Sunday, September 05, 2004
A couple of quick facts: teams scoring first are 11-0-1 in the tournament. There were zero lead changes in the preliminary round, twelve games in all.
Ilya Bryzgalov, who had a solid first game in net (victory over USA), returned to the net for the Russians tonight. Slovakia went with Jan Lasak for the second game in a row.
Now to the crap I had written down, times are approximate once again...
19:22 Miroslav Satan was stopped on a 3-on-1 by Bryzgalov, who covered up
19:02 Zdeno Chara had his shot from the blue line stopped by Bryzgalov
18:23 Ilya Kovalchuk was gloved from the right circle by Lasak
15:00 Alexander Frolov barely missed the far corner on a wraparound attempt
**11:50 A nice cross-ice pass ended up on the tape of Pavel Datsyuk, who buried a shot from just inside the right hash marks (RUS 1-0). This came at the end of a pretty crappy Russian power play, full of clears by the Slovaks. Two big, fairly punishing hits were delivered shortly after the goal, possibly the best ones of the night. Now if I just caught who was involved, this recap would be much better off
10:00 Bryzgalov used the pads on his glove side to stop Jozef Stumpel from about ten feet
9:39 Pavol Demitra was stopped from just inside the blue line
**9:33 In a 4-on-4 situation, Darius Kasparaitis made a bad outlet pass attempt. Shortly after, Demitra made a pass across to Marian Hossa, who tallied his first point of the tournament (1-1).
8:20 Maxim Afinogenov was stopped from the left circle
7:58 Bryzgalov stopped Vladimir Orszagh in close
4:42 Alexander Markov's long shot was stopped by Lasak, along with Datsyuk's try off the rebound
3:48 The #1 pick in the latest NHL draft by the Washington Capitals, 19-year-old Alexander Ovechkin had a scoring chance, but was pokechecked by Lasak
1:46 Martin Cibak missed a chance at a wide open net after failing to get a hold of the puck and running out of room with Bryzgalov prone on the ice
Both teams had six shots on goal piece in the period
15:45 Zdeno Chara had his shot stopped, and Kasparaitis nearly put the puck into his own net on the rebound. Lasak stopped both attempts by both teams
14:24 Bryzgalov robbed Satan
14:00 Satan had another shot stopped by Bryzgalov
12:11 Rastislav Pavlikovsky was also stopped by Bryzgalov
10:33 Datsyuk was foiled from the right side on the doorstep
**7:59 A Slovak turnover at the blue line led to Alexei Kovalev putting a deke to the left on the defenseman, and beating Lasak to the glove side (RUS 2-1)
5:19 Bryzgalov stops a Marian Gaborik shot with his chest
**5:13 Daniel Zubrus passed from the end boards to Sergei Samsonov, whose stick wasn't tied up by the defenseman that was on him. It was a simple redirect into the net from the left side for Samsonov (RUS 3-1)
**19:01 On a Slovak power play, Richard Lintner went for the puck and tripped, leading to a nice pass by Frolov to Alexei Yashin, who beat Lasak to the stick side (RUS 4-1)
15:38 Demitra got some multiple jabs in on a puck in front, but was unsuccessful
**14:13 Gaborik capitalized off a Andrei Markov turnover as well as his own rebound, beating Bryzgalov high to the stick side (RUS 4-2)
**12:50 Even teenagers were scoring goals for the Russians tonight. Ovechkin beat Lasak high to the glove side (RUS 5-2)
8:48 Demitra was stopped, and the rebound was corralled by Bryzgalov
4:50 Yashin was foiled in close on the left side
2:09 Demitra was victim of a pad save by Bryzgalov
0:56 Ovechkin got the pad treatment from Lasak
Kelly Hrudey praised Bryzgalov after the game, saying he has the ability to steal games, and no one should just consider him a lousy backup for Jean-Sebastien Giguere next year. The discussion turned to how goalies have their own coaches and specialized training, whereas forwards don't have forward coaches, etc. Brian Burke then said that goalies aren't just the worst skaters on the ice anymore and that they aren't just the fat kids that can't skate getting stuck in net. Laughs were heard on the set, and Hrudey took playful umbrage to such remarks.
Kasparaitis may have a hamstring problem for the Russians, but with the amount of dumb plays he's been making, it might actually help the Russians to have him sidelined. Chara was shaking hands with his left hand after the game because his right hand was messed up. If Chara's hand is gimp, it's not good for Slovakia because he's by far their most physical player, and possibly the most physical player in the tournament.
CBC's three stars: Pavel Datsyuk, Alexander Frolov, Alexander Ovechkin
Frolov and Afinogenov are the two guys for the Russians that have impressed me the most so far. Honorable mention to Bryzgalov. On the Slovak side, I don't think I'm too far off if I say that Chara is their MVP. He really raises hell for those guys, and he seems to be involved in every scrum, and no one's going to win a battle with a 6'9" guy.
So here's the matchups coming up...
Monday the 6th: (E4) Germany at (E1) Finland, from Helsinki
Tuesday the 7th: (E3) Czech Republic at (E2) Sweden, from Stockholm
Tuesday the 7th: (NA3) United States vs. (NA2) Russia, from St. Paul
Wednesday the 8th: (NA4) Slovakia at (NA1) Canada, from Toronto
Now it's quarterfinal single-elimination play, and as Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano would say, don't get eliminated!