Ice Hockey - NHL/KHL/IIHF

Discussion in 'General Football & Other Sport' started by sonofben, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    After the euphoria last night a few corrections on my part. We were in the elite division in 1994 not 1962 and prior to that in 1952. We will be the bottom seeds sixteen out of sixteen and will probably be relegated. But compared to 1994 the situation does look a little bit healthier in terms of youth development.

    It would be great if the EIHL was to be covered by the BBC. A lot still needs to be done to get the team to stay near the top of the sport. From my post last year when we won Group 1B.

    Team GB won all five matches at the World Championships Group IB. They beat previously undefeated Japan 4-0 to secure first spot and replace relegated Ukraine from Group 1A.

    On the way they beat Croatia 4-2, Estonia 5-1, Lithuania 5-2 and Holland 14-0. An impressive effort and blend of youth and experience. However the domestic structure is still a shambles and it is a long way and time before the team can even hope to reach the top group. Facilities, coaching for the most part and access to the sport is still very limited and the lack of ambition of the best British players. Ben Bowns netminder for instance should have tried his luck abroad in Sweden for instance.

    I am surprised that we did get through Slovenia, Kazakhstan and Poland and Hungary are no pushovers either. Ben Bowns was superb. And underlines my conviction he should have gone to Sweden when younger. I am sure he would have been fine in the Allsvenskan and Elitserien. Although we do have a nucleus of gifted youngsters like Kirk, Kieran Brown and the like (who also need to jump ship to Sweden or North America to push themselves) the issues in the sport need resolution.

    Namely a lack of rinks. They don't need to be huge just enough to accommodate 1-2000 people. Get more kids skating there and see who has talent for the sport. Bring in the right coaches as currently the coaching standards in GB are low and juniors will suffer as a result. That requires money and somehow IHUK needs to get that funding going with the help of GB Sport and the private sector. And a return of rinks in areas where there was a traditional hockey presence like Durham, Streatham and Wembley. Currently the only two areas in Britain which have a understanding of the sport are Nottingham and Sheffield along with a local development program. And at a certain age 13-14 get the best kids scholarships to go abroad to play and study or set up more schemes like the Okanagan Academy within the UK. And a restoration of the second tier of British hockey which currently is in a worryingly poor state. Not to mention a limit on imports which unfortunately has been increased. It is all well and good having skilled imports from which juniors can learn but as in football please don't import journeymen for the sake of it instead of giving the spot to a young British player who has talent and ability.

    One swallow does not make a summer but this success must be built on. If everyone in the sport can focus on a common vision of slowly growing the sport from the base, increasing spectator numbers, awareness in the public by more media coverage and increasing the quality of juniors hopefully transitioning into prospects for the top leagues in the world then that will be deemed a triumph over time. It can be done as we have seen with Denmark our erstwhile competitors some two decades ago.

    Once more an amazing game last night. 2-0 down the second a freak goal, a penalty shot saved by Bowns before the dramatic fightback topped off by a shootout win. Amazing resilience and fight.


    Optimistichornet and wfc78 like this.
  2. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    I've always enjoyed watching Ice Hockey, but got really into it in the second half of this season. Went to my first game in March witnessing the Canucks lose to the Coyotes 2-1 in Vancouver. Was not a great game from the canucks, but star winger Boeser was badly injured in the game before. I will always be able to say I got to see the Sedin twins play live though, and loved the whole experience.

    Really interesting off season for the Canucks this year, 7th pick in the draft. I think they will pick the best player available at 7th so there is really 5 or 6 players who they might go for. Very jealous that the Sabres get to draft Dahlin.
  3. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Can the Golden Knights go all the way? 3-1 up against Winnipeg about to start game 5.
  4. Moosedog

    Moosedog Reservist

    Sweden V Swiss 2-2 going into final period in the gold medal game at the world championships
  5. Moosedog

    Moosedog Reservist

    Sweden v Swiss 2-2 end of 3rd period going into OT, ice is **** puck not running
  6. Moosedog

    Moosedog Reservist

    Sweden won 2-1 on penalties Sweden world champions again, HEJA SVERIGE
  7. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    vegas into the Stanley cup final!
  8. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Stanley Cup Finals. Best of seven games. Vegas Golden Knights 6-4 Washington Capitals in game one.
  9. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    Huge celebrations in Washington over the last week or so. Stanley Cup champions at last. A comfortable series win 4-1. Now onto the draft where Filip Zadina, Evgeny Svechnikov and Rasmus Dahlin are expected to go in the top three picks.

    As usual a superb HNIC montage of the Stanley Cup finals.

    Liam Kirk has gone over to North America and is looking to be imported into one of the Canadian junior drafts.

  10. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So in the Stanley Cup playoffs a couple of real shocks as the President Trophy Winners Tampa Bay Lightning led by top points scorer Nikita Kucherov and last seasons winners the Washington Capitals crashed out in the first round.

    Meanwhile Team GB have been preparing for the World Championships with practice matches against teams from the Kontinental Hockey League of Russia. They beat Dinamo Riga 3-1 back in February but won last night 5-4 to Watfords twin town Torpedo Nizhny Novogorod in the first of a double header.

    Team GB's preparation has been hindered by injuries and a couple of odd player selections. The injuries do mean that Joey Lewis who plays in the German second league DEL-2 is picked at last while a couple of Canadians with dual nationality have been naturalized.

    Liam Kirk has been going from strength to strength in the Canadian junior Ontario Hockey League with the Peterborough Petes and is a draft selection of the NHL Arizona Coyotes. Fingers crossed he carries on and gets his crack at the NHL. In doing so he would be the first ever British player to do so. A miracle considering how disorganized IHUK is at any long term development strategy when compared to a nation like Denmark for example.
    Optimistichornet likes this.
  11. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    Don't forget the leafs, watching them crash out was absolutely hilarious. So much media hype in Canada about Toronto all season with Matthews and Tavares, and they lose in the 1st round AGAIN.

    Canucks had a better season than anyone believed they might, Elias Pettersson looks a shoe in for the Calder, Boeser had a good year after an initial slump and Horvat is looking more and more like captain material. Even got to see Quinn Hughes on ice towards the end of the season, with those four the beginning of a cup contender core is starting to take shape.
  12. onion8837

    onion8837 Reservist

    Oi! Maple Leafs are my team !
  13. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    So the conference finals have been decided. Boston play Carolina and lead after winning game one 5-2 with a four goal third period. The Sharks lead the Blues after a 6-3 game one win. All teams are slightly surprising packages although the Blues have been on an incredibly great run.

    At the World Championships in Czechia and Slovakia Team GB held Germany to 1-1 late into the third period before losing 3-1. A magnificent effort with Ben Bowns in net showing why he should be playing at a higher level than the EIHL. The Team GB fans were incredible as well. Failure to clear the zone accurately or retain puck possession long enough was a real issue at times. Tomorrow GB take on Canada. Not a full strength Canada by any means but a daunting prospect.

    This is the World Championship youtube channel where you can watch games live and highlights.
  14. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    NHL Stanley Cup final will be Boston v St.Louis. At the IIHF World Championships Italy and France were relegated. Which means GB stayed up. Team GB played well against the USA a 6-3 loss and competed hard against Finland and Slovakia. They played poorly against Denmark a 9-0 loss. And in the crucial match against France at 0-3 they were down and out even against a team minus Roussell and Auvitu from the NHL. But how they stormed back to win in overtime and stay another year in the top division.

    The fans were great as well. However the long term future needs so much work. This is perhaps as good a time as any for IHUK and the other bodies in British Ice Hockey to get together and form a national plan on how to develop the sport in this country over the next two decades with the aim of becoming a consistent top team with prospects playing in the top leagues in Russia, Sweden and North America. It can be done as Denmark have shown. There needs to be more rinks and proper junior programmes not only in Nottingham, Sheffield and Cardiff currently but areas which have no ice hockey presence at all. Bristol, Hampshire, Birmingham, Liverpool for example. Get kids to skate, see who has ability and then get a better calibre of junior coaches in and then give these kids the oppurtunity to play real minutes in the EIHL, EHL. And if needs be get them shifted abroad.

    Fingers crossed some of the juniors unsure about playing for GB like Scott Conway might think differently now. And then there are some very decent players like Lewis Hook and Jordan Cownie coming along as well.

    Despite the success of staying up against the odds the media coverage was disappointing. BBC Sport in particular should have at least allowed more coverage on the website but there was precious little. It remains a struggle for the sport to get the attention it needs.
  15. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    St.Louis win their first ever Stanley Cup beating the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a thrilling finals series with a 4-1 win in the final game at Boston. Vancouver will be returning to their old jerseys for next season when the Russian Rocket Pavel Bure led them to a Stanley Cup final. Seattle will join the NHL in 2021 with a new arena being built. No confirmation of the teams name or jerseys as yet.


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