Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Can at Rus in Winnipeg, Super Series Game 5

So...I didn't actually get to watch the 4 games of domination that Canada had in Russia, though I did hear they were quite dominating. Canada is up 4-0 in the best of 8 recreation of the '72 Summit Series between Canada and Russia.

I had some other ideas for this Super Series rather than pitting the juniors against each other. What about getting the surviving members of the original series back together and letting them have at it for a senior recreation? Think that Henderson still has the magic touch? Only one way to find out! If that doesn't work...use their kids! Who cares if they have played hockey at all in their lives, suit 'em up and put 'em on the ice. I think this would make for some classicly brutal hockey. Ok...maybe those aren't the greatest ideas. Oh well. They sounded good when I thought about them for 2 seconds.

Anywho, I'll be updating this post with thoughts after each period and I'll do some live blogging of the remaining 3 games as well. Go Canada Go (for the sweep)!

1st Period
I'd be lying if I said that the goalies aren't stealing the show. The Russia kid, Bobrovsky (?), has been standing on his head and making 2-5 really good saves. Bernier was actually unexpectedly busy and solid, if not spectacular (hard to be spectacular if the shots are all weak wristers...they were mostly through traffic though). Loved to see the physicality of the game, mostly from Canada though the Russians did start to pick it up after about 7 minutes. Aside from the goalies, the best players on the ice were definitely Sam Gagne, Brandon Sutter, Zach Hamill, David Perron. I could probably name a whole bunch of them but I'm still getting used to their numbers, those were the guys that really stood out to me. I heard Milan Lucic's name a lot, but didn't really feel he was super...just in the middle of the play. 1st period is done and it feels like Canada should be winning but it is still 0-0. I'm loving this whole hockey on TV thing. I think I missed it.

2nd Period
Wow, I wish I'd mentioned Claude Giroux after period 1. I swear I was going to, he was a standout. Anyway, the goalies stepped out of the limelight for that period. Bernier because the Russians didn't shoot and Bobrovsky because he gave up 5 goals. Giroux with 2 goals and 3 points, Gagne with 1 goal and 3 points. This is what the score probably should have been after the first period. I just heard the announcers say that this is an embarrassment for Russian hockey...I can't say I disagree. You would've expected them to at least show up for some of these games. They are just outclassed. Canada 5, Russia 1.

3rd Period
Lost in the final score will be Johnathan Bernier's solid game and showcase of the skills that will make him a solid and capable NHL goalie for years to come. He has the smarts and the skills to make a huge impact. I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes a top-5 goalie before his 25th birthday. Brad Marchand also had a superb game even though I didn't note him above. An 8-1 final is pretty good. Not much bad came from this game.

General notes: Where was Tavares? He had a couple chances but was mostly anonymous, even on a line with Kyle Turris who was flying (and in the process making me a believer in his skills, 3rd overall pick this year that I wondered about...not wondering anymore). Tavares might be able to dominate the OHL, but I don't think his game is at the point yet where he could even dominate the AHL. He needs time to learn to skate a bit better and just needs time to fill out his frame. It takes a really special player to go to the NHL at 19. Crosby succeeded and Gilbert Brule didn't. Brule was pretty good in the WHL, but trying to make that jump has set his career back years. Other notes, the defence was completely anonymous to me. They have some good guys there in Alzner, Hickey, Doughty and Ellerby but I really didn't hear too much from them. Of course, between the forwards pounding everyone in sight and Bernier stopping every shot coming his way they didn't really need to do too much. I'm kind of sad I didn't get to see the first 4 games because now the only tension is how dominant will Canada be over the rest of the series. Maybe they can bring in their B-team.

1 comment:

greg smith said...

why didnt my habs draft ryan getzlaf when he slipped to them, really need a big center. why cant we sign any free agents of substance. why did gainey say last year our line-up could compete with anyones in the league. why did we lose the quarterback of the most explosive power play last year, and get nothing for him. guess we,ll be watching the play-offs on t.v. again. thats why.