Biggest surprises of the WJC tourney so far?

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Randall Graves*, Dec 31, 2003.

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  1. which guys have been the biggest surprises of the WJC tournament?good or bad is accepted.

    one guy for me is Tim Brent he's had a really good tournament so far he plays balls to the wall and his offense is better then I thought.

    Brady Murray of the U.S team has also surprised me thus far he was a 4th or 5th rd pick and IMO has been one of the U.S teams top players.

    One guy thats disappointed me has been Crosby he's had alot of hype and IMO hasn't perfomed to the level of hype he has been given thus far.
     
  2. Jacob

    Jacob Registered User

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    I really hope you're joking.
     
  3. nope not at all, for the pedostal this guy was put on I suppose I expected more he hasn't been bad,just seems to me he does all the fancy stuff and not play any defense what so ever.

    I realize he's just 16 but he's been highly touted by many on this board.
     
  4. Jacob

    Jacob Registered User

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    Absolutely, but not that many people touted him to dominate this tournament. Given he's been playing on the unofficial 4th line as a 16 year old against the best 18-19 year olds in the world, I've been extremely impressed by him.
     
  5. The Slap Shop

    The Slap Shop Shop Like a King

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    I don't think this surprises most Kings fans that have seen Brady play at the Kings Training Center in El Segundo. He was lightning quick at 16 when he was with some of the Kings top prospects. IMO The reason why he wasn't drafted high was because of the league. He is a very good player. I know I was impressed with him 2 years ago. He was small and fast then and now he gained some height. But he is going to be a good player. A Steal for the Kings IMO.
     
  6. Flonaldo

    Flonaldo Registered User

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    Thomas Vanek, a huge, huge disappointment. Doesn't care a ... about the team. Hasn't played hard for a second. When asked about his future commented that won't probably be in the NHL soon because he's having "too much fun" in college. Out of hockey in five years at this pace.

    Tobias Enström, a smooth skating offensive d-man. Would make any squad playing like he did.

    Jaroslav Halak, made everything look easy and dragged the Slovaks to the quarters. Not one slip-up throughout the tournament.

    The whole US team. I didn't expect them to be _this good_. Great team defense and guys like Suter, Wisnievski, Stuart and Carle have looked like studs.

    Ovechkin, nothing fancy so far - even though he has been Russia's best player and with Pestunov & Malkin have been the only players with excellent attitude in all games.

    Konstantin Kornejev, Russia's number 1 d-man. Really impressive basic play.
     
  7. Rob

    Rob Registered User

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    The biggest surprise for me has been the lackluster play of the Russian team so far. A tie against Slovakia, a horrible performance against Austria, and they got manhandled by the US.
     
  8. Sixty Six

    Sixty Six Registered User

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    Ashnkov (sp) the kid the pens got in the straka deal. He a share of the team lead in goals, with players like Malkin and Ovechkin. I've been suprised at least but that could be i lost some faith in "hockey trades" from the pens point of view and not just cost cutting deals
     
  9. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Biggest surprises to me:


    1) Al Montoya. Before the WJC's it seemed he was just *average* but has really elevated his play. He's been a key player for the U.S.

    2) Steve Werner. Was kind of under the radar going into the WJC's, but has been fantastic in all situations.

    3) Czechs and Russians. Although not horrible, I thought they would be a tad better than what they've shown.
     
  10. ajsonor

    ajsonor Registered User

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    I haven't seen any of the games, but the Statistical impact of Anthony Stewart has suprised me. I think he has played a ibgger role than expected. I also expected Hudler to have a solid tourney, and he hasn't had a real impact on the scoreboard.
     
  11. eh

    eh Registered User

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    Hudler has been single most disappointing player IMHO. He doesn't seem to have a heart at all. In the first couple of games I just thought he was trying to much, but the Canada game yesterday was even worse: he didn't even try. I'm sure the coach should take some of the blame (why does he let his captain surf for two minutes before reluctantly skating to the bench without doing anything), but I expected him to be dominant in this year's tournament. He has a great skill level, but with that kind of attitude, he'll never be anything.

    Marek Schwarz - the young goalie of the Czechs - has been surprisingly ready. Maybe it's just that I knew nothing about him beforehand, but he has surprised me by being the best goalie I've seen play in this tournament so far.

    Sean Bergenheim has obviously been a disappointment, but mostly due to being sick and in sub par shape. I just hope he can recover from the flu (or whatever it is) soon enough to still make an impact.

    Having seen him play all season long, I knew that Sami Lepistö would be good, but as good as he's been. He still gambles in his own end but right now seems to be winning all those gambles. Offensively he's right there with the top defensemen of the tournament.
     
  12. chicpea*

    chicpea* Guest

    I agree with many of the above statements (except the knock on crosby - he has been dy-no-mite!).
    My "monster surprise performer" is team Slovakia. They could be in the semi-finals this weekend and still no one would notice them.
     
  13. ZombieMatt

    ZombieMatt Registered User

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    Though I've only been able to catch two of their games, Sami Lepisto has really impressed me...I had not heard of him, and his name just jumps out during their games, as he seems to be one of the top players for teh Finns in this tournament so far.
     
  14. Fleury14

    Fleury14 Remember the Kipper

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  15. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

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    I think part of Hudler's problem is his focus isn't really on this tournament. The Red Wings should have followed Ottawa's lead with Spezza last year and left him in the AHL instead of sending him to Finland, because at this point WJCs are not really going to contribute anything to his development for the pro game, whereas ice time in Grand Rapids against AHLers would help him work on the skills he needs to develop for the NHL.
     
  16. Mizral

    Mizral Registered User

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    For me, the biggest surprise has been Marc-Andre Fleury. I thought I'd see this guy be the MVP of Team Canada by a longshot. Weather he's not been tested enough or what, I just haven't been terribly impressed. We know he's a great goalie, I just hope he shows why he's great when the chips are down in a 1 goal game.

    I also have been very surprised with Ilya Krikunov, whom I expected more out of on the Russian squad. In fact, the entire Russian squad is just an embarassment so far this season. Their coach should be ashamed.
     
  17. finzup77r

    finzup77r Registered User

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    I think Dion Phaneuf has been a little suprising, I knew he was a great defensive defenseman and that he is a heavy hitter, but I am really impressed w/ his offensive upside too
     
  18. ZombieMatt

    ZombieMatt Registered User

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    I couldn't agree more with you on the topic of Fleury. He has been shaky, and while 4 goals against in 3 games is hardly a terrible performance, he probably should be doing better. His rebound control and positioning both seem to be missing, and he is often scrambling around to try to save himself. Fortunately, so far, it hasn't really cost him that much, but there cause for concern is still there.
     
  19. Traitor8

    Traitor8 Registered User

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    Jaroslav Halak and Konstantin Korneev
     
  20. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    I've watched a couple of the Canadian games, and Fleury just doesn't look very comfortable. IMO he's a guy that thrives on a lot of work (which is understandable coming from the QMJHL and the Penguins), and his concentration, and reflexes seem to be a bit rusty. This is just an observation, but his puck handling is also pretty atrocious, which doesn't help matters. It will be interesting seeing him against a team that really likes to move the puck and forecheck agressively. A Canada/U.S. final would be dynamite.
     
  21. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    But when will he get the work? (just kidding)

    Canada has to get by Czechs again IF Czechs get by Slovakia, and the Czechs had to at least have gained some confidence with their third period against Canada.

    US will have to beat Russia again, and they have the talent to erupt at any time, or the Finns who beat them in a close (2-1 with 5 minutes remaining/ended 4-1) exhibition game before the tourney started.

    That said, a North American final would be interesting. I'd like to see how the Parise line fairs against whoever Duroche puts out against them. I think/hope Canada would win on depth even though US has an older team.
     
  22. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    I don't think "depth" would be the deciding factor. IMO, it would come down to special teams, the play of both goalies, and the U.S's ability to handle Canada's larger, physical forwards. The U.S. forwards are smallish, but the U.S. defense has some larger, physical types that could potentially minimize those larger forwards' impact to a certain extent. Canada's nuetral zone play has been a bit suspect in this tourney as well, and the U.S. really likes to move the puck, so that could be an issue as well.
     
  23. teme

    teme Registered User

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    On the Finnish team, three guys have really stood out IMO. Filppula (Detroit) has done everything you would expect from a #1 center, if his wingers could finish he would lead the tournamet in scoring. This is isn't a huge a suprise given his play in SM-Liiga but he has done a whole lot better than his prospect ranking and draft position would indicate.

    Lepistö is a similar story, although unlike Filppula he came out of nowhere. Good play in SM-Liiga and now #1 dmen for Junior Lions. Smart with puck, excellent onetimer and pretty good defence too. And he isn't even drafted, some mistake with paperwork although he might've not been picked anyway being bit on the small side.

    Kalteva (Colorado) hasn't dazzled like Filppula and Lepistö, which in his case is a good thing. Just steady, hard defensively play and he is decent with the puck too. Plays in first pairing with Lepistö. Somebody compared to him Aki Berg, in a good way, which isn't that far off.

    Oh and they all play for Jokerit, if rest of the Finnish clubs would've pulled their share this year we would be well of. (Jokerit also Kantee who is #3 dman, Bergenheim who is #1 winger, Oksa who has no hands but grinds really well and Piispanen who while raw has perhaps the best natural talent in the group.)
     
  24. Jacob

    Jacob Registered User

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    My sentiments exactly. It's not like a poor tournament showing is going to change the fact that this kid's an all-star in the making, it would just really help him in the long run if he brings his A game when the gold is on the line, proving he's a big-game tender.

    It's hard to say that an undefeated goalie with a .944 save percentage and miniscule GAA is playing badly, but Fleury has not looked sharp and seems to be trying to do too much.
     
  25. Brisebois

    Brisebois Registered User

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    I know I sound like a stereotypical habs fan, but have you seen Jaroslav Halak's play for Slovakia?

    I'd say he's been the goalie of the WJC thus far.




    As for surprises, I have been greatly surprised by the play of Derek Meech.
     
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