After a fun and controversial couple weeks of talking and watching the World Junior Championships from Ottawa its time to let the dust settle and think back with a more rational, and maybe less biased, view.
I’d first like to tab a player I like a lot but who I haven’t heard much about – Radko Gudaj. My ‘looks’ at him were few, but when I was able to see this kid compete I was highly impressed. He was blocking shots, playing tough, and making the smart play most of the time. I don’t know where he’s currently ranked for the upcoming draft, but I think he seems like a good utilitarian defenseman who could be a “franchise asset” to a club for a long time. I would imagine that a comparison to Karlis Skrastins, currently with Florida, would be a fair one. Who knows, maybe he’s not on anyone’s radar, but I’ll be watching to see where he goes in June. Continue reading
There were a few times when the US was scrambling, but over all they were controlled and controlling the game.
I think the Czech team played a lot better against us than they did Canada. I haven’t seen any of the buildup games before the weekend, but the Czechs looked mentally beaten and, I thought, gave up early in the Canada game. In the Czech/USA game, they were digging deep rather than giving up the ghost. For the Czechs, it was either start playing, or go home. I don’t know if they’re mathematically alive for the next round, but at least they have something to build upon by coming back and threatening in that game. Continue reading
What’s happened to the Czech Republic’s hockey? They looked like they were involved in a scrimmage-gone-awry yesterday, losing 1-8 to the Canadians. At one point it sounded like the Canadian fans even took to singing and chanting much like a european football audience, something I wholeheartedly welcome.
But for the Czechs I’m left wondering where the heart is? There seems to be none of the cohesion and fire that ignited the strong teams from the communist era. Nothing stands out. Canada is never going to be an opponent one just walks over, but the gelding the Czechs took yesterday is an embarrassment and a horrible way to start off a tournament like this.
Do the Czechs miss the Slovaks?
They, I’m sure, have a new fan in a relatively untested Dustin Tokarsky, and a new name to put on their holiday list: John Tavares.