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2013-2014 World Junior Championships

2013-2014 World Junior Championships

Coverage of the 2013-2014 IIHF World Junior Championships from: Ian Dudgeon, Anthony Petrielli and Curt Snoddon

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Team Canada has effectively named their roster for the World Junior Championships to take place in Malmo Sweden starting on Boxing Day.  Having had a little bit of time to digest their decisions from a Leafs perspective, here are some of my thoughts. No Matt Finn The biggest surprise on Team Canada's roster from a Leafs perspective is Matt Finn's omission.  Finn is an all-situations defenseman whose biggest weakness in his game is probably his physicality -- an element which is considerably less important on International ice.  I'm surprised he didn't make the team (almost as surprised as I was when I heard Nurse...

632

Well, this is kind of like kissing your sister.  Unless you lose, in which case it's kind of like going to prom alone and leaving alone. The problem with a single elimination tournament is that you only need to play one bad game to lose your chance at a championship and boy, did Canada ever play a bad game. Trying to predict whether or not a team will be able to "get up" for a bronze medal game is a bit of a fool's errand; ultimately, it's anybody's guess.  There's no shame whatsoever in coming away from a tournament with a...

934

Just when you were getting used to a more sane sleeping schedule, the Russian organizers do this to us. Canada and the United States will faceoff in a rematch of their opening round game which saw Canada skate off with a 2-1 win in which neither team played up to its potential. Since then, Canada played a complete game against the Russians while the United States picked up a couple of wins against the tournament's also-rans.  Confidence should be reasonably high for both teams and at the risk of sounding trite, the United States will have redemption on their minds. A great...

1388

It may seem odd to praise USA Hockey on a site that is predominately filled with Canadian hockey fans, but as the US lost to a much more skilled Team Canada 2-1 yesterday it seemed clear that the Americans were much more capable of playing as a team and it was their strong systems, positional play, and familiarity that kept the game so close. While the U-20 roster has already been dispersed from the National Development Program, the majority of these players on the U.S. roster (13 out of 23) have roots in the National team system. Meaning, there are...

459

Canada vs Russia for all the opening round marbles.  I wouldn't have it any other way. With a combined 28 gold medals at the World Junior Hockey Championships (the next closest country has 2) this is the Rolls Royce matchup of junior hockey.  On Russian soil with first place in the group on the line, you can bet that both countries (and the crowd) will be up for this one. The repercussions are fitting for a matchup of this magnitude as the loser will likely face a talented Finnish team in the elimination round while the winner will kick up their...

54

After a taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, Malcolm Subban (36 saves) was the story the rest of the way for Team Canada as they edged Team USA 2-1 and moved to 3-0 on the tournament. 1st Period That's more like it. Canada played probably their most complete period of the tournament thus far and were able to neutralize most of the American forechecks as well as the USA's active defense.  Trouba has been able to sneak in from the point to throw a couple of slapshots on net but aside from that, Team Canada has been pretty aware of...

491

This is where things start getting interesting. The American team will present an interesting set of challenges for Team Canada.  Their checking lines are more physical than anything that Team Canada can throw out there, their skill lines are faster, and their goaltender has looked more capable of stealing a game in this tournament.  Canada is still the better all-around team but the Americans throw out enough different wrinkles that this should be a game that goes down to the wire and could certainly go either way. For Canada's part, they seem to have woken up in the second half of...

1221

Welcome back, fellow lunatics! After giving the Russians a run for their money on Wednesday, the Slovakian Juniors will probably being feeling pretty good about themselves heading into this morning's tilt. Canada has some things to clean up, particularly on defense, if they hope to make today's game a comfortable one.  Aside from Harrington, every one of Canada's defensemen can be better than they were on Wednesday and they'll need to be if we want to keep considering ourselves the favourites in this tournament. The bottom-6 looked a little out of sorts on Wednesday as well, in my opinion, with Jenner out...

346

At this point in time, it is probably fair to call Morgan Rielly the most hyped Leafs prospect since Wendel Clark. I don't know whether or not that's fair, but with great hype comes great expectations. To this point, Rielly hasn’t done anything to really quash the excitement that is building for him. He’s scored electric goals, he’s played well for Canada in the past, and now he’s on the World Juniors team. In essence, Rielly is following the path of many elite defensemen before him. With that in mind, I collected some stats on how players he’s been compared to...

343

Good morning, ladies and gents! Playing the World Juniors in Russia presents an interesting dilemma for hockey die-hards in Canada: wake up early or stay up late? This thread may be the worst and least active thread of anything I've posted here at MLHS during my brief tenure or it may lead to an excellent and passionate conversation between the most committed (double-entendre) hockey fans on the internet.  Either way, the tournament will be heaven for the vampire set. I'll be updating this text with observations during each of the intermissions and depending on how many of you join me, I may...

World Junior Championships - Canada / Sweden

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The Canadian World Junior team looks to put together a better effort in their final pretournament game against Sweden this morning at 9 a.m. (TSN). The Canadians were out of whack in a 3-2 loss to Finland in exhibition #1 as they adjusted to the bigger ice surface and European refereeing, contributing factors to their nine minor penalties and the two costly five on threes against. On the other hand, the Finns may surprise if the exhibitions are an indication; they pumped Team USA this morning and finished their primers with two wins over Canada and the US. Top...

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They both claim to want to talk but neither is willing to pick up the phone and call the other. A description that probably captures your first argument with your grade school boyfriend or girlfriend, and also where the NHL and NHLPA currently stand in CBA negotiations. Except with antitrust and labour law mixed in. What fun. Thankfully we do have the World Juniors starting up tomorrow with Canada's first exhibition game against Finland at 9 a.m. featuring our guy Morgan Rielly. Rielly's never really had much of a chance to play for something in the WHL as the extent...