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'

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