WJ CANADA V USA 30.12.12

For me, the rivalry has always been the Russians. America–in terms of hockey competition–was the little brother until 1980 and then after that failed to become a world power. The USA has enormous talent, but for some reason has had only limited success in international competitions of note. The Americans won this event in 2004 and 2010–their two WJ championships rank them behind Canada (15), USSR/Russia (13) and tied with Sweden, Finland and the Czechs.

In WJ competition, the Americans are “in the mix” each Christmas but often shoot themselves in the foot or fail to take advantage of opportunity.

jones9

I think Seth Jones might be a guy who could equalize things. I’ve watched him a little and he’s got that “calm the waves” ability to defuse sorties with great ease. I’m no scout and am certainly getting ahead of myself but I think he’s going to be a great defender in a Rod Langway/Chris Pronger kind of fashion. All kinds of things could keep him from delivering on that kind of promise, but the pieces to the puzzle are absolutely stunning.

All these damn highlight packages show his offense but for me the appeal on this player is the defense. If you watch the game tomorrow, see how easily he negotiates the sorties. He’s impressive, although as we saw against the Russians Jones isn’t perfect.

I always cheer for Canada and after that Finland. I’ve never really cheered for the USA in anything, owing mostly to my own tendency to champion the underdog. Seth Jones is no underdog.

He could be special at a very difficult facet of the game.

I’m not comfortable with Team Canada. They lack across the board skill up front and their blueline has a couple of guys who don’t appear to be able to play defense. I think Malcom Subban will be fine but he’s going to get tested here in the next few days. I don’t have confidence in Kevin Prendergast and I’m increasingly suspicious that the Team Canada coach takes a bunch of kids from his league and then overlooks the other two CHL leagues. Hunter Shinkaruk should be on this team, Ryan Pulock too. jmo.

GO CANADA!

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75 Responses to "WJ CANADA V USA 30.12.12"

  1. Lowetide says:

    Jujhar Khaira with a goal and an assist in the first period tonight for Michigan Tech. 18, 4-10-14 for the season. Very nice.

  2. ItsTheBGB says:

    First game I’m actually waking up to watch live. USA-Canada in the WJC is always the most exciting hockey played. I love this match-up!

    As for the league favourites, the Q was represented fully, anymore Q players and they would have been over represented. Maybe because we’re all out west we feel a bias. But I think one of Bunz or Brossoit should have represented Canada these past 2 tourneys. However, I don’t see how Shinkaruk had a sniff. He’s small and the other scorers who made this team are better, IMO.

  3. PDO says:

    The thing is…

    Canada has the best player in the tournament, and even when Hopkins isn’t on fire… he’s just too damn good for this tournament and he’s going to create, create and then create some more.

    As good as Seth Jones may be, I don’t think he’s at a stage in his career when he can make an established scorer in the NHL simply disappear.

    Especially when he gets to dish the puck to Huberdeau all night (morning?) long.

    The big story line to me is what happens when Hopkins finds his range? He hasn’t yet, and he still has 7 points in 2 games. You get the feeling one of these games he’s going to have one of “those” nights… and at this level, that could get silly.

  4. Mr. K says:

    Subban is the only goalie to have goals scored on him by Germany. I think he looks way to shaky (read bad) to be our starting goalie. Plus there’s something about the coach that rubs me the wrong way. All in all, this is one of my least favorite world junior teams minus Nuge.

  5. stevezie says:

    I haven’t been blown away by Ryan Murphy. I think Morgan Rielly has looked more dangerous and it isn’t even a comparison defensively.

  6. Lowetide says:

    John McCarron 1-1-2 for Cornell so far tonight.

    PDO: I agree the Nuge has been fanstastic.

  7. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    PDO,

    I agree, I don’t think Jones is anywhere near the level of RNH or Huberdeau, and if he’s not careful those two players could make him look silly.

    I also agree that as good as RNH has been up to this point he has a completly different level of play he can get too.

    I think of Jones on a level with MacKinnon, not even close to RNH.

  8. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    stevezie,

    I usually try not to hack on a team Canada player but I also agree with this.

    How bad did Dumba have to be to lose out to Murphy?? Cause I cant find a lot of positives in Murphys game right now.

    Is it just me?

  9. Lowetide says:

    Wes: No. He’s been swimmingly.

  10. Lowetide says:

    1-2-3 for Khaira, now 18, 4-11-15 on the season. Come on Judge Dredd!

  11. godot10 says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    stevezie,

    I usually try not to hack on a team Canada player but I also agree with this.

    How bad did Dumba have to be to lose out to Murphy?? Cause I cant find a lot of positives in Murphys game right now.

    Is it just me?

    Isn’t Murphy on the coach’s CHL team?

  12. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    godot10,

    Yes he’s on the Kitchner Rangers as captian, from what I have been reading he wasn’t very good in the camp.

    The game I seen vs Slovakia he just didnt look at all good, but maybe I’m missing something, he just seems to rush up the ice dump it in and get back.

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    Hot damn, that’s a good rookie season by Jujhar thus far. Above all expectations.

    I think he got a game misconduct in one of his first games, early in the first period – so could theoretically normalize that in the stat-line as well.

    Hopefully he’s been shooting the puck more lately too.

    ___________________

    If teams are allowed a buy-out under the new CBA, does Shawn Horcoff get the axe?

    Gonna miss that guy – but you have to consider it. Cap going down by 10M, extensions to Eberle and Hall kicking in next season. Might have to do it if you can’t trade him.

  14. JohnnyRocket says:

    I’ve been enjoying watching Jones play. He can really skate well for a big man (kid), and although he hasn’t made any highlight reel hits, he rubs guys out on the boards with authority at this level. His positioning is sound, and aside from a few brain cramps, he makes good decisions under pressure. I agree, Pronger without the nastiness.

    The coach has made me feel funny, too. Why he committed to Subban so early in the tourney, and with little on ice evidence, was unnerving. He hasn’t settled down the troops (see penalty box) and he looks tense behind the bench.

    Part of the reason the Nuge hasn’t got his groove on is all the penalties Canada has had to kill. And, like Bruce mentioned at COH, I’m not sure why Hopkins hasn’t been used on the PK. It’s too early to start raising these questions, because if Canada wins gold all will be forgiven, but this group doesn’t seem to have the chutzpah other Team Canadas have had.

  15. JohnnyRocket says:

    And does anyone else think that Yakapov has been struggling with his line mates? Watching the games, it looks like the play dies on his line mates sticks alot, hence the go-at-it-alone plays for the last few games. Why is Yak playing on what looks like a third line? Am I missing something?

    Although I do have to say the other lines seem to have some good chemistry going right now.

  16. gogliano says:

    Subban is too famous to sit. It is what it is.

  17. gogliano says:

    PunjabiOil:
    Hot damn, that’s a good rookie season by Jujhar thus far.Above all expectations.

    I think he got a game misconduct in one of his first games, early in the first period – so could theoretically normalize that in the stat-line as well.

    Hopefully he’s been shooting the puck more lately too.

    ___________________

    If teams are allowed a buy-out under the new CBA, does Shawn Horcoff get the axe?

    Gonna miss that guy – but you have to consider it.Cap going down by 10M, extensions to Eberle and Hall kicking in next season.Might have to do it if you can’t trade him.

    He is also young for his draft year and still growing into his already large frame. I have high hopes. He was easily my favorite pick of the draft (save Yakupov).

  18. Mark Lamb Chops says:

    Should be an interesting tournament from here on out. I’m going to squeeze as much enjoyment out of it as I can.

  19. RickDeckard says:

    PunjabiOil,

    I think almost certainly. With him they have $11.5M to add a backup tender, 3 defencemen, 3 forwards and 2 pressbox bodies. Without they have $17M.

    Important players that need to be resigned are Smid, Gagner, Paajarvi, Hartikainen and potentially Jones and Whitney. One of the D slots figures to be filled by Klefbom and maybe Musil but who knows.

    I think another player that will be bought out is Paul Martin on the Pens. They’d have $7.5M to fill 8 spots. They are renown for their prospect depth on D, so they’d probably be able to replace him and save themselves part of the $5M. Given that he is still being paid he might be available for a decent price.

  20. stevezie says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    stevezie,

    I usually try not to hack on a team Canada player but I also agree with this.

    How bad did Dumba have to be to lose out to Murphy?? Cause I cant find a lot of positives in Murphys game right now.

    Is it just me?

    I agree- I don’t want to get too negative early. I was actually cheering for Murphy to make the team. I like his stats and fondly remember Ryan Ellis on the team. So far, however, Murphy has not been Ellis. It could be that Rielly has been so good he’s stolen Murphy’s roll. I’m still cheering for the kid; I just haven’t seen the magic yet.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    A week away from the internet beckons…

    Seth Jones is my pick for Oilers 2013 draft,

    Imagining Jones/J.Schultz as a future shutdown defence pairing on a 21st century dynasty team and unless the management are really fools they keep everyone together until everyone gets a good look. You know, Gagner, Smid, Petry, MPS(keep him in the AHL all season no freaking call ups please?), old Schultz(who I liked a whale of a lot last season), and it’s anyone’s guess if there’s another gem buried somewhere to emerge lol.

    It boggles the mind and am also happy to say I’m a big fan of Coach Kreuger!

    Btw, Happy New Year everybody!

  22. speeds says:

    PunjabiOil:
    If teams are allowed a buy-out under the new CBA, does Shawn Horcoff get the axe?

    Gonna miss that guy – but you have to consider it.Cap going down by 10M, extensions to Eberle and Hall kicking in next season.Might have to do it if you can’t trade him.

    I’d be surprised if they didn’t (assuming they can’t trade him, and I don’t know if that’s impossible given that he’d be owed 7 mil while taking 11 in cap room next summer).

    Depending on the buy-out rules, they may even be able to bring him back at a lower price if they want to keep him/he wants to stay.

  23. Lucinius says:

    JohnnyRocket,

    Actually, until the last game a big problem with Yakupov’s line was, well, Yakupov. Like the rest of his team, outside the second line, they were playing so individualistic that nothing was getting generated. Yakupov’s been on the 1st line, but his ice time hadn’t been great due, in large part, to his own “meh” play.

    Last game his line really started to gel, with the addition of Zharkov to it with the normal guy serving his one game suspension, and you saw a lot more give and go, and thus results.

    I’m hoping they keep that line intact, but given Russian coaching, I doubt it.

  24. Lucinius says:

    Upset nearing conclusion; the Swiss may put the Fins on the verge of being done — if the Czechs beat Latvia, which they should, then Finland cannot make the quarters. Surprising result (and one that will cost me cash, the damn Fins..) given how well the Fins played in the pre-tournament. Makes you wonder if they played too hard then or what. Barkov has largely been a non-factor in the two Fin games I managed to catch (0 points, I believe, in the tournament until today’s game where he’s gotten his first) and some iffy goaltending seems to have sealed it.

  25. Lucinius says:

    One thing I’ve really liked about RNH this tournament, thus far; how physical he’s been. He’s pasted a couple players and finished some nice checks. Granted, this is one of the few times he won’t be such a small guy compared to everyone else playing. If he tried to be this physical in the NHL he’d probably pick Chara and die.

  26. delooper says:

    Nice goal RNH

  27. striatic says:

    love RNH’s Schultzy wrister.

  28. Lucinius says:

    And Canada might get exactly what it needed; RNH showing why he was successful in the NHL. Fantastic wrist shot beats Gibson with American D serving as a screen.

  29. striatic says:

    unsure what Murphy was thinking on that 3 on 1.

    got to at least put that far side for the potential rebound.

  30. Lucinius says:

    Subban playing well thus far. Only issue I’ve seen is he’s been putting out some horrible rebounds.

    Also, Murphy has had a couple decent defensive moments in the 1st.

  31. Lucinius says:

    Hamilton and Murphy have very much underwhelmed offensively. Their decisions have been suspect all too often.

  32. Lucinius says:

    Seth Jones with the mistake there. Cannot let a player like Strome get the inside completely un-molested.

  33. Lucinius says:

    Swiss and Fins going to shootout. Should favour the Fins, but…

  34. delooper says:

    US playing with some desperation now..

  35. striatic says:

    USA seems rather flatfooted in comparison to Canada.

  36. OilLeak says:

    Murphy is a fire drill on every shift, suspect decisions both offensively and defensively. The Nuge just thinks the game at a higher level than everyone on the ice, his teammates are sometimes surprised when they get the puck.

    Schiefele is a stud as well.

  37. striatic says:

    Jones has looked terrible so far around his own net.

  38. Lucinius says:

    Jones bailed out by Gibson, wow. Harsh game for Jones thus far.

  39. Lucinius says:

    Strome with a penalty, colour me surprised. Iffy call, but.. honestly, the guy probably has a reputation with the refs.

  40. delooper says:

    Finns win

  41. Lucinius says:

    Looks like the Fins come back for the win in the shootout. Had to be scary game for them. Twice they trailed by 2.

  42. striatic says:

    Galchenyuk, Gibson and Trouba have looked good for USA at least.

  43. striatic says:

    question – given a 2011 re-draft would you take David Musil or Ty Rattie?

  44. Lucinius says:

    Agreed. Trouba has looked like the best USA defenseman in the tournament from what I’ve seen.

    If Subban can cut down on the rebounds, however, Canada is in pretty good shape going forward in this game. RNH’s line is playing well, Strome’s line has looked dangerous and McNeil’s line hasn’t looked as sluggish as they did in the Slovak and German games.

  45. striatic says:

    Lucinius: Agreed. Trouba has looked like the best USA defenseman in the tournament from what I’ve seen.

    a little older, a little more experienced than Jones.

    i think the expectations put on Jones have been unfairly high when compared to those put on, say, Nathan McKinnon.

  46. Lucinius says:

    I won’t disagree. The media has overly fixated on Jones because of his playtime and status; whereas McKinnon has been stuck on the fourth line for most of the tournament and came in as the 13th forward. That and at times Jones has been able to look utterly dominant, but this game isn’t one of them.

    Also, very nice pk by the Canadians there. Subban is really answering the bell tonight. Rebounds remain a concern, but I’m surprised the Americans haven’t tried to make him go right to left more, as that’s been his weakness this tournament. I haven’t seen a single threatening shot that he had to move right to left.

  47. striatic says:

    Lucinius: I haven’t seen a single threatening shot that he had to move right to left.

    to be fair, Canada has been doing a very good job covering those passing lanes.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Good end to the period there by the Canadians. Americans coming on and they didn’t give up a late second period goal. Nuge should be playing more imo, the Canadian coach must have dizzying intellect. (groan)

  49. Lucinius says:

    True; Canada has, by and large, played a much better game defensively. Makes you wonder if part of the problem was sheer over-confidence against the “gimme” teams, whereas they know they have to play well against the Americans.

    Overall though, the only team that “should” be able to compete with Canada, on paper, is the Russians. U.S. has a few more holes and fewer powerhouse players to carry them.

  50. striatic says:

    Lowetide: Nuge should be playing more imo, the Canadian coach must have dizzying intellect. (groan)

    i have been wondering if there isn’t some effort to conserve energy for the Russians.

  51. Lucinius says:

    Not sure about that. I think its that the first line is the only one not juggling around and Spot is still rolling four lines, so certain players are getting a boost in ice time, and none of them are from the first line.

    Throw that together with the fact that Spot refuses to play RNH on the pk and he splits the pp evenly between RNH and Strome’s lines, his overall ice time is lower than you might expect.

    I’m not too bothered by it, given the back-to-back issue and it being the Russians tomorrow who can really pace a game a notch or two higher than the Americans.

  52. Lowetide says:

    striatic: i have been wondering if there isn’t some effort to conserve energy for the Russians.

    Could be, but to my eye some of the forwards TOI totals are going to be very high in this game. If it means more Nuge against the Russians that would be a wise thing, but they’ll need Strome too.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Nuge with a terrific shift there, shot on goal, terrific pass, great back check and he was down low to pick off a pass and get the puck in the other zone for a change.

  54. Lowetide says:

    Subtle, terrific play by Nuge there saved a goal. Man he’s smart. HUGe brain.

  55. striatic says:

    seamless PK from Canada. great to see at this point in the tourney,

  56. striatic says:

    i hate shorthanded 2 on 1s. just dump it in, dammit.

  57. Lowetide says:

    Well, damn. Trouba scores and its 2-1.

  58. Lucinius says:

    If you’re on a 2v1 on a pk you cannot take a shot that allows a quick transition the other way.

    Subban a touch aggressive on the goal against, but not really his fault, imo.

    We need another goal quick to kill the American surge of momentum.

  59. Lowetide says:

    Lucinius: PLUS the forwards did wide Mike Grier turns. They were out of the play the moment it went jailbreak and never recovered.

  60. striatic says:

    love Subban’s 80′s style kick save.

  61. Lucinius says:

    I have never liked that penalty. Goaltender out like that? Sucks for the U.S.A.

    Canada needs to seal this.

  62. striatic says:

    Canada’s PP is just on another level from that of USA. they’re doing so many different things, so much more quickly.

  63. Lucinius says:

    Well, this just got gifted to the Canadians.

  64. striatic says:

    Evil will always triumph because Good is Dumb.

  65. striatic says:

    Nuge WTF?

  66. Lucinius says:

    And RNH with the dumb penalty. Wow. From gifted to gifting it back.

    The stupidity is astounding.

  67. striatic says:

    that was stupid. need to be much better than that versus team Yakupov.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Canada won, but there’s a lot of work to do in the discipline department. USA in a lot of trouble now.

  69. Lucinius says:

    Canada was looking to be in fantastic shape with that 2 minute 5 on 3 that they failed to score on, to an utterly horrific penalty from RNH (an odd penalty at that, as he’s generally not that sort) that could of cost them a point or two.. Its the kind of dumb penalty that a player deserves to be sat for, but Canada can hardly afford to do such.

  70. Lucinius says:

    Now to decide whether or not to stay up and watch Rieder or to finally crash. Hoping for a good game from he — one he really deserves to have based on play.

  71. stevezie says:

    I’d go so far as to say that Trouba looked like the best player of his draft class so far. Smallest of sample sizes, but I really liked his game today. Best skater on either team.

    It occurs to me, looking at the month by month splits of Yakupov this year, that it might not have been the injury that slowed him down last season. He might just be streaky. Probably the injury though.

    Griffin Reinhart remains an excellent prospect, but the idea that he would have been a legitimate number one pick is growing increasingly ridiculous.

    Seth Jones reminds me a lot of Murray last year, in that it is a tremendous accomplishment for a player of that age to be playing a major roll on a medal contender, but neither player has been overly impressive in that roll. Jones has looked better than Murray did though, at least he seems an amazing physical specimen.

    Is it just me, or does Drouin appear to be the one driving the Drouin-Mackinnon bus? (Of course, Mackinnon was significantly better last year)

    People who prefer the larger ice are literally insane. Literally.

    Sorry for the deluge of thoughts, I am in the midst of a legit case of insomnia.

  72. sliderule says:

    What is it with the Nuge?
    He has taken two late game boarding penalties.Granted one was in exhibition game.

    In this game he was throwing his body around like a fourth line grinder.He doesn’t have the build for that type of play and if I was Tambo I would be on the phone telling him to cool it or he is coming back injured.

  73. Showerhead says:

    Fun to read these comments, exhausted, after 3 hours of sleep. The one thing I have to add is that MacKinnon has actually looked excellent to me. A bit nervous, sure, but he has created a lot of possession and zone time in limited minutes through 3 games. Give the guy some rope!

    Also, the amount of perimeter play, dangle attempts, and general artistry over substance worries me from Team Canada. A lot of their top players play skill games and seem to think they’re better than they are. 2-1 to the USA with that many power plays is nothing to write home about at this stage.

    PS hi. Keep up the great writing/commenting, folks.

  74. Showerhead says:

    more: 1: Canada was out shot and, to my eye, out zone-timed (which is a word for the purposes of this post). Trouble.

    2: I know jenner and lipon will help.

  75. RickDeckard says:

    Showerhead:
    more: 1: Canada was out shot and, to my eye, out zone-timed (which is a word for the purposes of this post). Trouble.

    Major score effects though. Canada was good in the first period and then they held their two goal lead for most of the game. That double minor probably skewed it too.

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