Хроника Хоккея


Январь 2005 года

Definitely our best team. Players, fans do Canada proud at WJHC

By PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

The debate has begun: was this year's version of Team Canada our best junior squad ever?

It's an almost impossible argument to settle, but that won't stop us from trying.

For starters, only gold-medal winners need apply. I don't care how talented you were, if you didn't win when it mattered most, you don't make the cut.

So the '78 team, led by Wayne Gretzky, Mike Gartner, Bobby Smith and Rob Ramage, is out of the running.

Secondly, you won't get consideration for our best-ever if you didn't go undefeated. Even ties aren't acceptable. We want dominant teams.

That leaves out the '94 and '97 teams, both world champs.

Let's look at individual talent, now.

It would be hard to rank the current gold-medallists No. 1 without a few more years to see how they develop.

For example, the 1995 team had just one player (defenceman Chad Allan) who didn't go on to play at least one game in the NHL. So the bar is set pretty high.

That team went 7-0 and outscored its opposition 49-22.

A year later, a team led by Jarome Iginla went 6-0, outscoring teams 27-8 in the process.

This year's team was undefeated in six games, by a combined 41-7 score. Not only did it never trail in a game, it actually had a lead for more than 305 of 360 total minutes.

And it smoked a pretty good Russian team 6-1 in the final.

The best-ever? Talent-wise, we'll reserve judgment.

Team-wise, you bet it was.

KUDOS: You can't say enough about the impact Manitoba fans have made these last few weeks.

From the sold-out pre-tournament games here to the flag-waving sea of red at The Ralph, it's obvious the love for the international game is alive and well in The 'Peg.

That'll go a long way to bringing another event here before too long.

It's not just the Hockey Canada suits we needed to impress, either. It's good to give our own organizers and politicians a reminder every now and again to get off their duffs and get to work on it.

Don't think the national media didn't notice, too. Had more than one person tell me the NHL is crazy not to be in Winnipeg.

That won't change anything, of course. But it can't hurt.

SHARING THE GLORY: It was nice to see the players get a chance to celebrate with their families in a post-game party at The Ralph Tuesday night.

If anyone can relate to the sacrifices the players make to get here, it's the parents. So when Canada wins gold, so do a lot of moms and dads.

"It's my Christmas present," Gilles Beauchemin, goalie Reg's dad, said. "So it's a few days late. That's OK."

Almost makes all those years of early practices and trips to the rink worth it, doesn't it?

"People don't realize how dedicated these kids are," Beauchemin said. "The sacrifices they make, moving away from home, and the training they do ... it's a full-time job for them.

"No matter what happens to him from here on in, they can't take this away."

Barb Dawes, Nigel's mom, called winning gold the climax of the players' careers.

"This is what they've been working for," she said. "Hearts and souls went into it."

AND FINALLY: We'll leave you with the quote of the week, or at least my favourite.

It came from Marc-Andre Fleury, the goaltender who lived a nightmare a year ago, when Canada blew a two-goal, third-period lead in the gold-medal game against the U.S.

The winner was scored when Fleury banked the puck off his own player and into the net, probably Canada's most infamous moment in world junior history.

Asked by The Sun if he had any advice for goalie Jeff Glass before Tuesday's game, Fleury chuckled a little, then offered the following gem, with his usual French accent.

"Not score in his own net, maybe -- that's the first thing I would recommend."


Crosby has right stuff
Future of hockey is in good hands

By KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

If this was the final episode of The Crosby Show on the World Junior Hockey Championship stage, you'd have trouble scripting a happier ending.

Playing in his second world junior tourney, Sidney Crosby left a lasting impression on and off the ice and went home with a gold medal hanging around his neck.

Patrolling the left wing on Canada's top line with Patrice Bergeron and Corey Perry, the 17-year-old phenom from Cole Harbour, N.S., put his skills on display, finishing the tournament with six goals and three assists for nine points.

He tied a Canadian world junior record for most power-play goals in a tournament with five, previously set by Eric Daze in 1995.

He showcased an unwavering work ethic, tremendous vision, a blistering shot and a passion to play in the big game.

But even more important than his eye-popping skills and incredible hockey sense is the way Crosby handles himself under the intense glare of the spotlight.

From the first day he arrived for Canada's evaluation camp in Winnipeg, Crosby was surrounded by a horde of media that only grew as the days and weeks wore on.

He took questions nearly every day -- either in a scrum or in 1-on-1 situations -- and whenever he responded, Crosby looked each questioner in the eyes and gave a genuine answer.

Most of the time Crosby had a smile on his face, his love of the game evident both on and off the ice.

Dealing with fans was no different as Crosby signed autographs and posed for pictures.

It was fitting that Wayne Gretzky was in attendance to witness Crosby's emergence on the world stage, since the Great One was and continues to be one of the game's best ambassadors.

Crosby does boast Gretzky-like vision but his style of play is more reminiscent of Detroit Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman and Colorado Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg.

Where Crosby most resembles Gretzky is in dealing with the media and the public.


The attention Crosby garners on and off the ice doesn't faze him and that bodes well since he'll need to be one of the guys selling the game for years to come.

For now, Crosby will return to the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL and try to help an underachieving team turn things around and reach the Memorial Cup in London, Ont.

Crosby is one of two Canadian players eligible to return for the 2006 event (Winnipegger Cam Barker is the other) in Vancouver, but their participation is likely linked to what happens with the NHL lockout.

What Crosby does next season is up in the air, but the options are limitless.

Conceivably, Crosby could return for a third season with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL but that seems unlikely since he's dominated the competition at the Canadian Hockey League level during the past two seasons.

If the labour impasse continues, Crosby could explore options in Europe or fight for free agency after his 18th birthday (Aug. 7), turn pro and sign a contract with an AHL team.

How good would Crosby look in a Manitoba Moose uniform next season?

It's obviously a long shot, but Crosby's presence would allow the upper bowl of the MTS Centre to be open for all 40 home games in 2005-06.

Bringing one of hockey's rising stars to a great Canadian hockey market seems like an ideal marriage.

Imagine the possibilities.

Here's hoping Moose majority owner Mark Chipman has a telephone number for Crosby's agent Pat Brisson.

No matter what Crosby does next season, he's already got a gold and silver medal in his trophy case before he's even old enough to vote.

And he's got an engaging personality that can give fans some hope the future of the game is in good hands.

Ovechkin rubbed out of game

By TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

Alexander Ovechkin tipped his hat to Canada last night but not with his right hand.

The Russian star watched the final period of his team's 6-1 loss to Canada in street clothes after suffering a right shoulder injury.

"Congratulations to Team Canada," Ovechkin said in English after the game. "I think the Canadian people must be proud of this team. We started well, but then the Canadians started hitting and we were not in the rest of the game."

Russian coach Sergei Gersonskiy said Ovechkin will need surgery, but Ovechkin did not know the extent of the injury.

He apparently suffered it after colliding with Patrice Bergeron early in the second period.


Ovechkin, the first pick overall by the Washington Capitals, had wondered earlier about the ability of Canadian goalie Jeff Glass, who had not faced many shots in the tournament. Canada fans went to bed last night still unsure about Glass' ability, because he never did have any pressure in this tournament.

"We all have gold medals around our necks, and he is left with nothing," Glass said. "If you are going to say something like that, it comes back to bite you in the butt."

Another phenom enjoyed a much better end to his world junior tournament. Sidney Crosby had just an assist last night, but his defensive play last night and through the tournament was excellent. Crosby was one of 12 Canadian players who fell hard in the gold-medal game against the U.S. last year and returned to play this year.

"This is a dream come true," Crosby said. "I was happy for the opportunity this year to play with Patrice (Bergeron) and Corey (Perry). To have this feeling and have everything pay off in the past three weeks is unbelievable."

That's how Bergeron found the experience too. He won gold with the national men's team but said this was better.

"I am pretty happy to be here," Bergeron said. "It was the experience of my life because I was with guys my own age."

Первая страничка молодежных чемпионатов мира 2005 года
Подгруппа А - подробнее
США, Россия, Чехия, Швейцария, Белоруссия
Подгруппа В - подробнее
Канада, Финляндия, Швеция, Словакия. Германия
За 7-10 места - подробнее
Словакия, Швейцария, Белоруссия, Германия
1/4 финала - подробнее
Чехия - Финляндия
Швеция - США
1/2 финала - подробнее
Канада - Чехия
Россия - США
Финал - подробнее
За 5 место. Швеция - Финляндия
За 3 место. Чехия - США
За 1 место. Россия - Канада. 
Страничка статистики

Молодежные чемпионаты мира (до 20 лет) 2005 года.