2005 World Hockey Championships

This years World Hockey Championships in Austria will usher in the new wave of hockey stars. Gone are the likes of Lemieux, Hasek, Hull and Roenick. In are the likes of Ovechkin, Lundqvist, Fisher, Hall and Legwand.We’ll start with Team Canada, since they are my pick to win the tourney. Sure, they don’t have the talent levels that Russia, Slovakia and Czechs may put forward, but they look like they will be the hardest team to score on, and defense wins championships.

Starting in goal, you can’t go wrong with one of the best goalies of all time, Martin Brodeur, he’s a proven winner and will do the same here. If Brodeur does somehow falter, the most hyped goalie of the last decade will take his place, Roberto Luongo. He is an incredible talent and will also be able to lead Canada to victory. The third goalie is the reliable Marty Turco, who has put up some of the best numbers in history. After a poor first half in the 2003-2004 season he rebounded and is once again an elite goaltender. 1-3, Canada will have the strongest goaltending.

On defense, mainstays Jovanovski will be back. He will be joined by Hannan and Regehr, who are two of the toughest to play against, followed by another solid d-man, Chris Phillips and Wade Redden. The new face will be Sheldon Souray who along with Jovo-Cop and Redden will have to play the Powerplay. A reliable group and one more than capable of shutting down whatever comes there way.

Now, the forwards. The offence will come from Heatley, Thornton and Nash,Morrison and Gagne, but you can count on seeing more numbers from Smyth and Doan than you did in the World Cup as they will most likely be on one of the top two lines. After that, Marleau is a capable scorer, then comes the shutdown unit, also known as Morrow, Draper, Fisher and Maltby. This is a team that will be very frustrating to play against and that will be the key to beating the Europeans. We saw how Ovechkin reacts when being pounded, he doesn’t, he heads to the locker room. That’s why Canada will win, toughness, emotion and heart.

The USA is entering the post 1996 World Cup era, and will welcome new faces, including Diprietro in nets. They have an inexperienced team on the whole, with Paul Martin and J-M Liles on the blueline. I was surprised to not see David Tanabe added to the roster, especially for the international ice his skating would have helped.

Up front they’re going with the steady and faithful Weight and Modano, both of who haven’t really produced much in the last two years. They will have the speedy Brian Gionta in, as well as some grit with Jeff Halpern. Overall, the team is still too inexperienced to make a serious run at the Championship.

Russia is another team entering a new wave of players. Young guns such as Ovechkin, Kovalchuck and Datsyuk will lead the way. Also, Frolov and Yashin are both dangerous. On paper, they have the most dangerous looking forward unit. (Though there official team has yet to be anounced.)

Their defence and goaltending is where they could have problems. Former Moosehead Alexei Volkov i being considered for the team, and though he was a succesful Junior team he has vanished into obscurity in the Russian league after being a good LA King prospect. There blueline is thin and they holding out for an AHL goaltender (Bryzaglov) to lead them. (Over Khabibulin, Andrei Trefilov.)

Sweden looks to have gone to the pits, with all the stars apparently not showing up. Sweden hasnt really prodiced any great players in the last 8 years, with the exception of unproven stars such as the Sedins and Zetterberg. They may have solved the question to the heir to Tommy Salo’s throne, who has retired since being executed by Belarus, with Henrik Lundqvist who is regarded as a top 10 prospect. Overall, I wouldn’t bet on a 1994 Olympic result from this squad.

Finland will not have any big name players on the roster and could risk relegation with the squad they are offering, they will struggle to keep up with the Switz and Danes.

Canada’s biggest challenge will come from Slovakia and the Czech Republic, who could have plenty of firepower, and with most of their players playing in Czech league this year. Slovakia will once again have weak goaltending.

9 Responses to 2005 World Hockey Championships

  1. HC16 says:

    I can’t really remember anyone other than Forsberg and Sundin who told Sweden no, so if you could, list them for me. If it is just those two, they’re still in pretty good shape. Also, don’t forget about Mikael Tellqvist in goal. He may get a shot again.

  2. SabresAreCool says:

    I believe Naslund also said no. And in my opinion besides alfredsson and lidstrom those are there 3 best players…..there defense will be weaker without Tallinder (not playing because o.f those rape allegations) even though he’s used as their 4th or 5th defenseman. I’m no fan of salo so i think his retirement is actually a good thing for the swedes, but the other goalies, while promising, are young and inexperienced and probabaly can’t hang against the worlds best, yet.

  3. briseboisfan43 says:

    Besides Sundin and Forsberg, Naslund said he hasn’t been performing well and thinks he doesn’t deserve to be there.

    Lidstrom said he hasn’t played enough during the lockout.

    What’s the latest on Alfredsson?

  4. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Legwands on the team?

    The great thing about Canada, is that it’s veteran legends (Yzerman, Sakic, Lemieux,) can still compete very well. And our up and comming younger stars (Nash, Thornton, Heatley) can already dominate.

    I find it kind of odd that the “old” plays list sometimes includes Pronger, Iginla, and some times even Kariya and yet the oldest guy on that list is Kariya, who is thirty, but hey, we could prolly win the tournament with a team from different age groups. (15-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 35-40)

    I could prolly put together a few winning team Canada’s. Me and my friends do our own sim-tournaments all the time, and it takes months upon months to pick a team.

    M C Leaf

  5. kicksave856 says:

    No Robert Esche, huh?

  6. Aetherial says:

    The Russians will be tough and I believe it will be Canada/Russia in the final. The U.S. is in sort of a down cycle while they phase in the new guard.

    Even missing a number of big stars, I still believe Canada has the team to beat. Simply, they can play it any way you want and they can mold their playstyle to fit your their team.

  7. Eric86 says:

    Alfredsson is in, being the only bonafide star on Sweden. Their roster features only 10 or 11 NHLer’s and the only big names besides Alf are the Sedins and Zetterberg, which means to me that Sweden is a definite underdog. Russia, Czech, Slovakia and Finland have yet to name their roster, but rumors have Koivu, Selanne, Kipper, Lehtinen and Tuomu Ruutu out, leaving possibly Mikko Koivu as the biggest name on the roster.

    An article in THe Chronicle HErald quoted the Czech Coach as saying that it would be the “best Czech team ever assembled.” Also, Russia will be coached by the same man who led Belarus over Sweden, so he may be a good coach, the problem is, there are a lot more egos on Russia than Belarus.

  8. Habfanforever says:

    Canada will always be dominant at the world level but even though the USA is in a transitionnal period they will probably become a threat in the years to come with great talent at the prospect level. Their recent generation of superstars was lined with top notch power forwards with the likes of Bill Guerin, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkatchuk, John Leclair and Doug Weight. It seems as this is slightly changing as the new corps is leaning towards more raw talent than bigger size.

    Off the top of my head:

    Forwards: Ryan Kesler, Zach Parise, Dan Fritsche, RJ Umberger, Chris Higgins, Patrick Eaves, Adam Pineault, Josh Hennessy, Patrick O’Sullivan and Robbie Schremp.

    Defense: Ryan Suter, A.J Thelen, Ron Hainsey, Mike Komisarek, Ryan Whitney, Mark Stuart, Noah Welch.

    Goalies: Ty Conklin, Ray Emery and Rick Dipietro.

    Along with these guys are many more talented young players that will be future leaders of team USA.

    I don’t know about the rest of you Canadians but I for one am very hopefull that these will emerge as dominant players in the future as there is nothing like a Canada-USA rivalry at any hockey tournement.

  9. Habfanforever says:

    oops my mistake. I meant Ryan Miller not Ray Emery. (still a good one though, for Canada)

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