Switzerland wasn't involved in the 2009 World Juniors. They had to fight their way back to the main pool by winning the B tournament to get into this year's event. They won't have to worry about being in Buffalo in 2011. In fact, they may head there with a medal of some colour.
The Swiss had never beaten the Russians at the World Juniors---until yesterday. Nino Niederreiter's 2nd goal of the game with less than a minute to go in overtime propelled Switzerland to a 3-2 upset. Niederriter, who plays for the Portland Winter Hawks, had sent the game into overtime with a goal in the last minute.
I don't know about you, but I was disappointed by the play of the Russians at this year's event. Their star player-Nikita Filatov-did not impress, their best player might have been goalie Igor Bobkov. Had it not been for his performance against Finland at the Brandt Centre, the Russians may have finished 3rd or worse in Pool B.
The other semi-final saw the Americans bounce back from that shootout loss to Canada by beating the Finns 6-2 in a game that was not as one-sided as the final indicates. It means Canada plays Switzerland in one semi while Sweden takes on the US in the other. I can't see the Swiss coming within three goals of the Canadians, but you have to play the game. It looks as if Tuesday's final will be a dandy with hockey fans either seeing a rematch of the last two gold medal games or a rematch of the New Year's Eve thriller.
I wonder what the atmosphere would be like if it was a Switzerland-US or Switzerland-Sweden final. Would it be sold out?
The Pats are perfect in 2010. They get a pair from Carter Ashton in a 4-2 win over Lethbridge as they end their nine game losing streak. I notice on RP's blog that a couple of fans have indicated Colten Teubert, Brett Leffler and Jordan Eberle are about to be traded after the World Jrs. I don't see an outright no from Rod which makes me wonder if there is any creedence to any of this. If Teubert or Eberle get dealt, it will be interesting to see where they go and what they get in return.
Its the final Sunday in the NFL with some interesting games. The one I'm most interested in is the Eagles-Cowboys matchup. The winner wins the NFC East, the loser gets a wild-card spot. Green Bay is in Arizona and it could be that way next weekend in a playoff game as well. It looks like the Saints won't play Drew Brees and the Colts won't play Peyton Manning much. Denver goes into a must-win game against Kansas City without their top player as Brandon Marshall has been inexplicably de-activated by coach Josh MacDaniels. If KC pulls off the upset tomorrow(and something seems to tell me they might), MacDaniels may very well be one and done as a head coach in Denver. He has f##ed that franchise up real good. I think many people knew their 6-0 start was just a mirage. I don't even know if I can stomach watching the Seahawks finish off against Tennessee. Chris Johnson could run for 300 yards in that one.
Andy Murray gets the boot in St. Louis. They have been a disappointment this year---especially at home. St. Louis has some tools for the future though in guys like David Perron, David Backes, TJ Oshie and Alex Pietrangelo. They might be ready to take a meteoric rise like Chicago did last season next season. Then again, Perron and Backes are nowhere near the calibre of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
I forgot to mention yesterday that perhaps the worst hockey movie ever made was on ESPN Classic. The movie I speak of is "Youngblood". That movie was bad when it was made in the mid 80's and its only worse today. I had to watch a little of it just to remind me how bad it was. The only redeeming part might have been Cynthia Gibb because she was cute, but after that, nothing. I don't think I'll ever see a Memorial Cup end on a penalty shot followed by a brawl in which everyone stands around and watches two guys go at it without anyone stepping in. PLEASE! BARRRFFFFF! I had forgotten though that Keanu Reaves was in that flick. However as I stated, that may be the worst hockey movie ever made if not one of the worst sports movies ever made. If it isn't the worst one ever made, you tell me what one is.
I didn't see UFC 108, but I can tell you UFC 112 will see the return of Georges St. Pierre to the octagon. The Montrealer, who is the welterweight champ, will meet Dan Hardy on March 27. St. Pierre has not fought since injuring himself while winning at UFC 100.
Have a great Sunday!