Latvia WC

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by dwightkurt, Mar 25, 2007.

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  1. dwightkurt

    dwightkurt Registered User

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    How are things going in Latvia for the moment? Do they going to have a good team in Russia and is Artus Irbe and Sandis Ozolinsh or some other NHL-player going to be there?

    What else do they have for star players?
    Tell me more about Latvia:)
     
  2. Zine

    Zine Registered User

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    I think in the future they'll be slightly worse than they are now. They're not producing a large amount of youth talent.....at least compared to Latvians developed under USSR.

    Current best players (don't know if everyone will be in Moscow for WC): Sprukts, Vasiljevs, Tambijevs, Nizivijs, Pantelejevs, Karsums, Cipruss, Semjonovs, Ozolinsh, Skrastins, Tribuncovs, Ignatjevs -- I'm probably missing some others too. I think Irbe is pretty much done in goal. Naumov is probably to go-to guy now. Don't know why Skudra isn't playing for the national team....he's doing pretty well in Russia.
     
  3. v-man

    v-man Registered User

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    Irbe and Ozolins are definitely out. Ozolins had a horrible season with the Rangers this year before being put on waivers and sent to the AHL, where he didn't report due to an injury. Either way, he announced his retirement from the national team last year, and didn't play at last years WC. Irbe likewise had a horrible season. He started off by playing for Riga20, the national junior teams local development team. He let in about 5 goals a game on average and then wasn't heard from for several months, until he ended up in Slovakia, where he was just as awful and released after 6 or 7 games.

    Of the current NHLers, the Kings Raitis Ivanans has agreed to play, but his participation depends on whether or not he can get a permanent residency hearing delayed, which apparently is looking likely. Although not an offensive powerhouse, he did get 8 points (4g/4a) playing on average 4-6 minutes for most of the season. His main plus is his size, which Latvia seriously lacks.

    Janis Sprukts, who's been going back and forth between Florida of the NHL and Rochester of the AHL will no doubt go, provided Rochester is kicked out of the playoffs in time. He was their teams leading scorer prior to being called up to finish the season in Florida, and will no doubt be called back once it's up. A huge loss to Latvia, at least for the beginning.

    Karlis Skrastins, the NHL's new defensive iron man will be there (although the Av's still do have an outside chance of getting the last playoff spot).

    Peter Skudra (who played many NHL seasons with Boston, Pittsburgh and Vancouver before bolting for more $ in the Russian Superleague) will be making his return to the national team for the first time in ten years. He's already practicing with the team in Riga.

    As for other AHL players, Martins Karsums of the Providence Bruins, Jekabs Redlihs of the Syracuse Crunch and Kaspars Daugavins of the Binghamton Senators/Toronto St.Michaels Majors are all expected to be on the team, or at least receive tryouts once the AHL regular season wraps up next weekend.

    There are plenty of other former NHL/AHL players who should be on the team, including Herbert Vasiljevs (Atlanta and Vancouver), Viktors Ignatievs (Tampa and Carolina), Armands Berzins (Minnesota draft pick), Juris Stals (Hartford Wolfpack), Agris Saviels (Hershey Bears), Krisjanis Redlihs (Albany Riverrats) and Lauris Darzins (Predators pick).

    Oskars Bartulis, who's a leading CHL defenseman, and signed by the Flyers, is also tied up in playoff action and will only make it if his season ends early.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2007
  4. Nolan Hatrick

    Nolan Hatrick 17+18=19

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    I was going to mention Bartulis. What do you know about him, and what do you think his potential is? I'm just wondering as a Flyers fan. I think the organization expects pretty good things for him in the future, and I hope they're right.
     
  5. v-man

    v-man Registered User

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    He's a really good two way defenseman. Finished the regular season with 48 points in 55 games and a +/- of +20. He was going at a much stronger pace at the beginning of the season, including being the leagues defensive player of the month for October, but couldn't quite regain the level of scoring once back from a mid season injury that took him out for a month. I think he'll make the Phantoms line up no problem next season, but seeing as the Flyers have been so poor defensively this season, it wouldn't surprise me if he cracked the big clubs line up, if only for a test run straight out of training camp.
     
  6. Garl

    Garl Registered User

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    Worse? Really, don't think so. Daugavins, Kulda, Grundmanis, Sauletis, Bartulis, Karsums. They are yuong and talented.

    Look at their roster. This year I think, they will be younger than last year.
     
  7. v-man

    v-man Registered User

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    Well, it looks like Latvia has just about the worst luck of anyone going into the championship. The Avalanche have just informed the team that Karlis Skrastins will not be available for the games (due to a re-occurring knee injury), The Kings Raitis Ivanans could not postpone a permanent residency hearing scheduled for April 30th, so he's out, and the Florida Panthers refused to release Janis Sprukts, instead sending him back down to Rochester for the AHL playoffs. That means they'll have 0 current NHL players in their lineup. Add to that an injury to #1 goaltender Peter Skudra, that will keep him from his first appearance with the team in 10 years. With other offensive players like Bartulis and Karsums still in their respective playoff races, it just gets worse and worse for them. On another note, apparently the AHL Syracuse Crunch's Jekabs Redlihs hasn't even been invited for a tryout with the national team, which is very odd considering their lack of depth there. Hopefully they'll be able to keep it together.
     

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