Good morning everyone! Just dropping by with some quick Worlds notes for you–and lots of pictures because I’m highly overcaffeinated at the moment:
In the same vein as my commentary on Slovakiaâ€™s performance from last nightâ€™s post, Lucas Aykroyd wonders if the Slovaks can beat the odds. As a Blackhawks fan, am I allowed to make jokes about the Hossa curse?
Youth is power for some teams this year, particularly Canada: the tournamentâ€™s top two scorers are currently Jeff Skinner and John Tavares, both born in the 1990s. (I know I was only born in â€™89 but the thought of kids born in the â€˜90s playing at Worlds is just as terrifying to me as it is to most of you, I promise.) Both Canada and Sweden have six players born in the â€˜90s on their rosters, and they seem to be doing better for it. However, not all countries currently have the development programs necessary to have players that young participate in international competition, so their future is much more uncertain. Andrew Podnieks wrote a great article on the 1990s presence in Worlds here.
Relatedly, the USA team has gone for younger, newer players for this yearâ€™s squadâ€”an attempt to avoid the path that put them in danger of relegation last year. Only Chris Kreider and Jack Johnson returned from last yearâ€™s team, and there are 12 players on this yearâ€™s team that have never represented the US internationally before. It seems like quite a bit of a gamble, but it seems to be paying off for them. Paul Romanukâ€™s article goes deeper into this situation and is a must-read for Team USA fans.
The top team for Groups C & D will be decided today, as the United States takes on Sweden and the Czech Republic takes on Finland. USA has 6 points to Swedenâ€™s 4 and the Czech Republic has 6 to Finlandâ€™s 5. Looking forward to recapping the results tonight, but in the meantime, I must say: lycka till, Tre Kronor! and ÄeÅ¡iÂ doÂ toho! Also, GO FROLIK GO.
And from the rest of the folks here at Runs on Duncan: may great hockey happen for everyone today.
(And, okay, yeah, go USA!)