Archive for December 30th, 2008

Sundin The Savior ? Canada’s World Jr Coaching . . . .

December 30th, 2008

Mats Sundin arrived in Vancouver yesterday and the players that all know him said he could play right away with the shape he keeps himself in. Is Sundin suppose to be the savior of the Canucks and bring them to the promise land and a Stanley Cup to the hockey crazed city ?

Sundin will make $5 million including a $4-million signing bonus paid in January. How’s that for half a season of work playing hockey.

“I’m going to find out how he feels, what he’s been doing on and off the ice,” Coach Alain Vigneault said. “Until I talk to him, I have no idea what’s coming up here”.

“I understand the excitement within our dressing room, the excitement within the fans of the Canucks. We’ll do what’s right as far as getting him ready to come in and play. If it takes a week, it takes a week. If it takes longer, it will take longer.”

“I’m not suggesting that’s not going to happen,” Vigneault said. “I’m suggesting until I sit down with Mats and talk to him, see how he is, I can’t make that decision right now.”

With Taylor Pyatt out with a broken foot and out of the top 6 that makes it much easier for Alain to put Sundin into the top 6 smoothly without upsetting the apple cart so to speak in Vancouver.

Kyle Wellwood who played and knows Sundin well said he is ripped and in great shape and said if Mats wanted to he could jump in the line up for the next game. Sundin has a reputation of keeping himself in great shape over the last years and takes his training very seriously in the off season.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis would probally like Sundin to start on the road and get his feet underneath him before his debut at GM place. Which will be a complete zoo the night number 13 hits the Canucks ice as a member of the home team. The building which is already among the best if not the best to play in for the home team will be driven into a tizzy. Gillis will be like a proud papa that night in his box watching the action in the crowd and hopefully on the ice with Sundin.

CANADA’S COACHING AT THE WORLD JR’S

Trying not to take anything away from Pat Quinn or any of the other coaches that coached at the World Jr Tournaments over the years especially those who have won.

But Quinn unlike the coaching tandem of some of the more recent World Jr Champions New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers head coaches Brent Sutter and Peter DeBoer respectively together brought home the Gold for Canada.

Sutter and DeBoer are known good hockey X & O’s coaches and without a doubt that would have helped bring together Canada’s abundance of Jr talent in the tourney.

Quinn as former Toronto Maple Leafs coach was known as a good veteran hard ass coach who was able to get the most out of his players because he would not hesitate to call them out.

With that said Quinn also in his last years in Toronto NEVER practiced the power play which drove the top players nuts. Quinn who is an old school type coach with major cockiness could in this short tournament still be able to push the right buttons with his young charges  in Ottawa.

Quinn has St.Michaels Majors OHL head coach Dave Cameron who is a capable coach who knows the game and I”m sure he is doing most of the ” chalk talks” for Team Canada at the World’s.

Does it really matter with the talent who is behind the bench ? Well sure the coach has to have a handle on the collection of stars and at the very least the control and jam to play in front of a home crowd and full buildings every night. But it probably doesn’t or hopefully won’t take two great X & O’s coaches like Sutter and DeBoer there to bring home the Gold this year.

We will find out how important coaching in these short tournaments really matters and in the end Quinn is a veteran coach with experience and will not fold with the pressure. But Quinn is not known as the most tactical coach and the players will have to walk the walk to win the Gold in Ottawa.

For Hockey God I”m Dave Frost

Tuesday’s NHL Games & Picks : 5 for 6 Last Night

December 30th, 2008

Hockey God once again after a perfect Sunday Night went 5 for 6 last night.

TONIGHT’S GAMES :

WSH @ BUF: Take WSH, Caps look like world beaters right now with or with out a full line up they keep on winning games. Sabres are holding onto the last playoff spot with a 17-14-5 record 10 points behind the Caps.

ATL @ TOR: Take TOR, Leafs have been dismal as of late and have decided to start Curtis Joseph which almost made me switch my choice. But sticking with Leafs who are 14-16-6 against the weak Atlanta club.

BOS @ PIT: Take BOS, Bruins lead the Eastern conference with 58 points walk into to Pens building who are a decent 11-6-2 there and 42 points are good for 7th in the conference.

MTL @ TBL: Take MTL, Habs have played well since the break on this Florida trip with an over all record of 20-6-7 will beat the improved Tampa club who are finally seeing some wins and are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games.

CHI @ DET: Take CHI, Hawks and Wings in a preview of the out door game on New Years day at Wrigley Field. The NHL must have put this game on the sked to get a hate on going between the teams for that out door game. Hawks will edge the Wings who are with out their all star D captain Lidstrom.

NJD @ STL: Take NJD, Devils have a 9-4-2- record on the road and the Blues sit 15th in the Western conference and have a rash of injuries. The Devils will shut down the Blues offence.

PHI @ VAN: Take PHI, Flyers are 5th in the Eastern conference walk into Canucks GM place who have gone 5-4-1 in their last 10. Flyers will take this close physical battle on the road tonight.

OTT @ EDM: Take EDM, Oilers are 6-3-1 last 10 , 2 points out of 8th and final playoff spot in the West. Sens are a dismal almost joke 3-11-2 on the road this season.