Thursday, May 03, 2012

IIHF Championships: Canada vs Slovakia -- May 4, 2012

For most of those assembled in Helsinki this Friday, by their presence their season has thus far been defined as one of failure, the participants for Team Canada for the most part the moving parts of an NHL season that either ended in the first round of the playoffs and a fast exit at that, or players have arrived from teams that didn't even make the post season.

Such is the hand that head coach Brent Sutter has before him, Sutter himself having suffered his own season of discontent, first at a playoff miss and then by dismissal by his former club the Calgary Flames.

In short, all that have made the trip have something to prove, something to aim for as the IIHF World Championships drop the puck on the start of another World tournament.

And while those that have donned the Maple Leaf clearly aren't the castoffs of a Mens league lunch time hockey scrimmage, the names that chose not to attend, do stand out, though one can't particularly find fault with many of those that took a pass.

The gruelling nature of the NHL season and in particular past injuries to the most prominent, probably made them long shots to join the European adventure anyways.

So to the battle arrive the Canadians, more than a few recognizable names, stars in their own right, cobbled together with character players, rising stars and a few that have been here before, willing and able to pull on a Canada sweater, with but one goal in mind, that of a gold medal.

Anything less for most of the assembled will be of little value, fair or not, that's the pressure that they place upon themselves, the next two weeks will tell us if this group has the right mix in place to secure that elusive colour of medal, last collected in 2007.

First up on the calendar the Slovaks, ready to take the challenge to Canada and making their path just a little bit steeper by the time Friday night rolls around

May 4-- Team Canada 3 vs Slovakia 2  

Canada has 1 win so far in the tournament

Previews and Reviews


IIHF Recap-- Canada off to winning start
Globe and Mail-- Canada opens worlds with win over Slovakia
Toronto Star-- Canada opens world championships with 3-2 win over Slovakia


IIHF Features page

Globe and Mail-- A look at top teams at the IIHF Championship
Globe and Mail-- Getzlaf named Canadian captain at IIHFs
Globe and Mail-- Team Canada frequently trips on world stage
National Post-- Canadians say they have plenty to prove at world hockey championship
Toronto Star-- Ryan Getzlaf named Team Canada captain, Leafs Dian Phaneuf one of two ...
Edmonton Sun-- Terry Jones on hockey's world championships
Edmonton Sun-- Canada as ready as can be expected World Championship an Olympic audition for Canadian players Canadiens PK Subban returning to Montreal Alex Burrows gets golden opportunity to improve his medal collection Canada brings hard-working attitude to world hockey championship Only Canucks' Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen sign on for international...

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