Chicago, IL — Now that day one of the IIHF Men’s World Championships is done we can see how our Blackhawks did.
Day one was a great start to the tourney. Overall though as a pure hockey fan I’d have to say the first game between Sweden and Russia was everything I thought it would be and maybe more.
The game had high pace and what I was a little surprised was it had physicality and big hits. Again this just shows how the international game is becoming more NHL like. It saw 3 on 3 OT and a shoot out.
Let me just say 3 on 3 is just fabulous no matter what tournament or if it’s NHL or not.
The pace and the exchanging of chances is just white knuckle, edge of seat viewing even if you have no stakes in either team. It is flat out fun.
Going into this game I wondered if Artemi Panarin would be re-united with his KHL SKA line mates Vadim Shipachyov and Egenii Dadonov. the answer was yes he was.
By the way Shipachyov was signed by the Las Vegas Golden Nights to a two year deal and it is rumored Dadonov maybe joining him as well.
If so enjoy Las Vegas these are skilled players that just won SKA the Gagarin Cup in Russia. I wanted them in Chicago but alas the cap strikes again but I digress.
It was not until the shoot out that Panarin would strike with his absolutely filthy hands to push Russia over Sweden with a 2-1 win. Watching him is so much fun and I am so glad he is a Blackhawk.
Panarin looked good but in a post game presser with Russian media he did state he had to get used to big ice again.
He did have a couple of good scoring chances in game but nothing.
What was the same was his incredible skating and turning on a dime and that rocket of a shot. Big ice, small ice, medium ice those skills and his incredible hands don’t change.
So Panarin was the hero for Team Russia day one.
The other Hawk in that game Marcus Kruger looked good and familiar as well. In the corners digging and battling for pucks, you know just doing Marcus Kruger things. He was on a line with a familiar face Joakim Nordstrom.
Sweden may not have won but they picked up a point and that defense of theirs is stifling. You’d have to say the first period was all Sweden, second period even and third period was all Russia. All in all a great start to the tournament.
In between games on the NHL Network it was announced the Women’s Olympic Hockey team that will be going to the 2018 PyeongChang, South Korea games.
Bravo NHL Network it was great seeing and hearing these athletes and that they will train in Tampa, FL for this. Take care of our ladies Tampa Bay Lightning. They are truly an inspiration for us all.
For those that missed it here is a link to the roster – http://www.teamusa.org/News/2017/May/05/USA-Hockey-Announces-Roster-For-2017-18-Womens-National-Team
Note too Chicago there are two Illinois gals on here Kendall Coyne (F) and Megan Bozak (D) representing us. Can’t wait for the Olympics to get going. Team USA for the women has to be favorite for gold along with Canada. Good Luck!
The second game at the IIHF Men’s Worlds was the USA vs host country Germany. The German crowd was great and it’s great to see other countries are as crazy or maybe crazier about their teams as we are in North America.
Team USA is very young and inexperienced but also very fast. Nick Schmaltz hit the post and almost scored but that was just indiciative of how the game went for team USA.
I already see a difference in Schmaltz’s game. He is shooting more yes Nick keep shooting and get to the middle of the dots and those pings will go in. He also looked a bit stronger on the puck. Keep battling!
Trevor Van Riemsdyk looked like TVR, solid good positionally and jumping in on the rush.
I’ve got to say for a young player TVR is very good and knowing when to jump in and when not too. He had a shot from the point that got through but not in.
Last comment unHawks related, Johnny Gaudreau is a mini Patrick Kane. He is so much fun to watch and was all over the ice. He dominated but like Schmaltz could not get it in the net.
Give it to German goaltender Thomas Greiss he stoned the USA.
Lastly I watched on tape delay the Canada vs Czech Republic just to see Michal Kempny and let me just say it was worth it. Somehow the Hawks need to re-sign him and PLAY him.
This guy has the potential to be a really good defenseman and let me just say the Czech Team uses him on the powerplay to quarterback it if you will and so should the Hawks.
Kempny has a great shot from the point and very very good on ice vision. Now this is international play and not the NHL although he was basically playing the Flyers as Team Canada is currently mostly comprised of Flyers.
He has a heavy shot maybe not as heavy as Seabrooks but still it is very effective.
His passing was spot on on the power play.
Also his defense has improved he had a great stick play to stop Mark Scheifele which impressed me.
Some how the Hawks need to re-sign him and please for the love of God play him a lot of minutes. I don’t care who you pair him with just play the man.
Can’t wait to see what develops as the tourney goes on. The only team playing with Blackhawks on it Saturday is Czech Republic so Michal Kempny I will be watching you again and Team Sweden Krugs I got my eye on you.
Team Russia & Team USA do not play again until Sunday where they take on Italy and Denmark respectively. Russia needs to get off to a better starts and USA just keep doing what you did and get to the nets.
Good Luck and again Good Luck to all the Blackhawks have a great tourney.
Video taken from YouTube