|05-08-2005, 07:57 AM||#1|
lets go partner
Join Date: Oct 2004
Preview: Canada vs. Finland
Matchup: Canada vs. Finland, 16.15, Olympiahalle
Canada: The Canadians face the daunting task of playing just 16 hours after putting on their worst performance of the tournament, without the benefit of time to regroup or practice to fix the mistakes they made. Goalie Martin Brodeur had a bad night against Sweden, and often a coach will throw his number one guy right back in there to show confidence in him. Coach Marc Habscheid might think a little differently, though, given the short time between games and the fact that backup Roberto Luongo needs to see some rubber to stay sharp himself. Brodeur himself will probably have a say here. The work of the entire team inside their blueline also needs to improve, notably covering the man without the puck. Up front, the team has relied far too heavily on the first line. Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, and Simon Gagne have accounted for 13 of Canada's 12 goals and 24 of the 47 total scoring points by the club. The second and third lines need to step up and do some scoring. But it won't be easy against a gritty Finnish squad.
The Finns were aggressive and impressive two nights ago
Finland: Finland played to a dramatic 4-4 tie with the USA two nights ago. The Finns sit in third place in Group F with three points (Canada has four and Sweden six). A win would vault them above Canada and virtually assure the team a place in the quarter-finals. They showed explosive scoring and ability to rally against the USA. The downside was that they failed to hold leads of 1-0 and 4-3. Like Canada, the Finns will need better goaltending today. Fredrik Norrena and Niklas Backstrom have allowed a total of eleven goals in four games, and with a thin offense they can't keep needing to score four or five goals to win a game. However, Norrena has sustained an injury, and Backstrom will be the main man from here on in, with Pasi Nurminen serving as a backup. If the forwards can keep up their production and exhibit the same energy and determination they showed two nights ago, their chances of winning are good. If they don�t play aggressively and stand up to the Canadian checking, they could be in for a long night.
|05-08-2005, 11:04 AM||#2|
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Game ended in a 3-3 tie. I watched some of this game this morning. Canada looked sluggish for most of this game. Once they were down 3-1, they really dictated the play. They scored two goals (Nash and Marleau) to tie up the game in about the span of a minute. For Avs fans, Vaananen looked good.
|05-08-2005, 12:01 PM||#3|
lets go partner
Join Date: Oct 2004
Canada comes back to tie Finland 3-3
By Andrew Podnieks
Canada salvaged a point against Finland today at the Olympiahalle while the Finns squandered one. Although the score at the end of the game was 3-3, the Finns had leads of 2-0 and 3-1. The result left Canada with five points in Group F, while the Finns have four and Sweden leads the way with six.
Finland's game plan was simple. First, take advantage of the fact that Canada played 16 hours earlier, and, second, pressure the red-and-white defensemen, who had a bad time of it against Sweden.
To start, that's exactly what Suomi did, getting the puck deep and outhustling Canada to the puck. Canada drew the first penalty when the defense was caught flat-footed by a breakaway pass and Scott Hannan was forced to haul down his man. The Canadians killed off the two minutes, but the Finns continued to press and take the play to Canada.
�Patrick Marleau has a chance in close on Niklas Backstrom
They were rewarded in the most unlikely way when Niklas Hagman simply skated over the blueline and took a long wrist shot that beat starter Roberto Luongo between the legs at the 11:00 mark. It might have been considered a bad goal, but Hagman did use the Canadian defenseman effectively as a screen. In any case, it put Canada behind the 8-ball.
Typical of the period for the Canadians, they got a power play, but just a few seconds later Joe Thornton took a silly penalty when he tried to jam the puck free from the pads of Niklas Backstrom even though a teammate was there for the rebound and the whistle had gone. That nullified the man advantage.
The second period started where the first left off, with Canada unable to complete passes or move the puck at all and the Finns buzzing up ice with confidence. Ed Jovanovski took a hooking penalty in the early going after he retrieved Luongo's goal stick and then hauled down the first player who came his way. And Canada paid the price. Niko Kapanen saw Jukka Hentunen in the slot and he wristed a shot to the stick side of Luongo at 4:02 to make it 2-0.
The Canadians had a power play a moment later but could not mount any sustained pressure or create any scoring chances. As soon as the Finns got back to full strength, they forced Luongo to make a tough pad save on a shot from in close.
The Finns played a smart, disciplined period. Canada tried to establish itself physically, but the Finns responded in kind and kept Backstrom's crease area free of trouble.
The world champions finally got on the board at 19:10 while the teams were playing four a side, thanks to roughing minors to Kris Draper and Olli Jokinen. Dany Heatley took the puck down the right side, then passed back to the middle against the flow, and Wade Redden ripped a long slapper past Backstrom to give Canada some life heading to the third period. Despite being badly outplayed, Canada trailed only 2-1.
"That was a big goal by Nash and gave us a little extra spark," Patrick Marleau said.
Canada opened play up to start the third and action became fast and furious. First Olli Jokinen and then Scott Walker had breakaways but couldn't score. A few minutes later the Finns went ahead 3-1 when Walker lost the puck just inside his blueline and Tomi Kallio ripped a quick shot past Luongo at 6:19.
The never-say-die Canadians got that goal back less than three minutes later when Backstrom stopped a point shot but left a rebound floating in the air. Rick Nash, with his eighth goal, batted it in to bring Canada within one again.
Less than a minute later, the comeback was completed when Brenden Morrow, from behind the Finnish net, spotted Patrick Marleau in front. He quickly released the shot and beat Backstrom, making the score 3-3 with half a period to go. Both teams went up and down the rest of the way, but the game ended in a tie.
"It was a good game for us to come back after playing less than 24 hours ago when we had a hard game against the Swedes and put in the effort like we did," Marleau said.
"There was no panic on the bench when we were down 3-1," he said. "You're going to be down at some point in the tournament, and it was the bounce of the puck that didn't go our way for a while."
"We were terrible against Sweden and better against the USA, and today we were much better," Kallio said. "The Canadians are probably the best in the world and they don't even need a real chance, they just need a half chance to get a goal."
Canada plays Ukraine on Tuesday in its final game of the Qualifying Round, while the Finns play Latvia tomorrow.
|05-08-2005, 09:31 PM||#4|
Scrip Club Rebellion
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Rideau Lakes, Ontario
Luongo let in a few bad ones in this game. But give credit to the Finns as they played tough and by rights, they should have won as one of their goals was called back earlier in the game. That would have made the score 3-zip by the end of 2 periods
Canada played like they were tired, but they must play better defensively if they expect to make the medal rounds. They're not much better in nets as both Luongo and Brodeur have shown bouts of weakness and fatigue. Definite symptoms of goalies who haven't played any type of organized hockey this year, up until now.
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