Thursday, August 30, 2007

Through the haze, Canada victorious 3-0

Notes from game 2:

Brandon Sutter is a monster. He's a force of nature on the ice. He completely destroyed Cherepanov early in the first and completely knocked the Russian off his game for the rest of the match-up.

Alexei Cherepanov shows up. Kind of. I'm sure he'd intended on making this outing his time to shine, but that Sutter hit left him sprawling on the ice with his helmet skittering away in the slush. He made a few decent moves, but I honestly think he was scared to be on the ice. A few very selfish moments with the puck, but that's been kind of a theme with Team Russia so far. They lack cohesiveness.

Kyle Turris. Whatever. He'll be a star. He's already the most dominant player on the ice in terms of foresight and skill, but he has a way to go yet before being able to translate his skills for the NHL level.

Sergei Bobrovsky in goal for the Russians actually did a really decent job. He was absolutely bombarded by scoring attempts and the fact that he held his team to just 3 in the hole is surprising.

Speaking of goalies, how confident was Jonathan Bernier? Coming way out to challenge forwards, shutting down holes, making casual glove saves without worrying about face-offs due to Canadian domination in that area. Not only did he tend well, he played a good psychological game as well.

Sam Gagner continued to be excellent, making great plays, setting up the puck, keeping cycles alive, causing turnovers, disrupting rushes. Samwise was everywhere, a thorn in the side of the Russians and dogging every play they tried to make. I'm actually pretty happy we drafted him. He may not end up being a star in the NHL, but he'll be a must have solid player. I never would have thought so six months ago, and apparently neither did Lowetide, but his game has expanded on so many levels in such a short time, I'll be following him a little more closely from now on.

David Perron obviously wanted to be a difference maker. He set up Turris for the first goal and potted one himself in a move that should make any highlight reel this week, and for the rest of the year. Keep your YouTube eyes open for that one.

Tucic, Marchand, Legein, etc...all had very good games. Basically I'm too lazy to continue.

Like I mentioned in the comments of the last post, there's something unsatisfying about the series so far. It's like watching hockey last spring with the Russian Team playing the part of the Edmonton Oilers. It's hard to see how they're going to win more than one or two games in the Series, but I hope they end up surprising me. A lot of it comes down to coaching. Sutter is a great coach by any standards, and if Team Canada is giving us a preview of the new face of the New Jersey Devils, then I pity the competition.

Next game: Tomorrow 6am MST on Sportsnet.

Maybe Omsk will be the city where it turns around for Team Russia. And maybe, just maybe, the air conditioning will work, so the kids won't have to play Degobah Swamp Hockey again.

Omsk is the red dot on this map that looks kind of like a prancing bull or something


Anonymous said...

"Degobah Swamp Hockey" just want to say I've been enjoying your humour, grease trap.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Leland Irving does now.

I believe Omsk is Cherapnov's hometown, perhaps that'll do something for him? Man, if they turn it around in Russia, it's hard to believe they'll fare better when our boys come home.

Anonymous said...

damn. please insert "don't" between "...if they___turn it around..."