Day one of the World Junior Championships is in the book. All four favorites came away with a victory. The United States and Canada came away the most dominate out of the four. The things that stuck out on me were:
Jordan Schroeder-Colin Wilson-James Van Riemsdyk
The trio continued to be the line of the tournament. Schroeder looks like he's making a case to be in the top five in the 2009 Draft. He made some nice dishes including the pass he made to Wilson to get America on the board.
The Goaltenders in the Russia-Latvia game
It's not too often that the losing goaltender was the best goaltender. Latvia's Nauris Enkuzens was stellar as he kept the game respectable as Russia defeated Latvia 4-1. He made 40 saves. On the other hand Daniil Alistratov looked very shaky in net for the Russians. If Latvia capitalized on their opportunities, the tournament would start with an upset.
Are the Czech's this bad?
Coming into the tournament you would put the Czech Republic in the second teir along with Finland. They didn't look like they belonged in the second tier. Some thought they would be a tough test for the Americans and Canadians because they have twelve players on a CHL team. They played a very good first period and were three seconds away from going to the locker room tied. After that it was all down hill.
Does Canada Really Need Tavares to Score 5 on 5?
The biggest question the last week has been will Tavares score 5 on 5? Sure it would be nice for there best player to score an even strength goal but he has done damage on the powerplay. It's not like Canada is struggling for offense. The chemistry is building between Tavares, Esposito, and Chris Domenico. I wouldn't be surprised if Tavares scores an even strength goal against Kazakhstan.
I didn't get to see the game between Sweden-Finland.
That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)