Monday, September 10, 2007

Canada Wins Junior Super Series

Canada has won the Junior Super Series by defeating the Russian juniors by a record of 7-0-1. This series was an ill-advised attempt to relive the 1972 Summit Series, but since the NHL was not interested in sending its stars, it was done with junior players. Its main legacy may be overplaying juniors before they have even hit the NHL.

Canada won decisively, but this showed the disrepair in the Russian hockey system more than it showed Canada's dominance. I believe there would have been a much more competitive series had Canada played Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic or USA.

I think the tied game was a good thing. I am glad they did not decide it with a shootout. The tie kept Russia from being swept and they did not play enough to deserve a victory. Sometimes the best result in a game is a tie, but sadly with the NHL shootouts they are so rarely seen anymore.

Canada was led by Sam Gagner (Edmonton prospect) who scored 15 points in only 8 games. They had a strong showing from John Tavares who looks to be as good as any 2007 draftee (let alone the class of 2008). It might have been a closer series if Alexei Cherepanov was healthy.

This blowout series likely will keep us from regularly seeing junior series like this in pre-season. It was not the success that had been hoped for and there is little demand for another.

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