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
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
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
Barb Dawes, Nigel's mom, called winning gold the climax of the players'
"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
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
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
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
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
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
SELLING THE GAME
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.
FIRST PICK OVERALL
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
"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