As the IIHF set up the quarter-final matches today starting at 4:45 am with Canada and Slovakia, it was unfortunate that our Canucks were not in fine form as the Slovaks coming off a 5 game win streak bombed on us big time. With rough d-man Zdeno Chara on our backs and Marc Methot out for a brutal hit on Belarus’ Yevgeni Kovyrshin, it was wildly surprising and disturbing that our highly anticipated Jets’ boys Ladd and Kane paired with a gifted Duncan Keith and Jamie Benn could not pull out some more points to take us to the semi’s. My money was on Getzlaf and company; this could not have been a bigger disappointment for Canada!
Soon to follow is Russia vs. Norway, but it’s a no-brainer as to who will get this one in their pocket. Russia was pre-ranked 3rd above a 9th placeNorway team, and as history illustrates,Russia captured gold in 2008 and 2009 at the World Championship. It’s a shame we wont have a chance to match up against them this year.
Next up is a dangerous USA team against the Fins. If Bobby Ryan and Max Pacioretty can keep up their hot action on the ice then the US have this one in the bag, and will without a doubt secure the win against the 2011 gold team. And maybe so long as tough checker Slater can keep from accidentally acquiring a slashing minor in the crease, this talented Jet will definitely be a decent contributor for a USA win.
As the Swedes have the taste for gold this time around after last years 2nd place finish against the Fins, they are well on their way to take out the Czech Republic after a 4-0 dust against Latvia. Eriksson and Backstrom should be able to take this one down no problem.
But it was our strong Canadian team that we were hoping for a win. Though a major contender for the gold with a possible 3 fresh triple gold members gracing our roster, Keith, Perry and Getzlaf have all won both the Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold, could have added a World Championship to that list? Maybe next year boys.
So as the semi-finals hit Helsinki Saturday morning followed by the medal games on Sunday, it is expected to see a highly confident USA team and maybe a brilliant Russian matchup somewhere amongst the medal games. Either way you swing it as Ladd and Kane are out, let’s trust our one Jet left can shut down shop overseas.