January 03 2012 12:46PM
For the sixth time in the last eight years Canada will face off against the Russians in the medal round of the World Junior Championship. Canada is 15-11-2 vs. Russia/USSR going back to 1982 (the first year for the Canadian National Junior Team) but the only thing that matters right now avenging a 5-3 loss to the Ruskies from one year ago.
The Russians squeaked into this one with a 2-1 OT win over the Czech’s while Canada won Group B, and had the quarterfinal bye. Game time is 8:30 pm EST / 6:30 MST
January 03 2012 10:09AM
We close out the holiday season with an extended visit from Nation writer and all around swell chap Jonathan Willis.
Lowetide also adds his own thoughts to the mix on where the Oilers may be headed and we make a short stop in Winnipeg to see how the fans are enjoying the suddenly red hot Jets.
This is Nation Radio.
January 02 2012 12:38PM
In my last article, I wrote about how the Leafs have allowed significantly more goals so far this season than last, but that this year, the Leafs' forwards have compensated by scoring a whole lot more. The truth is, I should have said that the team has scored more goals than last year - it isn't really just the forwards, the team also is getting much better production so far this season from their defenders than they were a year ago today.
Follow me over the jump for more.
December 31 2011 05:13PM
This year for the Maple Leafs Annual (may it R.I.P.) my contribution was a preview of the Leafs' defence. I predicted then that they would be marginally better than last year's incarnation, with the addition of Cody Franson taking Brett Lebda's place as the extra defender, and John-Michael Liles filling Tomas Kaberle's shoes more or less adequately. I'd also hoped that the defence would get a little more help from the goaltending department with James Reimer set to see more action.
So far, the Leafs have allowed 122 goals against, and have an overall goal differential of -6. This isn't good enough for a team that hopes to finish in the top 8 in the East, and it's actually a significant decline over last year's record on December 31st, which was 108 goals against and - good Lord, would you look at that - a goal differential of -22. So the fans are witnessing progress, but it's nearly all coming from the forwards.
Below the jump, I've taken a look at which individuals have performed best using Behind the Net's statistics.
December 31 2011 01:44PM
Well it’s the game we’ve all been waiting for, the showdown for top spot in Group B and the bye in the medal round. Or at least it was supposed to be. Canada held up their part of the rivalry agreement, but apparently someone forgot to deliver the memo to the U.S.
Instead, the New Years Eve game will mean nothing to the Canadians and has the makings of about as much excitement as Canada’s previous three games. That’s right; instead of the mighty obstacle the U.S. was pegged to be from the start, they are now nothing more than a stepping stone. Game time is 8:00 pm EST / 6:00 MST