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
What a game!
Nothing like the officials, both on ice and off, helping their boys back into this game. I’ve never seen worse officiating in a game. The “chippiness” of the Canadians was downright disgraceful. In youth tournaments you’re not supposed to let Canada throw hits after the whistle, attempt to paralyze one of our best defensemen with one of the worst major-boarding hits I’ve ever seen, and let the Canadians taunt the Americans in front of their own bench, then call no penalty for a blood-drawing cheap-shot. I’ve seen referees overwhelmed by the atmosphere of a home crowd before, but never like this. I wonder if hockey officials are gamblers? 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
The Junior tournament is underway, and the NHL Network is providing coverage.
The LA Kings will be well represented by some standout players who are being asked to lead their country’s teams.
Oscar Moller for Team Sweden.
Colton Teubert and Thomas Hickey for Team Canada.
And, Viacheslav Voinov for Team Russia.
Here’s a partial TV schedule courtesy of Inside The Kings participant “duckhunter.”
NHL Network US Game Schedule:
Fri, Dec 26 Germany-USA @ 3:30
Canada-Czech Republic @ 7:30
Sun, Dec 28 Kazakhstan-Canada @ 3:30
USA-Czech Republic @ 7:30
Mon, Dec 29 Germany-Canada @ 7:30
Tue, Dec 30 USA-Kazakhstan @ 7:30
Wed, Dec 31 Canada-USA @ 7:30
Fri, Jan 2 WJC Quarterfinal #1 @ 3:30
WJC Quarterfinal #2 @ 7:30
Sat, Jan 3 WJC Semifinal #1 @ 3:30
WJC Semifinal #2 @ 7:30
Mon, Jan 5 WJC Bronze Medal Game @ 3:30
WJC Gold Medal Game @ 7:30