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That Magical Day is closing in

Guest flyercanuck

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As we go deeper into the month of December, the wonderful day comes closer and closer. Boxing Day, the start of the WJHC is only a couple weeks away now (what'd you think I meant?)

For those who watch it, you know what great hockey we're in for. It's become a tradition in our family to huddle around the TV, dinner is based on gametime. After boxing day, over the holidays I watch games at friends houses or at packed bars with people screaming at the TV. This year will be no different.

Canada will be one of the favorites, and will be looking for some revenge after blowing last years Gold Medal game in the 3rd period to the Russians. As usual, our best players are already in the NHL (Seguin, Skinner, RNH, Couturier, Johanson, Gudbransen etc) but we also get to pick from a larger talent pool. Word is Brett Connelly and Devante Smith-Pelly will be lent from their respective NHL teams but we'll have to wait and see. Canada will submit a formidable group of forwards including our local junior teams Sheifele and maybe Pearson (Homer draft this kid) Huberdeau (if healthy) Strome, Schwartz, Stone . I doubt any other team has the depth of firepower Canada can throw at you at forward.

Defence will likely be made up of Flyer draft passover Dougie Hamilton (who's absolutely shredding the OHL this year) Gormley, Petrovic Murray, Murphy etc.

Goaltending, what used to be Canadas strength, has become a weakness over the last few years. Visentin wil be on the team, but he scares me , This is an area where the US has a big advantage with Jack Campbell.

For those who watch it, enjoy. For those who don't, your loss, it's some great hockey.

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@flyercanuck can't wait. Definitely the highlight of the year for me.

Looks to be official re Connolly and Devante-Smith - http://www.hockeycanada.ca/index.php/ci_id/182789/la_id/1.htm

I was a bit disappointed that Gianluca Curcuruto wasn't invited but the depth at D looks to be impressive as well. Too bad Hishon is still having concussion symptoms. He could make that team if he was healthy.

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This my favourite tourny, fav sporting event of the year except *maybe* the SCF's...I actually lose sleep waiting for this thing to start. First time in 4 years no Spits have been invited to the early camp :{

Edit....great news for Canada, looks like Murray and Huberdeau will be ready for camp...


Edited by jammer2
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Canada sets its roster. Both Barrie Colts made the team so I'm happy.

Michaël Bournival

Brett Connolly

Brendan Gallagher

Freddie Hamilton

Quinton Howden

Jonathan Huberdeau

Boone Jenner

Tanner Pearson

Mark Scheifele

Jaden Schwartz

Devante Smith-Pelly

Mark Stone

Ryan Strome

Nathan Beaulieu

Brandon Gormley

Dougie Hamilton

Scott Harrington

Ryan Murray

Jamie Oleksiak

Mark Pysyk

Mark Visentin

Scott Wedgewood

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Ya, I watched it. Pearson looks pretty good out there. I think he's just taking Huberdeaus spot on the top line until he's healthy. He's a good fit with Scheifele cause they've played together, but he was lighting it up before Scheifele was sent down. But he's no Huberdeau. And once he's healthy that should be the best line at the WJs.

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@Podein25 I caught a few periods of the Finland game. It appears we are a bit smaller and a bit less skilled than last year, but still a hard working talented Canadian squad. Smith-Pellie was a human wrecking machine, legally finishing checks and punishing the Fins every single chance he got. Looks like Scheifele is the most talented forward and will be counted on for a big part of the offense. Still missing Huberdeau and Quinton Howden (who should be a BIG contributor this year)....so the lines can't be close to being set. Gallagher and Bournavial (2 of the 3 Hab picks on team Canada....boooooo!) seemed to be finding some chemistry. They may form part of the 4th line, but are a bit small for that role....but they do work really hard.

Kinda neat the team has the 2 Hamilton brothers on it...don't remember another set of brothers on Team Canada....pretty cool (think Eric and Brett Lindros were to far apart). I expect Strome to be a major leader on this team, great skill and work ethic. Need to see more of the defense to really make any calls, but they seem very reliable when I've been watching. I know the Harrington kid from London is really, really solid in his own end....never out of position. I swear, Doug Hamilton (just his skating/stride) reminds me of Larry Robinson when at top speed coming out of his own end.....a long graceful stride with decent top end speed for a big man.

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@Podein25 Maybe it's just the stinging loss from last year, but I don't trust Visitin either. He makes me very nervous. Perhaps the international experience will help him out, but I'm skeptical. I know a lot more about Wedgewood....seen him play a lot, a direct division rival of the Spits on the Plymouth Whalers, I've seen him enough to know he's a really solid tender, very sound fundamentally and does not get caught out of position a lot....great glove hand and fantastic down low, excellent flexibility and anticipation. I'd feel and lot safer with him in the net. The Spits used to beat him in 09-10....but we beat everyone back then. I remember one game we beat him 5-1....but outshot them 64-19....it really should have been 10 or 12 to 1....kid literally stood on his head....stopped 5 or 6 breakaways clean. That's the other factor, I like how Wedgewood performs in shootouts....I just plain like him better than Visitin. I think Scott will inevitably steal the starting job.

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I think it was a huge advantage for Team Canada to play it's only exhibition game against Finland, considering they open up the tourny against them. A solid coaching staff will be able to pick out numerous weakness's and exploit them. Little things like how a young d-man (and the Fins have 3 17 year olds back there...very young) handles dump in's on his backhand as opposed to his forehand....Hay will/should find some holes give us an advantage.

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@flyercanuck yeah, saw the Swiss game and the Visintin *meltdown* against the Swedes. Best thing that could have ever happened to Canada was getting throttled by the Swedes. First, it give Wedger the clear route to #1 goaltender and did not cost us a actual tourny loss to accomplish the feat. Plus, it puts Canada into a healthy state of mind, knowing they are beatable and gives us some stuff to work on. Sometimes, a big loss can bring a team together, a kind of "us against the world scenario" that only the trials and tribulations of a big loss can bring.

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