One of the early story lines to emerge from the World Juniors is that the Canadians have been accused by the Slovaks and the Russians as being dirty. Apparently, the European players/teams don’t take to kindly to their opposition laying the big hits to them.
First off, let’s not forget that hockey is a physical game and a contact sport that is also played by men. Hockey is one of the fastest games in the world and everything is at full speed. People get hurt in hockey as well. Contrary to what some fans think, hockey is a game of intimidation and getting the best of your opponent.
The fact that the Slovaks and the Russians are complaining about the Canadians might mean that the Canadians have gotten in their heads just a bit. You can bet that Russia’s Nail Yakupov will be looking over his shoulder every time he steps on the ice against the Canadians.
Teams that are successful, are teams that are hard to play against and play on the edge of the rule book. If you think I am kidding, go back and watch how the Ducks and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, they knocked the hell out of their opponents and played with an edge.
The Canadians are finding out that the physical brand of hockey is not always conducive with International play.
One could argue that Canadians may have crossed a line a bit with their hits. I am going to say, so what? I don’t care what hockey league you play in, you have to be aware who’s on the ice at all times. You don’t go into the corner with your head down. I also have seen some embellishment from some of the European players as well.
The Canadians have had their fair share of game misconducts and suspensions. Again, live the sword and you die by the sword. The Canadians have also paid for their transgressions, with suspensions to two of their players, Boone Jenner and J.C. Lipon. When the Canadians play against the Americans on Sunday they will only have 11 forwards available to them.
Finally, I don’t think that you will hear the American whining about the big, bad Canadians and how dirty they are… I do expect that the American s are aware of the big hitters on team Canada and will be ready for them. It’s also time for the other players in the WJC to sack up, this is hockey…Anthony Camara hits on Slovakia’s Patrik Luza
Canada's J.C. Lipon pounds Tomas Mikus
Canada’s Boone Jenner hit on Jesper Petterson