Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What's All This, Then? Thoughts On The 2006 World Hockey Championship


Apparently, there's been another annual hockey competition taking place over the past few weeks. I watched almost a full period of the United States vs. Canada game last week and thought it was generally exciting and interesting hockey. Sidney Crosby looked particularly good and currently leads the tourney in goal scoring, with six, and total points with twelve. With my team out of the NHL playoffs I thought it might be interesting to check out the situation in the Worlds, but was deterred slightly when I found the following headlines on the IHWC web site:

Can offensive dynamo Petteri Nummelin lead Finland past Glen Hanlon's boys from Belarus?

And...
Second only to beating Sweden in the 2002 Olympics, what happened Tuesday afternoon at Skonto Arena was a huge moment in Belarusian hockey history. With a 2-1 win over Switzerland, Belarus clinched third place in Group F with six points and a quarter-final berth versus Finland.

I found myself wondering as to whether or not, as a hockey fan, I should really care about momentous occasions in Belarussian hockey history? And who the hell is Petteri Nummelin? At least now I know what Glen Hanlon is up to these days.

I can't really blame my ambivalence on a lack of big names, with Ovechkin, Malkin and Crosby in the tournament, but I do feel completely detached from the whole affair. The games are played at ungodly hours (in Latvia of all places), many of the best players are not in attendance (no Smytty for once) and hockey burn out is setting in after a long season due to the Olympics. The problem is compounded by the fact that the NHL playoffs run concurrently every year, which will always take precedence over any other competition for hockey fans, even as their teams fail to advance to in the playoffs.

Given the World Hockey Championship's current format, it serves, much like the World Baseball Classic, as a link, and a marketing tool, to nations who have yet to fully embrace the sport. I'm sure Canadian hockey fans will become momentarily interested if their nation makes it to the final, but barring that I highly doubt much will be made of the event, even if we fail to produce a medal (we're already embittered from our squad's Olympic performance, after all).

I will be sure to do a wrap up post on the tournament, but beyond that I won't be expecting a large amount of traffic being driven our way after I hit the "publish" button on this one. Except, of course, from our many Belarusian readers out there.

8 Comments:

At 12:38 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Glen Fucking Hanlon is coaching Belarus?!?! I am stupified. Abboud and I were just talking about him the other day.

 
At 6:59 AM, Blogger sacamano said...

They can't win without Captain Canada.

Even so, it sure would have been nice to see even one of those Flames represent their country.

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

That's a good point. At least Jarmoe and that defenceman have a reason. But what the hell is Phaneuf doing? Actually, forget that. I bet you a million dollars every Edmontonian on the Flames is gathering at Iggy's house to cheer for the Oilers. I'll bet Lundmark even has a Smytty jersey.

 
At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Karina said...

Phaneuf's got a broken foot...

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

So?

 
At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Karina said...

lol
so.... he didn't want to be like Pronger and play anyways?

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

Why didn't we recruit that rabid beaver thing from the logo?

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Pfft. No wonder the Flames didn't advance.Their players lack the fortitude to play through pain.

 

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