Official Hockey discussion thread

Taker

Cannon Fodder
I'm always interested in how the Canucks, Leafs, and Habs are doing, and I've been an Oilers supporter too. Hell, I enjoy watching them all. Now that the Jets are back, everybody else takes a backseat though... :)  I really got into the Manitoba Moose (AHL) when they were here... affordable, good hockey... also still follow the junior team from the town I grew up in, the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. Jets games are pretty hard on the wallet, so I won't be going as regularly as when the Moose were playing. Tough getting tickets too... 
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
I took my friend to the airport this morning (I've had 5 hours of sleep) and while waiting for her to board I picked up a Sports Illustrated. Aparently they had an article on the NHL concussions problem the previous issue and they had a couple of letters responding to it. One of them REALLY pissed me off. I just felt it was incredibly ignorant. He was saying that while the NHL's attempt to deminish concussions through rule 48 was honorable it was also hypocritical as they still allowed players to fight allowing them to punch each other in the head.

UM.... fighting is NOT responsible for the astronomical rise in concussions since the lock out! What a fucking moron. I feel that this person doesn't follow hockey with any regularity. I have RARELY seen a player get a concussion from a fight, yet since the league re-upped 6 years ago, I don't know if it is the new skates, the new elbow pads, both, the famous, "not keeping the stick on the ice thus raising your arms and intentionally or unintentionally targeting the head (which didn't seem to be a problem prior to the lock-out), it has been collisions, open ice hits, boarding hits, etc, NOT fighting, which have caused an alarming increase in concussions.

I know I should probably be addressing this to the moron who wrote that letter, but I think I really just needed to vent. I'm very tired and that really, for whatever reason, rubbed me the wrong way.
 

Taker

Cannon Fodder
Check out some of the saves Ondrej Pavelec was making tonight against the Islanders... brick fucking wall, baby. Nice to see him get a shutout... he deserved it.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Could a Canadian please explain to me why Canada was split into Canada West and Canada East for the World Juniors? My guess is because they have been such a powerhouse, the IIHF felt to even things out it was best to break the country up into two teams or there is just SO MUCH Canadian talent that they had to split it off into two teams... anyway, seems ridiculous to me.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Are you talking about the upcoming world juniors or the Junior A challenge going on right now near Vancouver?
If there's a split for the World Juniors, that's news to me and a huge surprise.
If its the world Junior A challenge you're talking about, I'm pretty sure you're right about the rationale.
It's actually not that unusual when Canada hosts youth tourneys below the World Juniors level.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Yep, for the Junior A level stuff you can see Canada sending up to 4 team.

It comes back to the discussion I had before: how many hockey teams could you make up out of Canada that would still be world class? I'm pretty sure you could get 3, maybe 4.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Indeed I meant the Junior A. I know, When Canada doesn't medal in major tournys I find it inexcusable, considering the inmense pool of players, even when players with dual citizenship decide to play for other countries as a way to guarantee they'll play instead of MAYBE play for Canada. Like Statsney choosing to play for the U.S... Well... I think actually... I'm pretty sure he was a dual citizen and chose to play for the U.S.
 

GuineaPig

Ancient Mariner
LooseCannon said:
Yep, for the Junior A level stuff you can see Canada sending up to 4 team.

It comes back to the discussion I had before: how many hockey teams could you make up out of Canada that would still be world class? I'm pretty sure you could get 3, maybe 4.

Given Canada's performance at the World Championships, I wouldn't be so sure.

Though what are we defining as "world class"?
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
GuineaPig said:
Given Canada's performance at the World Championships, I wouldn't be so sure.

Though what are we defining as "world class"?

Let's explain it by what "world class" is not. As in, Germany, Belarus, Latvia, Italy, Norway... "experts" talk about the "Top 8." In all reality it is "Top 4" and then Everybody else: Canada, Russia, The United States and Sweden. On a Good day Finland is a close 4th and after that there is a severe drop off in "world class" talent. the Czech Republic has snuck in some good teams over the years, but along with Slovakia and Germany they more often than not... pretenders.
 

GuineaPig

Ancient Mariner
Ok then.  Assuming the Czech Republic as the drop-off point, I think Canada could field three competitive teams.

Our goalie depth isn't really all that strong:

Luongo
Price
Ward
Crawford
Fleury
Roloson
 

Shadow

Deluxe Edition
Staff member
If we rank teams purely by talent depth, Onhell has it about right. Canada is number one by a pretty wide margin, and then there's Sweden, Russia and USA in some order, followed by Czech Republic and Finland in some order. However, this is not really reflected in the results - in the post-Cold War hockey world, the Czechs have arguably been the most successful European team.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
When the top talent is consistently tied up for the World Championships in the NHL - for all countries - I start to think that we should be judging by the other tournaments - the World Cup, the Olympics, and the World Juniors. By that standard, Canada is the most successful in the last 15 years. But yes, in general, Canada has the most players, ergo, the most talent.
 

Shadow

Deluxe Edition
Staff member
I agree with that, and since Sweden and Czech Republic both have Olympic gold medals, they come out on top of the European countries. I'd say the Czech bronze in 2006 give them the edge, though I don't remember how well the respective teams did in the World Cups.

I don't think the World Championships are wholly without merit, though they're obviously not as important as the big tournaments. 2005 had unusually strong rosters due to the lockout, and deserves special attention for that reason.

Junior hockey is a category for itself, as far as I'm concerned.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Junior hockey is a different category, but you'll find national teams follow the success of their junior teams on a delayed schedule.

I agree with looking at the 2005 WHC as a special case. Pretty cool to ponder. We could craft a ranking system, if we cared to be like the IIHF.
 

Natalie

Insect of Terror
Staff member
Not a huge hockey fan, but since I've gone to Boston College and the men's (and women's) teams are good, I started to follow it a bit more, just in time for the Bruins to win the cup! (I live in Boston, so yeah).
So in terms of who I follow in the NHL it really comes down to the Bruins and whichever team currently has the most Swedish players on its roster :D.
 

Onhell

Infinite Dreamer
Natalie said:
Not a huge hockey fan, but since I've gone to Boston College and the men's (and women's) teams are good, I started to follow it a bit more, just in time for the Bruins to win the cup! (I live in Boston, so yeah).
So in terms of who I follow in the NHL it really comes down to the Bruins and whichever team currently has the most Swedish players on its roster :D.

You're a woman after my own heart lol. Glad to see a fellow bruin fan. As a great way to follow hockey AND swedish players, go to the Svenska page of the NHL:

http://www.nhl.com/sv/index.html
 
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