First and foremost, Happy Holidays to all of the readers, and fans of the BCHL. I will do my best to keep the Ramble updated throughout the Christmas break. Over the next few weeks I will share tidbits from around the hockey world and also give my two cents on the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, NY.
Speaking of which, who do you think will take home the gold this year? Does Canada reclaim gold in enemy territory or do the Americans repeat on home soil? Don't count out the Swedes or the Russians, who will be Canada's first opponent on Boxing Day.
Here's a quick refresher for those who some how might of forgot how last year's final went down.
To our two American players (Chris Williams and Dan Schuler) don't say I have never done anything nice for you.
I worked in Melfort, Saskatchewan last year, just north of Saskatoon, which played host to the tournamnet and had the fortunate pleasure of covering all of the action in person. I was on "assignment" for Canada's New Year's Eve thriller against the U.S. (6-5 SO). Even though Canada won I think red flags were raised in that game. In particular, how they played in their own zone. As Assistant Coach, Geoff Grimwood put it, "The Americans out Canadianed Canada." What he means is the U.S. defeated Canada at their own game, big, physical and fast hockey. I think the Hockey Canada brass took noticed.
One thing I have noticed from the pre-competition games as TSN likes to call them, is the Canucks have great goaltending (Mark Visentin and Oliver Roy) and a big forward group.
Canada is only returning four players, but three will be on the blue-line. I have liked what I've seen thus far from the boys in red & white. Coach Dave Cameron is all about hard fore-checking, defensively responsible hockey. Sound familiar?
Moving in a different direction.....
To help you get through the next 48 hours of junior hockey-less mall mad hours, here's a clip from a recent meeting between two bitter ECHL rivals.
That's the Florida Everblades and the Gwinnett Gladiators sharing the Christmas Spirit.
Here's some more eye candy for you. In my humble opinion, one of the best donnybrooks in recent memory. This one comes from the CHL (Central Hockey League) tier three pro hockey.
The two teams are the Corpus Christi IceRays and Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. They should beat each other for those gastly names alone.
*My favourite moment, " THAT WILL TEACH YEA TO RUN KEN CARROLL!!!"
On that note, have a very Merry Christmas and how ever you do celebrate, do it safely.