CANADA-5 CZECH REPUBLIC- 1
Well it wasn’t a dominant performance, but it was never really in doubt. Canada lead 3-1 after the 1st period and never looked back. A dicey start to the 2nd period which was saved by a few good stops by Mikey Dipietro who will start the rest of the way barring any poor performances. The 2nd period was saved by Mackenzie Entwistle who scored for the 3rd straight game on a shot that Czech Goalie Jiri Patera got most of, but not enough. That ended Jiri Patera’s night and he was replaced by Jakub Skarek who actually started for the Czech last year.
1. Of course Canada is 3-0, but I’m more disappointed in the Czech Republic. Martin Necas (CAR), Martin Kaut (COL) and Filip Zadina (DET) were all picked in the top 16 in the NHL Draft and have been invisible this tournament. Last year Zadina and Necas lit up the tournament, neither have scored. Martin Kaut has 2 points in the 1st game and you haven’t heard from him since, other than the poor penalty he took tonight which landed him in the box for 12 minutes. The Czech were supposed to make some noise in this tournament but have yet to really take off. To me, it’d make more sense to load up one line opposed to having Zadina by himself.
2. Max Comtois is a good and energetic player but his diving is embarrassing for any player and probably worse since he wears the C.
3. Good for Alexis Lafreniere to score in the 1st. I’ll still question why we felt the need to bring a 17 year old to this tournament but hard to argue with his 42 goals last year and he scored a good one today. Likewise for Brett Leason who has been passed over in 2 drafts and is on his way to being a 1st round pick this year.
4. It’s hard to see where the firepower really is on this Canadian team. At 5 on 5, Cody Glass and Owen Tippett were rather quiet tonight and the Hayton and Suzuki lines haven’t done much against tougher competition. Hayton has looked selfish with too much dangling which often has lead to a turnover. Then again, Mackenzie Entwistle has played very well in a checking line role.
5. New Years Eve will be interesting against Russia. Much like the Czech they have first round talent, Kratsov, Kostin, Denisenko and Alexeyev. The Russians are tough to read, they don’t blowout teams but will be a tough test. The winner of that game likely plays Slovakia in the Quarterfinals, the loser would get either Sweden, USA or Finland.
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