Monday, August 23, 2004


Finally�some action!

While the sauerkraut Germans and the fractured Russians fought to a 3-3 draw in Cologne (Marcel Goc with 2 goals, which should make the guys at Sharkspage very happy), the Slovaks were defeated by the Swedes and their nasty herring breath.

Team Sweden beat Team Slovakia 2-0 in a tight defensive battle between 7600 very bored fans in Bratislava.

The shots were 24-18 for the Slovaks, and the refs did their best to kill any flow to the game by calling 20 rather weak minor penalties in the game (10 for each squad). Who needs NHL hockey when the World Cup will provide you with the same crappy officiating and low-scoring action?

My friend Michael is worried about the Slovaks� slow start, but I can�t find myself getting too worked up over one exhibition game. It�s better to get the kinks out of the armour now, rather than when the games actually count (aka the Team Canada method).

The line combinations remained fairly intact from training camp, although it looks like Radovan Somik was the odd man out. Unlike the Canadians, the Slovaks are more worried about tuning up their �A� roster and sorting out the line combinations, rather than trying to get everyone some exhibition training time. I don�t think there is enough time in the world to teach Richard Lintner to play defense, unfortunately.





McKeen�s Locked Out

The pending lockout doesn�t just affect the fans, but also the beer vendors, local stores around the stadiums, and also hockey magazine publications.

The Forecaster already decided not to release a print issue, and now McKeen�s has decided not to release a print issue with the labour uncertainty.

Due to the dark cloud of uncertainty hanging over the upcoming NHL season, we had a tough decision to make regarding the annual McKeen's Hockey Pool Yearbook. Regrettably, we have decided not to publish the print edition this season.

A beacon of light exists for faithful readers though. If the Collective Bargaining Agreement issue is resolved in time to salvage any of the 2004-2005 season, we will release an online version of the Yearbook to our subscribers.

McKeen�s generally has good write-ups of the individual players and prospects, and was always one of the �must-buy� purchases on my list. I don�t always agree with their stuff, but it�s a shame that I won�t have much reading material for my plane trip to San Francisco.

I guess it's not only the fans that will pay a heavy price with this strike/lockout. Thank God there is the world cup.
It's awesome that the Slovaks can now field their own team of NHL stars. I suppose that is the measuring stick for a "world hockey power" is how deep the rosters can get.

There are few German NHL'ers, one Norwegian used to play in the NHL, and a lone Swiss player that I know of.

Hockey is truely a global sport.
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