Sunday, May 18, 2008

2008 world championship
Canada faces Russia for gold

Canada and Russia have never met in the final game of the world championship, and the hosts are looking to become the first to win on home soil since the Soviet Union did it in 1986. The last country to even play for a gold medal at home was Sweden in 1995 and they were beaten by rival Finland.
This one gets going an hour from now, and the host Canadians are the favourites. Both teams are undefeated, however, heading into this one.

Russia's used quite a few non-NHLers, although that's not necessarily a disadvantage in a game that's European players' equivalent of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. CSKA Moscow defenceman Konstantin Korneyev is tied for the team lead with Denis Grebeshkov at plus-11 and is second among blueliners playing about 17 minutes a game.

Their depth chart looks like so (by icetime, NHLers in bold):

Forward: Semin - Fedorov - Ovechkin - Kovalchuk - Zinoviev - Sushinsky - Gorovikov - Zaripov - Morozov - Mozyakin - Tereschenko - Afinogenov - Radulov

Kalinin - Korneyev - Nikulin - A. Markov - Proshkin - Vorobyev - Tyutin - Grebeshkov - D. Markov

Nabokov - Biryukov - Eremenko

That's a lot of firepower.

Vorobyev sat on defence in the semi-final, and likely will again, while Ilya Kovalchuk was suspended for that game against the Finns. He'll be back to face Canada.

I've got my eye out for anyone else blogging about this game, but this tournament, despite being in Canada for the first time, really hasn't gained much of a following outside of the host cities.

That's not a problem in Russia, where a win will have them dancing in the streets. That country's entry at the world championship hasn't won gold in 15 years.

Still, the IIHF should really consider revamping their format to wipe out a few of the dud games.

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At 12:47 p.m., May 18, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Russian team is stacked. Just imagine if they also had Gonchar, Zubov, Datsyuk and Malkin.

At 12:56 p.m., May 18, 2008, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Imagine the Swedish team if just the Red Wings weren't still playing.

At 2:47 p.m., May 18, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot beleive they don't put Kovalev in their line up...

At 4:11 p.m., May 18, 2008, Blogger therealdeal said...

Just for the record I've been blogging the whole tournament and David Staples Cult of Hockey is assigning his errors on Team Canada goals against while Dan Barnes of the journal is writing articles but also has a blog.

You're the only other guy I could find who was covering the tournament.

Also, god dammit.


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