Monday, December 28, 2009

Canada dominating Swiss

In case anyone's watching NHL Network, the mighty Canadians are dominating the Swiss, leading 5-zip after two periods. We missed the first but caught plenty of a lopsided second that saw Canada score three straight in about 90 seconds (actually 2:36) against a Swiss team playing for the second consecutive day while the hosts were rested. Must be nice to be them.

Two of the three came on power plays with Nashville '09 pick Ryan Ellis setting up both 20 seconds apart. First, Nazem Kadri (Tor-'09) finished off a great pass and then on a delayed penalty, Ellis' left point shot was deflected home by Jordan Eberle (Edm-'08) on the doorstep. With the SOG discrepancy at 29-9, it was 5-zip thanks to Brandon McMillan (Ana-'08), who finished off his second on a play started by Islander No.1 pick Calvin de Haan with Eberle dishing across for a gimme. Speaking of the defenseman the Islanders traded up to get three different times (or 4), he looked good jumping up into the play and drawing a penalty. He did stay down for a bit before the trainer helped him but seemed fine. The Islanders are well represented at this WJC with an NHL leading seven players with many on the back end. That bodes well for a rebuilding club.

UPDATE: de Haan will not return due to precautionary reasons. Hopefully, it's true.

As for Canada's other two markers, both Alex Pietrangelo (Stl-'08) and McMillan tallied in the first. Braydon Schenn (LA-'09) and potential No.1 overall pick Taylor Hall each have helpers while Eberle paces Canada with three assists as the third begins. Devil '08 second rounder Patrice Cormier, who captains the club, is also playing well. He centers a solid checking line and has drawn a penalty and nearly scored. In the blowout of Latvia, Cormier had two goals and two assists. In assessing him, he's definitely a detail oriented player who can win draws and drives to the net. So, he should fit well in Jersey. At worst, he'll be a third line center. Possible second line potential.

We're headed down to watch the rout I mean third.

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