Saturday, December 31, 2005


New Year's Weekend Musings

I attended the Finland/Norway game last night, and it was refreshing to see German ref Frank Awizus call far fewer penalties than the damn Russian and Swedish refs from the previous nights. There weren't many penalties to call, but I saw a few skirmished and unimporant away-from-the-play things let go that the other refs would have called. The game started at 8:30(!), but went by quickly as there were few stoppages in play. Tight and efficient, at least for Finland.

Finland/Norway game recap here.
Other games recapped here.

Poor Norway had the support of the crowd as it was obvious that they were badly outmatched. I had to laugh when the crowd was chanting "Let's go Norway!" and then the Finns scored a quick goal as if to say "Shut the hell up, fools!"

Now, the name Frank Awizus seemed familiar to me, so I googled my own site and VOILA!

It will be Canada vs the USA again, this time at the World Under-18 Championships. Canada edged the host Czechs 3-2 in OT, but the Czechs think the Canucks got a little outside help.

According to Czech coach Bretislav Kopriva, referee Frank Awizus of Germany was incompetant simply because he comes from a 'non-traditional' hockey country.

"One thing, that surprised me, were the referees. An important game like this should be ruled by the best referees. Not by referees from a country, that hasn´t got hockey tradition."

Well, Awizus was pretty damn competant last night and a refreshing change from the previous games. To those who think this is just Canadians whining, it's not. People (players and media) from all countries are shaking their heads at the poor quality of officiating at this tournament.

  • Oh, damn Czechs beat the Slovaks 5-3. Poor Michal Valent (my boy) has a save percentage of 75% and has probably lost the starting job for the rest of the tourney...on the other hand, the 1-2 Slovaks have the #1 and #2 scoring leaders in Marek Zagrapan and Stanislav Lascek.

  • Other weekend stuff:

  • The Hockey News has a year-in-review article for people who like those sorts of things.
    Dec. 19: Larry Robinson resigns as Devils coach, chalking up his decision to stress headaches.

    Later that day, team doctors officially diagnose Robinson’s ailment as “MissingStevensAndNiedermayeritis of the roster”
    Is that the disease that has turned Martin Brodeur into a below-average goaltender, or was that simply "OverratedBythegeneralmediaandfanbaseitis??"

  • Lost in the midst of this WJC action and the NHL is the fact that our WHL Vancouver Giants are now on an 8-game winning streak and are tied for first in their division! All of this without Gilbert Brule. Way to go, boys!

  • Canada lost the Spengler Cup final to Magnitogorsk 8:3 :(

  • I know I panned Luc Bourdon a bit when he was selected by the Canucks in the first round of the 2005 draft. He looked like a bit of a weak pick, but that also had to do with my ignorance of who he was. Now, everything he has done since being drafted has proven me wrong and I'm happy to see the Canucks appear to have a real gem on their hands. Bourdon has been great offensively and defensively for Team Canada at the WJC so far. Goalie Corey Schneider, on the other hand, looks a little shaky.

  • It's Canada vs. the Evil Empire (aka The United States of America) in the big matchup this afternoon. It would be nice to see Bourdon score the winner on a floater past Schneider :)

  • My November St. Louis Blues team report is now up at

  • Have a good weekend! Go Canada Go! (grrrrrr. Damn yanks!)

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