Saturday, May 12, 2012
Kazakhstan may have nearly pulled off the upset of the tournament when they forced Team USA into overtime on Friday but there would be no such drama against Team Canada, on day nine of competition at the 2012 IIHF World Hockey Championships. While the Canadians were seemingly going through the motions, they still managed to secure the 8-0 victory over their badly over matched opponents.Captain Ryan Getzlaf and defenceman Ducan Keith led the way with three points each and goaltender Devan Dubnyk stopped all twenty-two shots he faced, earning Canada's first shutout of the tournament. With the win, Team Canada has all but guaranteed themselves top spot in Group H. With their final preliminary round match scheduled for Tuesday against Belarus, first place should be nothing more then a formality.
Friday, May 11, 2012
After yet another poor start, Team Canada decided to turn it up a notch midway through the second period and were rewarded with a crucial and yet highly entertaining 5-3 victory over Finland. Evander Kane netted the game winner early in the third period and the trio of John Tavares, Jeff Skinner and Jordan Eberle all scored for Canada, who now sit atop Group H with a 4-0-1 mark. Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows made his return to the lineup, after being knocked out of action during the opening game against Slovakia and managed to chip in with his first goal of the tournament.
Through four games of preliminary round action Team Canada has faced NHL caliber netminding in only one of their games, that being their 5-4 OT loss to Team USA. While Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard was less then stellar against the Canadians in that see-saw affair, you can bet on the level of play from the opposition goaltender to take a major step forward against the Finns. In Kari Lehtonen, the co-host nation have the best goalie in the tournament and one that will make Team Finland, Canada's toughest test to date.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
As the World Hockey Championships continue to move along, Team Canada seems to be improving every time out but have yet to find their "A" game. While their hard fought 3-2 victory over Switzerland was their best performance of the tournament, it is still nowhere near where it needs to be, if they plan on regaining the crown that has eluded them since winning the 2007 championships.
Monday, May 07, 2012
While defeating the French by a score of 7-2 doesn't come as much of a surprise, the outcome may just be what Team Canada needs to right their ship moving forward. The newly formed line of Jamie Benn, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Patrick Sharp led the charge with a combined eleven points and Devan Dubnyk made nineteen saves in his first start of the tournament. With the win, Canada improves their record to 2-0-1 with and will look to continue on their winning ways, as they prepare to faceoff against Switzerland on Wednesday morning.
Heading into this year's World Championships, Team Canada head coach Brent Sutter and his staff were hoping the combination of Jamie Benn on a line with the Anaheim duo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry could prove to be Canada's top unit. Having the two Olympians skating alongside the Dallas Stars young winger, had the potential of a dynamic trio. That being said, two games into the tournament, the three have had less then favourable results. While Benn and Perry have both struggled, it is Getzlaf who has dragged the line down to the point of being non-existent.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Outside of strong efforts from John Tavares and Jeff Skinner upfront and a solid game from defenceman Duncan Keith, Team Canada forgot to show up against a hard working Team USA side. Despite being badly outplayed, Canada somehow managed to get this one into to overtime but ultimately lost 5-4, courtesy of Jack Johnson's power play winner. Johnson led the way for the Americans with a pair of goals, while Tavares and Keith each chipped in with a goal and an assist, in the losing effort.