Friday, January 06, 2006

2006 World Junior Hockey Championship
Day 12: Canada Wins Gold

Well, in terms of blogging, I'm certainly behind the times with this post. A blogger without a PC... is not very useful. (Or very witty, apparently.) My thanks to those who sent in suggestions for places to find for a new computer.

'Unheralded' Team Canada won the gold last night at the world junior hockey tournament, defeating Russia 5-0 and defying many pre-tournamnent speculation that the Canucks may not even medal.

Since I'm so far behind the times — it has been, what, 16 hours since the game ended? — I'll offer only three observations.
  • One thing I thought to be really unfortunate all tournament long was the crowd in Vancouver booing the American team at every game. For one, these are all young, young players — not professional athletes.

    Now, I know from having lived in British Columbia for so long that the province really has more anti-American sentiment than most places in Canada. To be sure, the softwood lumber dispute affects B.C. more than any other province, but to constantly heckle a group of teenage players as a way of displaying your misgivings?

    As TSN broadcasters Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire pointed out, the kids on Team USA handled the jeers like pros, a testament to their character. One wonders what American goaltender and Vancouver Canucks' draft pick Cory Schneider thinks of playing for the Canucks after being razzed by their faithful for two weeks.

    Tom Benjamin already started the discussion on such things, proving once again how far behind the times I am.

  • Canada's Steve Downie, a Philadelphia Flyers first-round pick, was the talk today after he shutdown Russia's Evgeni Malkin and scored the winning goal. But I wonder, how on earth did both The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek and the National Post's Mark Spector both come to describe him as 'a buzz saw?'

    It's an apt description, but not so much so that one must mention that particular power tool when talking about the fiesty Downie. Weird things happen in that press box, I tell you.

  • I know Tom Benjamin is loathe to acknowledge predictions, especially when they come from the 'dreaded' mainstream media, but I do have to point out my picks from a pre-tournament post. I credit it to all of the legwork I did before the tournament on a massive Globe and Mail preview piece (more than 3,400 words!), but I'm sure Benjamin disagrees.

    As I was dumped on for missteps in the past, now shall the praise rush in for producing a rundown of the standings that was almost identical to how it played out.

    I doubt it.

I know it has been lean times around here for those who have come to expect a hearty dose of NHL-related talk, but consider this world junior mania just a brief aside from what I normally talk about. Until the Olympics, that is.

Only a month to go.


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