I think the comparison I made in March holds true: the 2010 IIHF World Championships are to NCAA Basketball’s NIT as the Stanley Cup playoffs are to March Madness. That being said, it’s still a chance to see players forgo yacht and sun bathing time to play just a little more hockey.
Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen and New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo were among the first 12 players named to the United States squad that will compete at the 2010 IIHF World Championships in Germany from May 7-23.
Clemmensen and Okposo are returning from last year’s tournament team that finished fourth.
Also named were Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Gilroy of the New York Rangers, Eric Nystrom of the Calgary Flames, Edmonton’s Ryan Potulny, the Islanders’ Jack Hillen, Tampa Bay’s Mike Lundin, Anaheim’s Ryan Carter, Toronto’s Christian Hanson and Calgary’s David Moss.
As you may notice, 12 players is far short from a full 20-man roster (not to mention reserves/taxi squad guys if that applies). The logic of not naming a full roster is simple: Team USA (and Canada, who I’ll discuss later today) will be able to snatch hockey players from teams who get knocked out of the playoffs. The tournament starts in Germany on May 7, so that gives at least a round or two of possible supplemental players.
Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick
Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.
Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.
You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.
Here’s his second assist for good measure:
Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.
Phaneuf on the Ottawa crowd reaction: "It gave me chills."