Random WJC thoughts

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Vlad The Impaler, Jan 5, 2005.

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  1. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    Some random WJC thoughts. Feel free to comment, challenge or add yours!

    1-That team Canada was unbelievable. We witnessed something special when we combined an unbelievable 2003 draft crop with a NHL lockout, thus ensuring we stuffed this team with NHL level talent.

    2-I was fairly confident in our chance because for the first time in many years, I actually respected the coaching and selection process. Brent Sutter had an almost NHL-like roster to work with, and he molded this team to play NHL level hockey. Somewhere down the road, this guy will be a NHL coach. If Darryl takes a liking to management, I wouldn't be surprised if he made room for Brent in Calgary.

    3-TSN's coverage was ok. I didn't like the overly dramatic Crosby special. Pierre McGuire did a better job than usual checking his bias at the door but just couldn't anymore in the final game. He was very biased in the final game and made it sound like Canada was rolling over the Russians by keeping very quiet when the Russians knocked a few players on their asses. A glowing example is when Shafigulin made Anthony Stewart look like a little schoolgirl and sent him down. Not a word from Pierre. A little later in the game, Stewart overpowers his man and Pierre jumps up and down about how Stewart is dominating physically :speechles

    4-I'm still not completely sold on Malkin but I like him a lot and see much upside. There is work to do there and people who say he is better than Ovechkin are on drugs.

    5-As I said in a thread when the Russians taunted USA, taunting and bad sportsmanship does not need to be punished by another team. When you showboat overly like that, you hurt YOURSELF. The Russians were overconfident for this game and simply put, tried to beat NHL-calibre defensemen with junior moves. Needless to say, it rarely worked.

    6-Ovechkin tried to do way too much in the final game. The kid is awesome but he tried to play alone. Maybe that has to do with playing with that hack Pestunov, a player I really don't like at all. I can't understand why some clowns are blaming Ovechkin for leaving the game. He was getting pounded all night and took it like a big boy. Phaneuf slammed him fair and square and the kid stayed up. Very impressive physically as far as I'm concerned.

    7-Russian needs to clean their hockey a bit and come up with team efforts. Against inferior teams, their individual plays can be pulled off but against a good team, it doesn't work. This roster could and should have provided more opposition to Canada but you just knew how it was going to end. I also question not playing Malkin and Ovechkin together, with a line of Volochenko-Yunkov-Radulov to supplement the offense. In other words, I still think management and coaching in Russia is horrible and needs work.

    8-Nashville fans, stop the embarassing and undeserved Ryan Suter chant and start noticing Shafigulin. He may be one of the players least recognized this year as a standout. He was really on another level. Physically up to the challenge, defensively effective, offensively promising. Lots of great moves, very mature. Somewhere between Frolov and Svitov. Kickass find for the Preds. So is Shea Weber for that matter but that is already well known.

    9-People, say it with me. Phaneuf is much better than Suter. He's a special prospect. That being said, it was fun to see Panin rock Dion on his ass. How odd that Pierre didn't have anything to say about that :speechles

    10-Team Canada was dangerous on so many levels. When players like Bergeron or Crosby didn't provide offense, others became stars and those two became solid two-way players. Many of the forwards were effective taking turns. The defense was unreal. What's even more unreal is Canada could have likely iced another whole D squad better than ANY other country. Scary stuff. This team was on another level.

    11-One of the things I have said a couple of times is that I do not like how much weight NHL potential usually plays on Canada selections. I was very happy that they selected the goalies they thought were best and eventually, it paid off. Good move. I hope future years will be even more wide open. I think there are outstanding junior players with little chance to make it in the NHL who would be outstanding for that type of tournament.

    12-Mike Richards isn't one of the top 10 prospects in the 2003 draft but when all is said and done, at the end of his career, will be recognized as a top 10 player out of this draft. Philly has to feel great about him and Carter.

    13-The 2006 draft looks like it's going to have very interesting top end. And if (highly unprobable) they "mix" together the 2005 and 2006 draft, could rival 2003. Kessel, Frolik... that's nice talent!

    14-Why all the Ladd hate? He was quietly effective the whole tournament, and lives up to what I expect of him: an excellent complement player who doesn't leech but instead helps great talents. I think he will be perfect with Staal and hope this combination is tried for a while. He is solid as a rock in the corners and has good vision.

    15-Shawn Belle is underrated as a player and a prospect. Was very good last year too and as far as I'm concerned, is progressing very nicely. Very underrated, even by Dallas Star fans. Very high potential, IMO.

    16-Volochenko needs a lot of space to work. Looks great when he has room but disappears otherwise. Not sold on him.

    17-Was really happy for the Belarus upset! Who doesn't like a good upset? After Canada's gold, this is the event of the tournament for me! Ak-47 played really well and I like his brother.

    18-Every year, there's a sad soul to say the Sens "stole" a player. They envision pure ****e like Klepis as the next Martin Havlat. Well, this year it's real. Meszaros is an awesome package of skill with decent physical presence.

    19-Teams should think carefully before they draft a goalie in the first round, and even moreso when they draft top 10. Montoya was a huge disappointment. I still like the raw talent but he's got a lot of work ahead of him.

    20-Despite being young, Finland was a disappointment for me. Collectively, I thought they often looked lifeless. USA has a whole dropped the ball except for a few players. Fritsche is awesome. Complete player, gives his all and very skilled.

    21-USA the second hockey nation in the world right now according to some here? Hmmm... no.

    22-Where are all the whiners who complained that team Canada had screwed up by selecting this team? It was a great lineup. Personally, I had no problem with it although I really think Stone should have been there. But it was close enough that I didn't complain about it. This team is really the best I have ever seen at a U20
     
  2. ZombieMatt

    ZombieMatt Registered User

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    You win Vlad. After seeing both players play in a half dozen games at an elite level, I will agree with you that anyone that says Suter is a better all around defender than Phaneuf is nuts. I've questioned everything about Dion since his selection, but each time I see him play he shows more and more of what he has always had, and demonstrates that he has improved on things I thought were issues with him.

    He truly is an amazing prospect.
     
  3. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

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    I've also come around on the Suter/Phaneuf thing. I still think it's pretty close, but now with Phaneuf ahead of Suter instead of the other way round.
     
  4. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

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    Add one more......A year and one month ago Schwarz was by far the best goaltender going into the 2004 draft. Montoya got hot for a couple of games behind an excellent team and won gold. Montoya rose while Schwarz fell. A year later at the same tourney Montoya looked like a goat with 3 legs while Schwarz was excellent, proving Schwarz is the better prospect and will be the better goaltender. The Rangers seem to mess p in every aspect.
     
  5. Captain Conservative

    Captain Conservative Registered User

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    Thank you Vlad for that entertaining and enlightening read. I appreciate it.


    While I agree that Schwarz is the more attractive prospect, making such definite statements is a waste of time. Its been six months since the draft and you're already proclaiming Montoya a bust. I did like the bit about the goat with 3 legs though.
     
  6. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    i dunno about you, but i clearly heard him say nice hit. then on the replay of the hit he said "nothing wrong with that, nice clean hard hit". then he compared Panin to Kasperitus.

    dr
     
  7. Alfie#11

    Alfie#11 Registered User

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    My random comment on the broadcast:

    Did anyone else notice that, according to Gord Miller, nobody took a shot? Everything directed at the net was a "drive". I've heard about hard drives, long drives but what the heck is a "soft drive"?
     
  8. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

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    I am not saying Montoya will be a bust, I am saying Schwarz is miles ahead of Montoya in development stages and Montoya was a whole lot of hype from one good tourney last year. I remember seeing Montoya last year and not being one bit happy with his style. He flopped alot and gave out huge rebounds....I mentioned this before this tourney and said he would get burned since this defense can't clear the crease or pucks out of the crease. Funny this year earlier today all Pierre talked about was his poor rebound control. It was the same as last year only he made a couple secondary saves or his defense didn't allow anything to come about.
     
  9. Jacob

    Jacob Registered User

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    At least it wasn't a "centering feed" as Levy likes to say.
     
  10. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    Thanks, man! I rarely start a thread (I think less than 10 since 1998) but I collected tidbits and notes I took and put it out in the open.

    Don't be afraid to throw your thoughts out there, guys! Who are the players who impressed you that nobody talks about? Best games? Best plays?
     
  11. Pierre is bad and very biased. I sent TSN a email during the playoffs to fire him because I couldnt stand to watch TSN and his constant Flames bias and love affair with french players.

    Dion Phanuef was a beast, I cannot wait to see him wearing our jersey and hammering the opposition and firing thoose rifles into the net. Shea Webber was underated and he deserved to be named to the all start team with Phanuef. Nashville fans should be happy to have him, he might turn out to be better then Suter.
     
  12. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    You can't deny that the enthusiasm wasn't there, though :D

    I listen to McGuire and I like what he has to say. I also do not mind if he wants to provide color by adding excitment but I don't think it paints a proper picture if he only raises the level of excitment when it's Canada doing the hitting.

    I mean, compare this:

    1-Nice hit.

    with this:

    2-OMG!!111!! Whammo! pwned! :eek: :eek: :rolly: :rolly:

    My problem is that, the average fan leaves this game with the impression that Canada uber dominated physically but when you watch the game closely, it's not how it happened, IMO. There was dominance by Canada but not as much as he made it sound.
     
  13. Brent Burns Beard

    Brent Burns Beard DontTouchMyDonskoi!

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    fair enough. however, keep in mind who the audience he is broadcasting to is.

    thats entertainment, nothing that wrong with it.

    dr
     
  14. Captain Conservative

    Captain Conservative Registered User

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    It might be because I just saw the US games, but for me, the surprise of the tournament was Phil Kessel. What I expected was a flashy little guy getting pushed around with zero commitment in his own zone. What I saw was a strong two way forward with an explosive first step, a blazing top speed and magnificent finish. Many times I saw Kessel working hard in his own zone backchecking and making defensively aware plays. The kid seems to have a good wide frame to add muscle onto, and he seems to have a good attitude too. When the tournament started he wasn't getting much ice time, but he just worked his butt off, impressed the coach and earned more. From what i've read, Frolik was even more impressive, so it seems like we'll have a damned fine top end to the 2006 crop. Could you share your thoughts on Frolik v. Kessel, Vlad?


    You're right, you didn't say Montoya was a bust, but you said their performances this tournament proved that Schwarz would be a better NHL goaltender than Montoya. That seems extremely premature to me.
     
  15. Douggy

    Douggy Registered User

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    I have to toot my own horn here. I thought the Czechs would do well and I turned out to be right. I have never even heard of Frolik before, but now I love him!!

    The Czechs will be awesome next year, as will the Finns.

    I can't wait to see Frolik vs. Joensuu vs. Kessel when they're all a year older.

    Montoya may have just been 'off' but he looked flat out terrible. I hate sounding like one of those people that just repeat what Pierre MaGuire says, but this guy was TERRIBLE at directing Rebounds.

    The fact that Belarus had such an amazing upset and finished dead last should tell people that there need to be more teams in the tournament.

    The Swedes did a lot better than I thought. They had some pretty solid forwards, but no one who could finish at the right time.
     
  16. BuppY

    BuppY xGoodwillx

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    LOL I enjoy Pierre he is one of the best but he needs to be fair, I agree with you, his knowlegde of the game is great.
     
  17. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

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    Impressed List:

    Johannes Salmonsson - He really impressed me physically and offensivly. I thought he was the best player vs Canada. Considering how poorly he was oing this year Salmonsson looked strong and with 8 points was excellent offensivly.

    Dimitri Vorobiev - What more can I say. Many leafs fans didn't think he would make the russian team then he comes and puts up a performence deserving of the allstar team. Vorobiev had two less points then Sutter but was a +6 compared to Sutters +_ of 0. He hit and has a nice shot.

    Petr Vrana - I know I am a Devils homer but Vrana did lead the tourney in GWG with 3, ended up with 5 goals and 3 assist. This surprised me because everyone in Halifax knows Vrana is no finisher. He showed up for every single game and was dangerous/excellent on the PK, moreso then the PP.

    Roman Wick - He looked really good against the stronger teams. He can play with the big boys and never quits. I figured he would do better verses the weak teams but that doesn't matter.
     
  18. gb701

    gb701 Registered User

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    Vlad - your post is so comprehensive that you did not leave much for us to say except "great job". ;)

    Seriously, some additional thoughts:

    - Weber - a perfect fit for Phaneuf and a growing talent who is maturing faster than expected and contributed in a lot of ways. He is, if anything, more punishing than Dion.

    - What about the talent level on this team - where is the talk about "grinders"??? There was speed, shooting and passing to rival any junior team in recent memory - from pretty much everyone on the team.

    - The discipline on a Sutter team is a treat to watch. You see it out here all the time, and saw it again tonight. He has Phaneuf on a leash that is unbelievable to those who saw the kid before he went to play in Red Deer. This guy is a great coach at this level, and I think would be a great coach in the NHL if he decides he wants to go to that level (and why would he when he can own, manage and coach at the same time?)

    - Fraser, anyone??? Remember the guy that should not be there? Solid on every shift.

    Dominant to the point where the Russians really never got their act together and played like the great team they are/were.

    Awesome
     
  19. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

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    Damn....I forgot about Weber. If I were Nashville fans I would be spinning in circles. This guy looks like a faster and more offensive version of Andy Sutton......that is a good thing.
     
  20. Kovy274Hart

    Kovy274Hart Registered User

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    I don't think that proved anything Jason. It's one tournament and if I'm not mistaking, didn't Schwarz have a bad game in this tourney also?

    As for Al, yes, he was subpar. But in the last three games, he played better. He didn't give up one weak goal against Russia either and actually kept them in it as long as he could before the inevitable.

    And from what I understand, Al played really well yesterday but gave up a soft OT winner. But to keep that in perspective, it was a breakaway goal where he expected a harder shot.

    Al's issue looked like overanxiousness and positioning. That can be fixed.

    I'm not one to judge who's better now. Talk to me in five years. Then we'll know.
     
  21. Kovy274Hart

    Kovy274Hart Registered User

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    I wish I had gotten to see Canada play. Darn ESPN.


    Anyway, I thought Stafford was the best US player. He showed up every game and was really good.

    Kessel has a lot of talent. Can't wait to see how he does next year.
     
  22. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

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    This tourniment proved that with a weak defense Montoya is useless because his style gives off too many rebounds. Schwarz was by far the best goaltender in the tourney. Without him Czechs wouldn't have medaled.
     
  23. Vlad The Impaler

    Vlad The Impaler Registered User

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    Although Kessel made some very highlight flashy moves, I see Frolik as more of that kind of "flashy" player. Kessel has that little thing that separates the elite talents from the very good ones. He can beat you in many ways, can be an opportunist or can make things happen himself.

    These are of course very young players and I saw only the games presented on TSN. Lots of time left to develop but if I had to choose right now based on what I have seen only, there isn't the shadow of a doubt, I go with Kessel.

    This kid was the Jeff Carter of the Americans. Difference being one is on top of the U20 maturity curve while Kessel is still a freaking baby. I am very, very impressed with him. I like Frolik too but I see him a notch below. Players who play like Frolik can only dominate if they have flat out awesome natural abilities like a Kovalchuk.

    He will have to either be very very good at what he does or be more well rounded if he wants to be an elite talent. Kessel seems to have more option and also understands the clock/momentum and collective game better.

    But lots of time left for those two to develop :)
     
  24. Jason MacIsaac

    Jason MacIsaac Registered User

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    I was impressed with Jesse Joensuu in his limited role. I felt he took the body quite a bit and made a couple nice plays that teamates couldn't finish. Players like Kessel and Frolik can work with any players but Joensuu will make everyone on his line better with more room. He needs to work on his first step though, like Stewart, his forecheck is not affective without a good first step. I'm sure at the age of 16 he can improve on that.
     
  25. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Couldn't agree more with the above points.

    IMO drafting a goalie at the top end of the draft is a mistake that's made far, far too often.
     
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