January 6, 2010

A minor disappointment

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

There were some big developments in the sporting world yesterday, but maybe nothing bigger than something that happened at a minor ice hockey tournament. For the first time in six years, Canada didn’t win the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Yes, even on their home soil (it actually takes place in Canada every two years because no other country really cares about hosting this event) the Canucks couldn’t bring home the gold and had to settle for watching the United States of America celebrate a 6-5 overtime victory after Canada made a heroic, late third period comeback after going down 5-3.

So who’s to blame? I’d look squarely at goaltender Jake Allen, who played misplayed a dump in and gave it right back to a US player who couldn’t miss from where he was. Like it or not, but letting down his country will always be in the back of Allen’s head and I’m not sure how much you can trust a kid who is that likely to choke in the big game. If I were the St. Louis Blues – who drafted him in the second round in 2008 – I’d be looking to deal him away as quickly as possible. There’s no way this kid will become a viable NHL-calibre goaltender.

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