Russians Tired-Out…

There are valiant efforts and there are cryin’ shames.  And, its a cryin’ shame that Russia iced the puck with just a dozen or so ticks of the clock left in regulation; or, that they couldn’t get it past Subban(?) with just over 10 seconds to go – twice. 

But fatigue plays a factor in these cometitions and for some reason the IIHF wants tired teams playing for the second night in a row.  I’m not saying it would have made a difference in the game because I don’t have to, everybody knows it.  But you also create your own luck and Canada believed it could happen until the end, and you have to hand it to them for that.  They also did what they do best – they dump the puck in and chase it down with frenzy.  I again have to defer to this article:

http://deanbrownblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/ducks-are-right-kind-of-dirty.html.

Because it breaks down the game for those who may not have understood what was happening.  How could the Russians have been so guilty of taking bad penalties?  Well, they really weren’t, but they dealt with the Canadian game-plan like champions until the end.  I don’t know if it was selfishness or just the moment, but that icing call broke the Russian’s night like when like an egg-carton on your doorstep.  Ironic, isn’t it, that the Russians were bested in the “skills competition.”  I hate shootouts.  But sometimes it just has to come down to that on these types of nights.  Its tough on the losing goalies pride, but we should remember that the shooters have to do their bit.  And tonight, Russia’s shootout shooters didn’t pull through.  I can’t really blame them as it must have taken all they had to keep their legs at the end.  And I hope that the extra game won’t have to mean playing two nights in a row in the final fours of the future.

ps – I apologize for not knowing many of the Russian names.  That’s the first I’ve seen of them this year.  I thought their goalie was amazing and really felt for the kid in the end.  As a Kings fan, I was thrilled to get a look at Voinov, though, and I like what I saw.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Russians Tired-Out…

  1. Ronnie

    It was Ellis, not Subban.

    And Russian players are prone to shooting at empty nets, missing, and icing the puck. It’s not a rarity, and I don’t think it’s even a bone-headed move. It’s just something they do. On occasion it goes in, usually the icing doesn’t matter. I think the fact the Russian player was laughing after missing that shot proves he wasn’t exactly angry at himself making a mistake.

    It’s just a different mindset. Nemchinov also left his best players on the ice at the end of Russia’s game against the Czechs (they’d won the game, and were on the powerplay), something else you wouldn’t seen a North American coach do. Risking injuries and tiring out your own players to run up a meaningless score?

    Excitement aside, this was a bad hockey game. Both teams played poor hockey. Canada was the better team throughout the tourney, and I’m glad they squeezed through. I don’t think I could stomach another Russia – Sweden bore.

    Another positive: the third-place game shouldn’t be as bad as usual, because the Slovaks will come to play. Their bronze medal celebration from a few years ago is a WJHC classic!

  2. cristobal

    ronnie reagan — I haven’t seen much of the WJC’s to this extent before. I’m in the LA area and that stuff is like snuff porn or something around here. I had to see the USA win in – what year, ’04(?) – on a VHS tape my friend cut for me.
    But you’re not fooling anyone. The USA was the better team, and the Russians were a better team. The Canadians employ tactics that cross the line, and until they’re spanked for it, they’ll continue to win games by bending the rules. Where was John Tavares tonight? I tell you, if not for Tokarski, you’d be playing Slovakia, not only tomorrow, but last friday, too. The Russians were undone by fatigue in the end; and that icing call…if that’s my teamate and he fucked up like that, he wouldn’t be laughing for long. The entire team and coaching staff made all the right moves tonight and but for one players mistake they’d be getting ready for Sweden Vs. Russia.
    And, although you frown at the thought of that match-up, there’s a good part of the world that likes to watch end to end, skilled action – not dump, chase, and bang in rebounds. Instead, we get to see you hack at Sweden until the referees feel guilty calling another penalty on you. I just hope Della Rovere isn’t dressed for this game. Team Canada needs to send that kid a message that he’s not only irresponsibly endangering people, he’s making stupid “hockey decisions” and he’s going to cost the team. On second thought. Play him. I just hope that he doesn’t hurt someone in the process of undermining his own team.

    And maybe I’ll throw down a few bucks on canada with the kid down the street and try to jinx them. If it doesn’t work, I’m still up 2,000 pesos.

    Cheers.

  3. Ronnie

    What tactics does Canada employ that cross the line? Do you mean Subban’s “trip” that gave Russia a 5 on 3?

    Della Rovere is a dumb player and his crosscheck + tripping calls were spot on. But so were Russia’s high sticks, Andronov’s clipping call, their Too Many Men, Interference, and Delaying the Game calls. The only bad penalty call was on Filatov for “elbowing”.

    I didn’t see any rule bending on either side, to be honest. It was a clean hockey game.

    As for Russia being better, how exactly do you figure that? The shots were 42:28 for Canada and the Canadians carried the play for most of the game. Russia played a counter-attacking style that had to rely on Canada turning the puck over, which the Canadians did. But that’s a reactive style of play. If Canada had played against Russia as crisply and carefully as they did against the US (the US made their own goals), then I doubt this game would have been close.

    Tavares ended up with a +/- of 0, had 2 assists, 3 shots, got the puck out to Eberle for the tying goal, and scored in the shootout. Compare that to Filatov’s -2, 2 assists, and 2 shots.

    It’s funny you mention Tokarski, because he was the reason (5 goals on 28 shots, including a couple he saw and should have saved, and one that resulted from not hugging the post and the ice with his pad) the Russians were able to keep it close.

    But, hey, you may be right. There may be plenty of people who’d like to see another Sweden-Russia game. That 5-0 first one was just so good…

  4. coach

    Tavares also hit a post and a crossbar.
    I love the penalty every 10 seconds or so. You can say things, but unless you back them up, they aren’t true.
    I’m a big kings fan, and I’m trying to decide if I want to continue to read your stuff. I need somewhere to go for Kings coverage. But I can’t read coverage from someone I can’t trust. You can’t make stuff up. The Russians didn’t bring much skill this year. Everyone in the tournament knows that. You can look to the OT where it was 4 on 4 and Canada held possession for 9 minutes of the 10. I don’t think Russia had a shot in OT. They only brought 2 players with shootout experience/ expertise. Go read some of your American counterpart’s discussions on the Russians. These are the facts.
    Please improve your journalistic skills, so I don’t have to begin my search over again for Kings coverage. How about Jonny Quick by the way. Big W last night. To me the Flyers are one of the teams to beat, so I like the result. Quick’s helping me out big in a pool right now, so I hope he can keep it up, for both me and the Kings.

  5. cristobal

    I just have to ask if you guys have read the link in the body of this article. It clearly describes the “cheating” game plan I’m talking about…
    Ronnie. You spent the entire 2nd period on the power-play. Russia’s high sticking on Tavares? That clipping call? The delay of game calls? The “elbow?” You can’t even talk about your player’s being tackled by the officials trying to get to the Russian bench to taunt; or, when your player disgraced your country by shooting the puck at the Russians well after the whistle INTENTIONALLY.
    The best part of all is that you believe you controlled the play by hanging on by a thread to a team that had played the previous night.
    Talk about bias. If everybody in the hockey media weren’t Canadian maybe you’d actually get to hear objective opinions. As it is you get to keep thinking you’re No. 1 just because your cheating is still paying off.
    Soon, you’ll have to play by the rules and then I expect more games to go like the Canada/Switzerland game in the Olympics ’06.
    The best part of this years final is that it’s another opportunity to see Canada play their cheating game. The sooner its recognized by the IIHF, the sooner they can prepare their officials to deal with the tactics.
    Tavares played a great one? If you believe that it just shows how much objectivity you’ve got.
    And you guys say I’m biased….

  6. coach

    That was Jordan Eberle who was skating to your buddy Toka to celebrate, skating by the goalie is a traditional celebration.
    That puck was shot by PK Subban, and he was flipping it to the linesman that was standing beside the Russian player. I have it on my DVR. I think you probably do too. Check it out.
    Keep clutching at your straws.
    I read the article. I’m wondering if you read it. It’s talking about NHL hockey. Since this is your first time watching IIHF hockey, I’ll let you in on the secret, they call EVERYTHING. They even make up stuff, like that high stick on Tavares. They only bumped helmets.

  7. Ronnie

    Err… so if Russia gets well-deserved penalties that put Canada on the powerplay that means Canada’s cheating? Or else I’m confused: do you agree the penalties were deserved?

    I don’t think the Canadian player shot the puck at the Russian player intentionally (just as I think the officials did the right thing *not* calling a Russian penalty after a Russian player hit a Canadian player in the face after the whistle, because it was arather incidental). But, even if you think he did, I still don’t see how that’s cheating? It’s not sportsmanlike, sure, but how does it help your team win?

    “The best part of all is that you believe you controlled the play by hanging on by a thread to a team that had played the previous night.”

    Canada did control the play and the shot clock. Russia played a defensive game, took advantage of a sloppy Canadian defense, and did well to stay even on the scoreboard.

    Whether they were tired or not is, however, an altogether different issue. I agree with you that they were, and I think forcing a team to play an additional game *and* play it the night before the semi-final isn’t a good idea. I’d like to see it changed.

    Really, the examples you give are of Canadians being arrogant on the ice, but I still don’t see the connection between that behavior and cheating. The only real tackle I saw was by a Russian player on a Canadian player in the corner, along the boards. He grabbed him by the neck and pulled him to the ice.

    It wasn’t cheating. It was a penalty. He got a penalty for it. That’s the way the game works.

  8. cristobal

    Coach – You don’t shoot line drives that never get above waist height at the officials. Sorry.
    The point of the article is the tactics, which are fine for the NHL (it’s professional entertainment). This is an international tournament with unpaid junior players. The officials are supposed to control the game, not the offending team….

    Ronnie – Canada had the entire 2nd period on the power-play, with two 5 on 3 opportunities and managed 1 goal. Then barely managed a miraculous comeback against a tired team. Shots and possession in those situations are expected. You don’t even get the Esposito goal if not for all the fatigue….
    I’m glad you agree with not having back to back games in the final four, though. I think last night’s game was a Classic, but it’s hard not to believe that these games could be better. Does Sweden even get by if Slovakia is more rested?

    Granted, I raise a lot of issues, but I’m loving this tournament, nonetheless. I think it makes the NHL look almost boring. And, I don’t miss the fighting at all.

    I’m hoping the NHL Network will carry some of the World Championships in the late spring, cuz where I live I’ve never had access to even 1 game.

    Where are you guys from? What region?

  9. coach

    SW Ontario.
    They used to have the semis and the finals played on b2b days, but for some reason they decided to switch it up. Same goes for the Memorial Cup tournament. (CHL champion) They switched it too. I think they prefer a well rested final.
    I don’t think 18 and 19 year old kids really care much about the rest. They play and have played consecutive nights for years. The junior b, c, and d leagues around SW Ontario got rid of the majority of weeknight games a couple of years ago, so these players play 3 nights in a row most weekends now.

    Check out that replay again. He went to flip it up, and he didn’t get it up off his stick. I saw it last night, no one else did, so I hit rewind, and watched it a few times to make sure.

  10. cristobal

    OK, Coach, I’ll go back and look at it again.
    I watched it twice last night, and it sure looked like he meant to do it. But I’ll take the third look. It DOES seem a bit out of character for Subban who’s played a mostly honorable game throughout.

    Now, if the Canada fans would admit that if Tangredi wanted to injure DiDomenico he could have. All the outrage over Tangredi for brushing DiDomenico’s taunting visor is a bit overzealous because canadians don’t want to look in the mirror.

    Although, I must say, I think we’re all making some progress in finding a common ground. I’d like to see some Canadian fans say something positive about the Americans. I think it’s a credit to our coach and our team that dangerous stuff like the Jack Johnson elbow of a few years back was not repeated in a charged atmosphere on New Years Eve. The Tangredi thing was stupid and pointless, but it was hardly “intent to injure.” And it was one player acting alone.

    Also, I’m sure that you know that Hayes was likely RESPONDING to the crowd and the Canadian bench. I”ve played in crappy Pac-8 hockey games between hated rivals (ucla/usc) and I know what players and fans do and say. I guess I’m more hot-headed because my gestures to the nasty crowds drew penalties. I’m a much more vulgar person, though, I guess. Finally, it’s one thing to taunt, another to do it on the American bench as the Canadians did. We in LA got a dose of Ribiero making the shhhh…gesture to our crowd and bench. We thought it was insulting and our players did some jawing, but we didn’t respond with the same shit…our players just went and won the game. But we’re a highly american team in LA. Maybe that explains it.

  11. coach

    I agree with Tangradi. Tortorella said it best after. They are 18-19 kids playing in front 10 times the people they have played in front of before. It’s pressure.
    Who is the highly american team in LA. If you’re talking about the Kings, I would consider them more of a NA team. I think last I checked they had same number of Canadians as Americans. Not much of anything else though.
    Im not sure if you know yet, but your US u-17 team won bronze today against Canada-West in the World under 17 hockey challenge. They lost in OT in the semis to Canada Pacific last night. After trailing 3-0 they made it 5-3 and Canada Pacific scored a goal with a couple mins left in the 3rd to tie, then won it in OT. The finals just started. Canada-Ontario vs Canada-Pacific.
    The format in this tourney has 5 regions of Canada represented, with teams from US, RUS, FIN, and 2 others. Im not sure how they decide the remaining 2, but the tourney usually finishes
    with either US or Russia getting to the final, and 4 of the Canadian teams finishing the top 5.
    Many players you see in the u20, you see in this tourney. I think I saw Matt Rust’s bro playing this year.
    Anyway Im goin to go watch that. There is a guy playing for Ontario, that played here last year, I’d like to watch now that he is a year older, and doing much more.

  12. worldhockeydaily

    coach – Thanks for that info. I had no clue there was even that tournament in existence. That’s part of USA Hockey’s problem. We don’t have the attention paid to hockey on a large scale. Really, in Los Angeles, we barely get hockey mentioned in any media. One of the biggest local papers – the daily news – has even cut coverage of the Kings in its daily newspaper.

    The Kings are a mixed team like most NHL clubs, but there are a lot of Americans – Brown, O’Sullivan, Harrold, J. Johnson, Harrold, Quick, Greene, Boyle, Preissing, and Zeiler (although its highly debatable justifying Zeiler’s place on the team). But you’re correct, that it’s really not even half of the team. As you can tell, I’m prone to exaggerate. Sometimes you have to scream to be heard, right? hehe.

    Would you mind if I posted your stuff about that tourney as an article on this blog?

  13. coach

    Hey I’m full of lots of random info anytime.
    Certainly post anything you want. Apparently according to the announcers the Americans had a very fast team, and played quite well. It isn’t an IIHF sanctioned tourney, but it follows international rules.
    One rule I forget about every year is you can’t use your skate to win a faceoff. That definitely hurts the canucks. I would be screwed personally.
    http://www.hockeycanada.ca/index.php/ci_id/58957/la_id/1.htm
    There is the link for the u17

  14. worldhockeydaily

    What do you think about the “clearing over the glass” rule?
    I think it’s ok for the NHL because it increases scoring, but I don’t see the reason for it in IIHF tourneys and such – especially considering they change back and forth from nhl to olympic size rinks for the tourneys.

    Thanks for the links and permission…

    cheers.

  15. coach

    I’m not really a fan of it in any league, but it really isn’t that bad.
    As long as the glass is a uniform height, it is alright in the IIHF. Some arenas have shorter glass, so while both teams are playing with it, it becomes stupid when the glass is too low.

  16. worldhockeydaily

    It’s also pretty harsh in one game elimination type games….

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