Two years ago Canada beat Patrick Kane and the USA in the gold medal game of the IIHF World Junior Championship in a dramatic shootout. The game winning save was made by Carey Price. Three years ago Steve Mason led Canada to the gold. In 1999 Roberto Luogno carried the Canadian team on his back (sign of things to come?) but fell just short of the gold. In 2002 Henrik Lundqvist carried a weak Swedish team. Was there a Luongo, Lundqvist, Price or Mason in this year’s tournament?
Dustin Tokarski and Jacob Markstrom, top two goalies of this year's tournament
The two choices to potentially appear on the distinguished alumni list one day appear to be Canadian Dustin Tovarski and Swede Jacob Markstrom. Tovarski won MVP in the finals and Markstrom won MVG for the tournament.
For those of us in NHL playoff cities the World Championships have been a bit of an after-thought (or even a non-existent thought). While national teams routinely pick up a few late additions from NHL teams eliminated in the first round it’s extremely rare to add a player eliminated in the second round. Due to the late start of the tournament this year, the Sharks loss to Dallas in game six and the fact that Quebec doesn’t require a trans-Atlantic flight Evengeni Nabokov will be pulling on the Russian jersey in a couple days.
Alexander Eremenko, Russia’s starter so far, injured his right ACL on Sunday in Russia’s 5-4 win over the Czechs. Backup Mikhail Biryukov played in a 4-1 win over Denmark today but because Russia only brought two keepers (Canada named three at the beginning of the tournament) they are allowed to add an emergency replacement for Eremenko.
I love watching gloves saves like this when Nabokov is wearing the Sharks’ teal but I’m not looking forward to what he’s going to do to Team Canada when they inevitably hook up in the medal round. Follow the IIHF results here and be sure to check out great shots of the action from each game here.