Wednesday, January 04, 2006


WJC: Once again, it's Russia vs. Canada *yawn*

So, the Finals are set and it's Canada vs. Russia once again at the World Junior Championships.
Canada totally dominated Finland in their game (4:0). If Tuukka Rask wasn't up to the task, it could have been 8 or 9 to 0.
Full game recap here.

As for the Americans/Russians, I had to be the only one cheering for the US to win. It's too bad they got pasted 5-1. (Game recap here).

Now, a few points...
  • Chokers? Puh-lease! This, next to ' leadership' and 'hustle', is one of the most over and misused cliches in the proverbial cliche book.
    Team USA didn't choke, they simply got outplayed by a far superior technical effort by the Russkis. The Americans matched Russia shot-for-shot, but the American players insisted on trying to do things themselves.

    The biggest culprit? Phil Kessel. Yes, he may have a boatload of assists in this tournament (5 of those were against Norway, though), but I lost count of the number of times Phil tried to go 1-on-3 through opposing defensemen, only to have the puck stripped. The Americans had the talent, but hockey is a team game and the Russians and Canadians have been far better teams. Oh, and where the hell was Robbie Schremp all tournament? At least Kessel was burying some points, but Schremp pulled a Houdini on us.

  • To those Yanks boo-hooing about Canada jeering the Amerikaners at every opportunity, how about this; You give us the billions in Softwood Lumber Duties that you owe us and we'll stop jeering you. it's our right to boo-boo, and we have our reasons for doing so. At least nobody was enough of an ass to boo the American anthem.

  • As much as the media will try and play up the Canada/Russia rivalry, it just doesn't exist like it once did. Sure, the Russians and Canadians have a great rivalry in terms of competing for WJC medals. There is a sort of 'Those Russians again? Damn, we can't lose to them', but there is no hate. Ever since the CIS (Remember that experiment?) dissolved like Alka Seltzer, Russia is just another European country.

  • (Of course, this doesn't stop many Russians from being jealous of Canada, heh)

    Unfortunately, I picked up a really nasty virus of sorts yesterday during the game. I was having seizure-like shakes and I won't be able to attend the Slovakia/Switzerland match like I had hoped. My body picked a great time to suck a nut.

    Now that I think about it, perhaps I caught this virus from the evil Swedish reporter I was sitting close to. Damn those Swedes!!!!

    GM PLACE - The 'Experience'

  • The sightlines in GM Place are 1,000 times better. The media actually has their own section (Unlike the tables on the roof of the Coliseum) on the same level where Brian Burke, Dave Nonis, and other NHL executives seat (Though they are safe on the other side, I do believe). The media section is high, but it's almost right over the ice. It was my first time experiencing a game from such an angle, and it made is so much easier to follow the action. They also had TV monitors set up to watch replays.

  • How cruel of them to put the media buffet right behind my seating area. I could smell some delicious food all game, but there was no way in hell I was paying $10 for a meal ticket. At least they had free popcorn and drinks.

  • There are a few mediots who spend a lot of time yakking on their cell phones and not really watching the games. I won't name names, but a particular pretty boy from THE SCORE was the worst of the lot.

  • John Ashbridge - The big, booming arena announcer for the Canucks and WJC games is a very shorti, wiry guy with very white hair. You'd never expect a guy like him to be 'THE VOICE'. His talking voice isn't really different than his arena voice, and I had to try not and chuckle when I heard him talking to someone during the 2nd intermission.

  • ---

    Looking for a good hockey fight? Check out this clip of Dennis Bonvie vs. Ryan Vandenbussche in a marathon scrap.

    You give us the billions in Softwood Lumber Duties that you owe us and we'll stop jeering you.

    Son, a goodly portion my ancestors were gettin' hosed by Uncle Sam since before Canada even thought about gettin' any semblance of independence--so don't talk to me about Baby Doc Shrubvalier breakin' no damn treaties.
    Bad luck.

    Like it or not, there is some sort of rivalry between both teams.

    I only need to mention the Nova Scotia final, the 'Ovechkin dive', the Svitov spitting incident which are being endlessly repeated in Canadian media. That the North American media does never bring up any word on Canadian incidents during these games, of course they're angels but hey let's paly devils' advocate, is probably because Canada is too much in love with hockey and are too much used to winning that they can't stand losing.

    Bad luck!

    However when facing the facts, Canada has continued to develop excellent junior players, but the number of gold medals won in finals in recent years has been disappointing. Am I allowed to use the word 'choke' here, Jes?:)
    Nah, I won't use it, let's call it 'bad luck'. I'm sure MA. Fleury would like to join this discussion now.

    Either way IMO any hockey fan should be delighted with this final as, regardless of the outcome, it'll see two splendid teams take on each other in what will most likely be an interesting game. Hopefully off ice blabla and media won't turn the game into a second Vietnam, if not?

    Bad luck!

    Re: Robbie Schremp. I think he showed very poor sportsmanship and not fitting a guy with his stature, with his comments about the Russians. How will he back these commetns up in future when he'll be playing in a team with those same 'evil Russians'? A slip of the tongue or simply another case of 'bad luck'?

    Softwood Lumber Duties eh? I'm glad to know it's more complex than just the Iraq issue. The furniture in my home is mostly cherry and mesquite. Do I owe the National Bank of Canada some sort of reparation?
    Casonblog, it's the companies of British Columbia that have suffered the most.

    I will accept any donations/reparations on their behalf :)

    Bad luck? For MA Fleury, sure, but you generally make your own luck.

    I expect a good final game, but it just wasn't the dream matchup I had in mind. In terms of atmosphere, the Canada/USA game was one of the best I've ever been to.
    Is John Ashbridge a drinker? During Canucks games he makes a heck of a lot of errors. I love the voice though.
    I was hoping for a Canada/USA final but the Russians are fantastic to watch. I can't wait for tomorrow.
    Have you met Sara Orlesky? She is pretty fine! If I were sitting in the Press Box at GM Place, I would definitely make sure to sit beside her.
    It's strange for me to read about "many Russians... being jealous of Canada".
    I've been living in Russia for 35 years and didn't happen to bump in a single jealous to Canada compatriot yet. Probably I'm going the wrong side of the street:)))
    What should we be jealoys for? We're quite proud of our glorious past, we believe in our bright future. And my country keep on producing talanted players.
    It's not a secret that Canada is the most respected hockey country by Russians. For us this is the rival #1, rival #2 is surely Czechs and then comes any other country (with my utmost respect to Sweden, Finland, USA or Slovakia).
    Ask people around you, Jes, what is "just another European country" in hockey terms - Russia or your beloved Slovakia, for example? You'll be quite amused with the answers, I dare say
    Now you've done it Jes. You've aroused the ire of mother Russia. No perestroika for you!!!
    and, what is much more worse, no more vodka for you :)
    Oh, I'm not much of a vodka drinker, anyway. I much prefer cider (a totally Canadian thing, eh) or wine or rum.

    Ash is not a drunk, at least he didn't smell, talk, or act drunk when I was standing next to him and putting cream in my coffee.

    Russia - well, I was saying that partially in jest, but certainly message boards (like are full of Russian posters who obviously have a chip on their shoulder against Canada. A lot of it is jealousy, IMO.
    I havent liked vodka before, but at the moment when I tried on in Ukraine, my life completely changed. Anything before named vodka was just a liquid crap.. :)
    Those kids on the ice had nothing to do with you losing your soft wood contracts, there is no excuse for not having any class. (deal with it)
    Nothing gives me greater joy than watching Canada versus Russia.

    The hockey is absolutely outstanding. Those Russians make great hockey players!!! Keep them coming Russia!!!
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