Friday, December 31, 2004


Last Roundup of 2004: Life is Cruel

I really really really really really really really hate Sweden right about now!

It’s not enough that Swedish teams are stealing talent away from Slovakia with their more valuable Swedish Crowns and promises of free Ikea furniture...No! They have to send the Slovaks to the relegation round, as well.

Thanks for a 3-0 shutout, Sweden sends Slovakia into 4th place. Finland, Sweden, and Slovakia all finished 2-2. Slovakia actually had a better overall goal differential than Finland, but thanks to the way the IIHF scheduled the tiebreaking rules, the Slovaks are screwed over once again.

In an rare scenario, Sweden, which was on the brink of going to the relegation round entering the game, ended up finishing in second place. On the other end of the spectrum, Slovakia, despite a strong showing in the preliminary round, was the unlucky team in a three-way tie that sent them to the relegation round.

NOTE: In case of a three-team tie (Sweden, Finland and Slovakia all finished on four points in their group) the standing is decided by head-to-head games between the teams involved. The games taken into account are: Finland-Slovakia 0-2, Finland-Sweden 5-4 and Sweden-Slovakia 3-0. All teams have two points in the head-to-head standings and the goal differential from those three games decides: 1. Sweden 7-5 (+2), 2. Finland 5-6 (-1) and Slovakia 2-3 (-1).
Finland ranks ahead of Slovakia due to more goals scored.
I said, before the tournament, that Slovakia had one of its best teams ever and, despite this, they could easily finish in 7th place. Now, 7th is the best they can hope for, even though the Slovaks really played quite well in this tournament. I’d love to see Canada play Sweden once more in this tournament and win by a 21-0 score.

…and…I will never ever buy Ikea furniture again >:(.

Do pice skurvene Svedsko!

Speaking of Canada, our boys continued their world domination over the junior realms with an 8-1 massacre of the Finns. After Flyers’ prospect Stefan Ruzicka had a hat-trick yesterday, it was Jeff Carter’s turn to the get himself one. The 3rd man of the Crosby-Bergeron Line, Corey Perry, had himself a 2-goal night.

Canada (4-0) earned the right to bypass Saturday's quarterfinals and go to Sunday's semifinals against Finland or the Czech Republic. The squad dominated the teams in its pool, outscoring its opposition by a whopping 32-5 margin.
Let’s not forget that Canada also blasted the competition in the exhibition round by an 11-0 score. It’s almost as if this is an NHL vs. AHL tournament with Canada as your Stanley Cup favourites.

Now, I know the Pool that Canada is in is much easier than the other group (Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, Germany vs. Russia, USA, Czechia, Belarus, Switzerland), but the kind of domination that Canada has put forth over traditionally good countries is just astonishing. I keep waiting for reality to kick in.

Of course, dark clouds do loom over the horizon for Canada: Cam Barker, an important Power Play and defensive cog, is out for the rest of the tournament with ‘mono’.

Cam, Cam, Cam…stay away from the puck bunnies!!!

His injury comes after Jeremy Colliton sprained his knee. Thus, Canada is down to 6 defensemen and 12 forwards for the rest of the tournament. One more injury, especially on the back end, and Canada will be in big trouble.

Meanwhile, the hometown USA team lost AGAIN! This time, they lost to a team that doesn’t usually suck, the Czech Republic, by a 3-1 score. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Marek Schwarz providing the goaltending heroics:

Vladislav Koutsky stopped 39 shots to lead the Czech Republic to a 3-1 win over the Americans on Thursday in Pool A action. Koutsky said the heavy workload kept him sharp in the contest.

"I think it helped out a bit," Koutsky said through an interpreter. "You know when a goalie faces a lot of shots it helps him stay in the zone."
Now, Koutsky was briefly an emergency backup for HCO Trinec, thanks to a loan from Pardubice. If he likes heavy workloads, he certainly got to see them up close as Trinec routinely gives up 40 shots a night.
Koutsky was not really a big prospect for 2005 heading into the season, but this kind of performance can vault you 100 points up some scouts’ rankings.

Rostislav Olesz had 2 more goals, as his line continues to carry the Czechs. Lukas Kaspar, whose line really should be doing more, had the other goal. Olesz now has 5 goals and 3 assists in 4 games. Although he may not challenge for the assists title like I predicited, he could surely net the overall scoring title. Olesz was last years tournament star, and he’s really vaulted himself up another notch this year. It’s amazing how little hype Olesz gets, especially considering the fact he played regularly in the Extraliga as a 16-year old and has always been one of the best in his peer group. Getting drafted by a hockey outcast like the Florida Panthers certainly doesn’t help.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go punch a wall and drink myself to sleep. Have a happy New Year, and let’s hope 2005 doesn’t suck as much as 2004.

Stastne Novy Rok 2005!

Do pice skurvene Svedsko! --> LOL

And it's "Stastný Nový Rok 2005".

P.s. I enjoy reading your blogs :)
hockey fan from Bratislava
Köszönöm. Boldog vagy, hogy szereted helyem/blogom.

Oops, wrong language!! :)

Dakujem 'hockey fan from Bratislava'. My Slovak is terrible and I don't have the 'accents' (áéó) at work.

But at least I know the important swear words ;)
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