Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Canada Wins World Cup

As you already know Canada won the World Cup last night 3-2 over Finland. I thought I would go over the keys to the game I posted yesterday.
  1. Canada was much better in the nerves department but the young guys were still coughing up the puck a little too much for my liking. I thought Scott Hannan and Jay Bouwmeester had very rough games and I was quite nervous whenever they were on the ice. Those two were great for most of the tournament but IMO their game slipped in the semi-final and final.
  2. It took Canada quite a while to get a consistent forecheck going, but it finally paid off early in the 3rd period when Shane Doan scored the tournament winning goal.
  3. Surprisingly none of Canada's goals were the result of traffic in front of Kiprusoff. Joe Sakic opened the scoring after some beautiful passing between him and Lemieux. Niedermayer scored on a very weak goal by Kiprusoff. Finally Shane Doan scored by taking Thornton's pass and walking around Kiprusoff, who had no one around to help him out.
  4. I thought Canada did a reasonable job of sticking to their gameplan. The Finns played a great defensive game and actually established a very strong forecheck. Canada was caught icing the puck often but as the game went on the Finns had trouble sustaining their strong forecheck.
  5. Canada gets a failing grade in this department. The first goal was a direct result of Scott Niedermayer, who had a terrible game, failing to clear the puck when he had an opportunity. The wingers were much better at helping out the D, but the defense core had a terrible time dealing with the Finnish forecheck.

So there you have it. Canada, while not having a great game, still had a strong enough game to pull out a close victory. The Finns showed up and played very well. With better goaltending they could have easily won this game. Before I finish this post off, I have to mention the contribution of the "DDT" line. Chris Draper, Joe Thorton and Shane Doan were absolutely outstanding. It's too bad they can't give the MVP award to an entire line.

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