January 05 2011 06:49AM
This is Jordan Eberle scoring one of the most famous goals in the game's history. The timing (perfect) and the degree of difficulty (impossible) add to the appeal of this photo. Tonight in Buffalo, a new chapter will be written.
I believe there are several reasons for the immense popularity of the World Junior championships. For one, we all have way more leisure time than in the past (certainly compared to 1970) so the potential market is mammoth for advertisers. This means more money is available, which means that networks are going to improve the coverage.
Add to that the exceptional talent on display during the lockout season (a spike season for the WJ's) and the fact that TSN is run by smart people and you have one of the major events on the Canadian sports calendar.
I don't think the Americans (or enough of them) have discovered this tournament and that's a shame. Those American kids played a home game that didn't feel like one; I doubt their performance had anything to do with the semifinal's outcome (Canada was perfect) but it has to be galling for the USA to see that kind of invasion.
I'm tearing up thinking about it.
Team Canada plays the Russians tonight in the Gold medal game. Canada plays in the final game every year it seems, but it's a battle every time. This version of Team Canada appeared to lack skill at the beginning, but those fears have eased as the tournament rolled along.
Russia is a wildly inconsistent country in international play. Sometimes they play lights out and other times they look disinterested. The Russian club that came over for the CHL series this season was stronger and that was the first indication that something might be brewing for Mother Russia.
This group started slowly and then improved as the tournament wore on, a classic Canada trick going back many years.
The Swedes play the USA in the pissed off game at 1:30pm today; the Russians and Canada play at 5:30 pm. TSN has the television, Team 1260 the radio.
Bless you boys. Win today and you can sing the anthem and bring home the Zeta-Jones.