2010 IIHF World Championships: Alex Ovechkin, Russia fall short as Czechs take gold


czechgold.jpgAlex Ovechkin and Team Russia’s year of frustration continued today as the upstart Czech Republic team shocked them 2-1 to win the gold medal in the 2010 IIHF World Championships.

The Czech Republic was not expected to have so much success. After all, their biggest name Jaromir Jagr almost seemed to wave a white flag of defeat while chastising his more prominent countrymen for declining an offer to play for the team earlier in the tournament. It turned out they probably were better off without those players, though, as Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun and relative unknown/team captain Jan Marek helped the team win it all despite nearly facing the humiliation of playing in the tournament’s relegation round. Joe Yerdon wrote this about their performancefor the Hockey  Worlds Blog.

Much like the other games the Czechs played in the elimination round of this tournament, the game would be tightly defended, low-scoring, and count on someone coming up big somehow. Only difference this time was that it didn’t have to be Jan Marek and Tomas Vokoun in a post-overtime shootout. This time it was still Vokoun leading the charge as he made 35 saves and you could argue that Vokoun is used to backstopping teams that are a bit deficient in talent since he’s a Florida Panthers goalie in the NHL. The difference between the Panthers and the Czechs, of course, is that the Czechs played great as a team and rallied better than just about anyone throughout this whole tournament.


Yerdon pointed out that both Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals teammate Alex Semin finished the game -2, the only Russians to reach that mark in the gold medal contest. It’s unfair to call either player “chokers” but that doesn’t mean that someone, somewhere almost certainly is doing just that.

The Puck Stops Here lists the tournament’s award winners.

Dennis Endras, the German goalie, was chosen as tournament MVP. Pavel Datsyuk was chosen the top forward and Petteri Nummelin of Finland was chosen the top defenceman in the tournament.

Ultimately, the Czechs ended up with the gold medal while Russia took the silver and Sweden finished with a bronze after defeating host country Germany 3-1. Be sure to check out the Hockey Worlds blog when you’re done browsing PHT.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT

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Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)