Thursday, August 26, 2004

Vancouver Canucks at the World Cup

Well the World Cup of Hockey is set to get underway next week and there will be several players representing the Vancouver Canucks.

Team Canada will have Ed Jovanovksi patrolling the blue line. With Rob Blake and Chris Pronger both out of the tournament, Jovanovski will play a very important role on what is an unusually young Canadian defense core.

The Canucks will have four Swedish players in the tournament led by Canuck captain Markus Naslund. Joining Naslund are Mattias Ohlund and the Sedin twins. I don't know about you folks but I am very much looking forward to seeing how much progress Daniel and Henrik have made this offseason. I have also considered staring up a pool to see who can guess how many times Bob Cole will refer to the "Sundins"(and while I am at it how many times do you think Cole will refer to the Swedes as the Finns?)

There will be two Canucks playing for the Czech Republic, that is if you still consider Martin Rucinsky a Canuck. Joining Rucinsky will be Marek "The Gentle Giant" Malik as well as former two time Canuck Jiri Slegr.

Some of you may be surprised to know that the Canucks also have a representative on team Slovakia. 27 year old Jaroslav Obsut will add some depth to the Slovaks defense. Obsut had a pretty solid year(65gp 11g 26a 37pts) on what was a pretty bad Manitoba Moose team.

Artem Chubarov will join a depleted Russian squad who will be without the likes of Sergei Federov, Valeri Bure, Alexei Zhamnov, Evgeni Nabokov and Nikolai Khabibulin. Chubarov will most likely center a checking line although he could see some time with some of Russia's many skilled wingers.

Rounding out the Canucks World Cup contribution are Fins Sami Salo and Jarkko Ruutu. Watch out for the Finns folks. Backed by very strong goaltending this team can match up with any other team in the tournament and are likely to surprise a few people.

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