So, yeah. 8-1. Eh.
Look, it's a bit pointless to belabor this point too much, but, tell me, who didn't turn off yesterday's World Junior game at about 5-0? It's got to be a bit disconcerting to TSN. There is only so much you can do to fake the drama and, on the street anyway, I just don't sense the same sort of interest or passion around this tournament as there was even a few years ago.
At Christmas dinner my brother-in-law, who used to have a Boxing Day party at his house to watch the first World Juniors game, talked to me about Aston Villa. The little hockey tournament in Ottawa was not mentioned once. An isolated anecdote, sure, but...
I mean, Canada was playing Czech Republic on Friday. The Czechs have had some success at the whole shiny thing. It's not as if Kazakhstan was the opponent. No, that's tomorrow.
And it likely won't be pretty.
I wonder at what point patriotism isn't enough? I fly the flag as high as anyone, but, man .. . Kazakhstan?
Speaking of patriotism and isolated anecdotes, I was riding the treadmill today at GoodLife beside the world's biggest Spengler Cup fan -- or so it would seem, anyway. When Canada scored to tie the game late in the third today he started screaming and flailing his hands at the machine. I damn near fell off mine in reaction to him (which would have at least meant that I could have stopped running -- man, that first workout after Christmas...).
I enjoy watching the Spengler Cup. The dirty little secret is that it's much better hockey than the World Juniors. I can't say that I've ever been known to scream out at a goal. It's a club tournament with a fake Canadian team. It's hard to wrap yourself in the flag when you realize that Team Canada is playing against a team that has Alexandre Daigle on it.
But, anyway, it got me thinking. Since it is a club tournament it really should be limited to only club teams. But, with the NHL desperate (not that they would admit it) for new revenue, it wouldn't be the worse thing to put an actual NHL team into the event. Yes, I know, it would be challenging. Maybe the Christmas break would have to be extended (not the worse thing anyway), but it would represent a half step into the European market.
HC Davos vs. the Detroit Red Wings. In a Swiss rink full of nutty Euro fans. It would be compelling.
You can hear the puckheads' minds snapping shut. If it hasn't been done since 1917 in hockey, it can't ever be done.
Not that I'm a bitter frustrated crank when it comes to the world of hockey though...
NOTES: We're going to try and LIVE! blog the World Juniors game tomorrow. I'll have the thread set up 20 minutes before puck drop. Drop by and join us. We'll try and make it more entertaining than the game.