2
January 3--Relegation round--Slovakia 8 vs Kazakhstan 0
January 2--Quarterfinal--Canada 4 vs Finland 2
January 2--Quarterfinal--Czech Republic 1 vs Russia 4
January 2--Relegation round--Slovakia 5 vs Switzerland 2
January 2--Relegation round--Kazakhstan 6 vs Denmark 3
December 31--Canada 4 vs Denmark 1
December 31--Sweden 4 vs Czech Republic 2
December 31--Russia 4 vs Switzerland 3
December 31--USA 5 vs Finland 3
December 30--Switzerland 1 vs Kazakhstan 3
December 30--Denmark 3 vs Slovakia 4
December 29--Team Canada 3 vs Sweden 4
December 29--Slovakia 2 vs Czech Republic 5
December 29--Kazakhstan 0 vs Finland 5
December 29--Russia 2 vs USA 3
December 28--Denmark 1 vs Sweden 10
December 28--Switzerland 2 vs USA 4
December 27--Slovakia 0 vs Canada 2
December 27--Czech Republic 5 vs Denmark 2
December 27--Kazakhstan 4 vs Russia 5
December 27--Finland 4 vs Switzerland 3
December 26--Team Canada 3 vs Czech Republic 0
December 26--Sweden 4 vs Slovakia 3
December 26--USA 5 vs Kazakhstan 1
December 26--Finland 4 vs Russia 7

World Junior Hockey Championships Home Page
Hockey Canada website
TSN Broadcast schedule
TSN Website (with video highlights)

Tournament Notes:

January 6--Globe and Mail--Golden glow won't fade quickly
January 6--Toronto Star--Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!
January 6--Toronto Star--Emotions engulf Halischuk
January hockey heroes return
January Good as Gold
January 6--Canadian Press--Canadian junior team grows from boys to men
January's golden again at world juniors
January 6--City News--Golden Juniors Return To Canada
January 6--Ottawa Citizen--Golden Boy
January 5--Globe and Mail--Canada Golden again
January 5--Toronto Star--OT nets Juniors Gold
January 5--National Post--Canada wins fourth gold in a row with overtime goal against Sweden
January 5--National Post--Canada-Sweden Gold Medal Game, Live Blog by Mark Spector
January 5--Canadian Press--Canada golden again at world junior championship
January 5--CBC Sports--Canadian Juniors capture fourth straight Gold
January 5--CTV--Canada wins Gold in OT at World Juniors
January's golden again at world juniors
January 5--Eurohockeynet--Bronze medals to Russia
January 5--USA Hockey--U.S. National Junior Team Finishes Fourth
January 5--CBC Sports--Russian juniors beat U.S. for bronze
January 4--Globe and Mail--Canadians going for Gold
January 4--Globe and Mail--Canada has revenge on its mind
January 4--Globe and Mail--Canada lands 2010 tourney
January's Mason stands tall in win over U.S.
January going for another gold
January 4--Toronto Star--Canada advances to final
January 4--CBC Sports--Canadian juniors going for 4th straight gold
January off to world junior final
January 4--Winnipeg Sun--Swedes end medal drought
January 4--National Post--Sweden advances to final
January 4--CBC Sports--Sweden crushes Russia's gold-medal hopes
January Swede it is
January 3--Globe and Mail--Livid Bernier upset with Hartsburg
January 3--Globe and Mail--U.S. replaces Russia as Canada's No. 1 rival
January 3--National Post--Team Canada sticks with Mason in goal
January 3--National Post--Bernier angry with Team Canada coaches
January 3--Canadian Press--Hartsburg sticks with goaltender Steve Mason
January 3--Toronto Star--Czechs rout Finns for fifth at World Juniors
January 3--CBC Sports--Canadian goalie Mason to start in world junior semifinal
January rivalry renewed
January's next in net?
January 2--National Post--Redemption day for Canada's Marchand
January 2--National Post--Who'll get the call for Canada remains a mystery
January 2--National Post--Canada just gets by Finland
January 2--Globe and Mail--Juniors survive a scare
January 2--Globe and Mail--Marchand learns from his mistakes
January 2--Globe and Mail--Russia eliminates host Czechs
January 2--Globe and Mail--Juniors overwhelmed by support
January 2--Toronto Star--Canada reaches semis at world junior hockey
January dreams of gold
January 1 on hit parade
January 2--CBC Sports--Canada to meet U.S. in world junior semifinal
January 1--National Post--Goalie Mason starts collecting believers
January 1--Canadian Press--Steve Mason steps into the Canadian junior hockey team spotlight
January 1--Canadian Press--Canada hopes for repeat performance from goalie Steve Mason
January 1--Globe and Mail--Canada earns date with the Finns
January 1--Toronto Star--Canada's boys are full of bluster, but ...
December Juniors beat Denmark , to face Finland
December 31--National Post--Tavares guarantees gold medal for Canada
December 31--Canadian Press--Big games loom for Canadian junior hockey team
December 31--Toronto Star--Canada downs Denmark 4-1
December looking to 'bounce back' and end first in pool
December 30--National Post--Mason hopes to lead Team Canada to promised land
December 30--National Post--Canada looking to 'bounce back'
December 30--Globe and Mail--Mason gets nod for Denmark
December 30--Globe and Mail--Canadians go to great lengths to cheer on team
December 30--Globe and Mail--Coach Hartsburg is sticking to his game plan
December 30--Toronto Star--Opportunistic Swedes derail Canadian express
December at own game
December 29--Canadian Press--Canada's winning streak ends at world junior championship
December 29--Winnipeg Sun--A taste of adversity
December 29--National Post--Sweden downs Canada 4-3
December 29--Toronto Star--Sweden ends Canada's streak
December 29--Sports Illustrated--Sweden ends Canada's Juniors streak
December 29--Globe and Mail--Sweden stuns Canada
December Canada trying to steer clear of media maelstrom
December Doughty, Drew's a dandy prospect
December 28--Globe and Mail--Sweden crushes Denmark, moves past Canada
December 28--Toronto Star--Turris feat must have thrilled the Great One
December 28--Toronto Star--Perfect puzzle for Canada
December posts back-to-back shutouts at world junior championship
December 27--CBC Sports--Canada goes to 2-0 at world hockey juniors
December 27--Toronto Star--Canada wins 20th straight at world juniors
December 27--National Post--Canada defeats Slovak's after Turris pots two
December 27--Globe and Mail--Juniors keep rolling
December 26--CBC Sports--Tavares scores twice in Canada's opening win
December 26--Globe and Mail--Canadian Juniors start strong
December 26--Toronto Star--Tavares jump starts Canada
December 26--Toronto Star--Team previews
December 26--Toronto Star--Tavares waits his turn
December and Bernier off to a perfect start
December 26--National Post--Five to watch
December 26--Canoe--From Good, to Bad to Golden
December 21--Globe and Mail--Understanding the Russians

HockeyNation Posts:

January 6--Canada returns with its gold and home ice advantage
January 5--How close was that!
January 5--Russia wins the “lets get out of town” game
January 4--Winning the games that need to be won
January 4--Swedes sweep aside Russia, make preparations for Canadian rematch
January 3--Cracks for Canadian camp, as Americans stand ready for showdown
January 1--Hartsburg names Mason his go to guy
December 30--Danes look to derail Canada
December 29--Streak Stopping Swedes Shock Canadians
December 28--Two wins in eighteen hours show Canada is more than up to the test
December 27--Canada off to good start at World Juniors

Spengler Cup 2007

Canada once again takes to the ice at Davos, Switzerland for the annual Club team championship, Canada's team is comprised mainly of Canadians playing hockey for European club teams with a few notable additions.

This year, Team Canada features Curtis Joseph as their highlight reel addition, as the former NHLer takes to the nets to help out in the quest of the Spengler.

We'll track the scores on this page as well as provide links to interesting items of note.

December 31--Final--Team Canada 2 vs Salavat Yualev 1
Canada Wins Spengler Cup!
Tournament Notes:
December captures Spengler Cup
December 31--CBC Sports--Canada wins Spengler Cup
December 31--National Post--Canada wins Spengler Cup
December 30--Toronto Star--Canada to play Russia for Spengler Cup
December finishes round robin unbeaten
December 29--National Post--Canada remains perfect at Spengler Cup
December 28--Toronto Star--Gilmour makes most of Spengler spotlight
December 27--Globe and Mail--Canada wins second straight at Spengler Cup
December 27--National Post--Canada remains perfect at Spengler Cup
HockeyNation Posts:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Legends of Hockey December 23

Bert Olmstead

Chicago Black Hawks 1948-1951
Montreal Canadiens 1951-1958
Toronto Maple Leafs 1958-1962

Legends of Hockey home page


Other sites of interest:

Wikipedia--Bert Olmstead
You Tube--Bert Olmstead
Seals Hockey--Bert Olmstead
Yahoo sports--1950's Canadiens dynasty

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ready for a ratings monster

When Team Canada takes to the ice on Boxing Day in the Czech Republic, the goal will be to claim their fourth straight Gold Medal for Canada.

The World Junior Championships is a uniquely Canadian celebration, while it is held in Europe and the USA from time to time, nowhere does it receive the attention that it does in Canada.
For a good portion of the games we are about to watch in the next two weeks there will be countless rows of empty seats, the thrill of sitting through qualifying rounds and then elimination rounds seemingly not always high on the agenda for a good number of European and American fans.

Which is why the World Juniors seem to return to Canada more and more often, where the guarantee of a complete media attention and sold out rinks gives the tournament a lustre here that doesn't seem to be possible elsewhere.

With many Canadians in holiday mode over Christmas and New Years, the time is perfect for the tournament to dominate the TSN schedule which treats the event like a Stanley Cup final and receives those kind of audience numbers when the television ratings come out.

Since TSN took over the broadcasting of the tournament back in 1991 the brand has grown through the years, regularly delivering huge crowds to the network and its sponsors. Though there are hiccups that occassionaly lay waste to the best of plans.

Should Canada stumble and find itself eliminated from the Gold Medal game TSN will probably take a bath in the ratings, as Canada's bandwagon jumping hockey fans seek out other activities on January 5th. But if the Red and White is on the ice, the fans will be on the couch, sponsor's brands in hand and eyes glued to TSN ready to celebrate yet another gold for Canada's junior program.

But audience relations would contact me only if there was a crisis.

And that in a nutshell is the highwire act that is coach's corner, the weekly soap box for Don Cherry that occassionally strays off the hockey topic threatening all with reprimands or possible unemployment.

William Houston of the Globe and Mail provided a Coles Notes of sorts review of this weeks installment, a first intermission feature that seemed to find the "coach" in an ornery mood, made worse by his sidekick Ron McLean's introduction of a number of items into the agenda, items which it would appear seemed to annoy Cherry to the point of wanting to end the segment more than a few minutes early (anybody have some spare Peter Puck items for filler?)

From an incident in the Ottawa Chicago game, through the Chris Simon stomping, to Ted Nolan's contemplations of racism again rearing its head, the whole five minutes or so seemed to be veering towards a train wreck. It seemed that the fact that time ran out seemingly kept things from getting worse and possibly keeping the CBC from having to sort out the fall out from the public.

It's a double edged sword that segment, we're never really sure where the program is going to head and sometimes it touches raw nerves, and while Cherry and McLean do seem to rub each other the wrong way from time to time, you always sense it's part of the shtick.

Saturday you kind of got the feeling that may not have been the case this time around.

Legends of Hockey December 22

Bruce Stuart

Ottawa Senators 1909-1911

Legends of Hockey home page


Other sites of interest:

Wikipedia--Bruce Stuart
New York Times--Bruce Stuart
Sportsecyclopedia--Bruce Stuart

Khabibulin saves, Toews scores, Sens lose

Despite holding a 3-1 lead at one point, the Ottawa Senators couldn't find any insurance markers against Nikolai Khabibulin who closed the door once his Chicago Black Hawks pulled even with the Sens on Saturday night.

As overtime ran its course and then the shootout, the Hawks seemed to gain inspiration from their goaltender, rewarding him for his hard work when Jonathon Toews put away the winning shoot out goal handing the Hawks a 4-3 road victory.

A disappointing finish for the 20,171 who gathered to provide the largest crowd of the year at Scotiabank Place, a crowd that at one point felt as thought two points were the home sides, until the Sens allowed coach Denis Savard a happy homecoming with an impresive come from behind victory.

The Hawks made the best of their power play opportunities as undisciplined play from the Sens came back to haunt them, those opportunities and some missed chances for Dany Heatley who was matched by Khabibulin almost shot for shot during the game, Heatley had more than enough chances to pick up a third goal for a hat trick, but the Chicago goaltender wasn't in the mood to assist Heatley in his task for the night.

Instead he provided enough time for the Hawks to battle back and take two points out of Ottawa purely from hard work and a little bit of luck.