Monday, May 02, 2005


World Championships: Monday Morning Musings

It seems that it's not only the on-ice product that's looked a bit rusty at the 2005 World Hockey Championships in Austria. The IIHF, the federation that oversees all of this, has had a few problems of its own to deal with

First, check out their new logo:

A nice logo, but it was supposedly modeled after Sweden's Mats Sundin (yuck). If that wasn't bad enough, they must have been watching a game off of a mirror. Sundin is a right-shooting player, and the silhouette in the logo shoots left.

...and then, there was the IIHF's attempt to track ATOI (Average Time on Ice) for the games. This has been quickly ditched as players somehow found a way to bend the space-time continuum. Although this boxscore from the Slovakia/Belarus game now has the ATOI's listed as 0:00, the original boxscores had some very crazy ice times listed.

Apparently, Zdeno Chara and Dominik Granak, the second Slovakian d-pair, managed to play about 24 minutes a piece in the 2nd period of that game. I know Ed Jovanovski pulled off the same feat in Canada's game versus Latvia.

...and to top it all off, there have been some major problems with the ice in the old barns the games are being played at. As my Slovakian pal Daniel noted, the hypocrasy of the IIHF is hard to figure out

Three days before the tournament, Austria played a friendly match with the Swiss team. Ref had to bring the game to the end in 2nd period because the ice was completely destroyed. I had never heard of an international game (being) finished due to such reason.

All players are angry about the quality of the ice. As Slovak and/or Czech players say, they can play 7-8 minutes then it is mostly water polo. I can't understand of policy of IIHF. When Czechs wanted to organize WC in last year they had to build new arena in Prague and to realize complete reconstruction of arenas in Pardubice and Ostrava. All of these works cost hundreds of million of dollars.

While the Austrians host this championship in Vienna's 50-year old arena with capacity of about 10,000. They weren't able to reconstruct this arena in order to be able to offer usual standard to players. For example, the locker rooms are 150 meters from the ice-rink and players need one and half minutes to move from rooms to ice or vice versa. A lot of players played on WC 1996 in Vienna. They say Austrians did nothing with the arena. Also Latvia has to build new arena for WC 2006. Slovakia is candidate for WC 2010 and of course we need to build new arena with min. capacity 12,000.
Joeri Loonen from told me that the bad ice was a result of the Austrian's (team officials or whatnot) poor handling of the situation and that the IIHF had taken over the ice-making and would improve the situation. We shall see...

Other news and notes... has a nice little interview with Belarus' goalie hero Andrei Mezin, who had just put on his 50-save performance against Slovakia.

Speaking of tough little buggers, Ukraine almost managed to pull off the upset as Sweden barely fended them off for a 3-2 win. Ukraine had tied it at 2-2 after 2 periods, but Daniel Alfredsson buried the winner in the 3rd and robbed me at a chance to laugh at evil Sweden.

While the USA beat up on poor Slovenia 7-0 *yawn*, Kazakhstan provided the tournament's first upset with a 2-1 win over Germany. Since both teams basically fight not to be relegated, this is huge for the Kazakhs.

*live update* Slovakia 2 - Russia 2 in the second period. I really wish these IIHF Live Update windows wouldn't automatically pop up every 30 seconds. It makes it really hard to monitor the scores at work or anywhere else.

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