So I’ve been taking in mass amounts of hockey over the holidays with the World Junior Hockey Championships going on. I mean who knows when we’ll get some more good hockey. But there are three instances that have taken place at this year’s even that just make me shake my head and wonder how some of these assholes get the chance to represent their countries.
The first one was committed by our friends south of the border in the USA. They were one of the favourites to win the tournament coming in to it but had some trouble when they got to the last place Belarus team. Truth be told they were getting their asses handed to them by a shitty team and they weren’t enjoying it much. We can all understand that. Losing sucks, especially when you’re clearly better. But, as pissed off as the Americans were, the Belarussians were loving it. This was going to be the biggest win of their young careers, and for many of them, their lives. You can understand that the game might get a little chippy towards the end because of the frustration of the Americans but it should have been over at the end of the game when the buzzer went. it wasn’t. These young kids from Belarus began to celebrate this huge accomplish for them when apparently the Americans decided that wasn’t appropriate on their ice and started taking shots at them and shoving and the usual hockey bullshit. Now let’s forget for a second that the Americans were hosting the event and could have been good sports about this in front of their own fans but regardless of where it was held, the actions the Americans took was shit. It’s not getting much coverage but why, when most of these American kids were going to go on in the tournament anyway and have long NHL careers, did they feel they needed to ruin the moment for their opponents. The Belarussians had every right to be happy and celebrate. This was huge for them. They hadn’t won a game yet and this was huge. But, rather than celebrate the moment with their team mates, they had to fight off embarassed Americans who couldn’t stand back and just let someone else have the spotlight for a minute. There were some classy Americans like Suter and Fritchie that stood back, but there were alot more assholes than gentlemen, that’s for sure.
This next one kind of paid back the Americans for their actions but was still wrong. In the semi-final the Russians were leading 3-2 in the 3rd and scored to make it 4-2. The Russians began hot=dogging everywhere. They started cupping their ears to act like the American fans should be cheering for them, they slammed pucks back in to the net a second time after they had already scored, they skated by the American bench after scoring another goal pumping their fists. Before it was all said and done it was 7-2 Russia and they were sticking it to the americans and their fans. Dit it look good on the U.S. for the shit they ahd pulled the night before? Sure. Was it still disgraceful? Definitely. Tell me the importance of a 6-2 goal in to an empty net. There isn’t any but these clowns acted like they’d just won the tournament. Of course it all got out of hand and sticks started flying and there was shoving and pushing and again an international game was made to look more like a circus than an athletic competition.
One of the Russian players has a pre-game ritual where before the ref drops the puck to start the game, he skates down to the opposing teams net and pretends to fire a puck on their goaltender. Well, look out Russia because tonight you play Canada and the shit you pulled in the semi’s won’t fly. Canada has asked the governing body to make sure this doesn’t happen tonight by giving the appropriate Unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to the player if he does it tonight. I hope they try their hotdog bullshit against Canada tonight because we’ve got the horses to make them pay for it within the rules of the game. Can you imagine what happens to one of these guys if they start waving to the Canadian bench after scoring when he comes back out the next time? Phaneuf’s gonna nail this guy through the boards in to the 3rd row. I hope they try it. It’ll look better real good on them when they lose. Why are you celebrating after the semi’s anyway? You haven’t won anything yet.
The last one is a small thing but that has always been huge to me personally whenever I see it. during Canada’s game with Finland Canada was up 7-0 on the Finns in the third with no chance of the coming back. One of the Finns finally scores to make it 7-1 with like 5 minutes left in the game and he starts jumping around like he’s just scored the game winner. Umm. Escuse me. I might suggest that you TAKE A LOOK AT THE FUCKING SCOREBOARD!!! It’s 7-1 you dumb prick. You’re getting killed. Have some dignity. Put your hand in the air and skate back to center for the next face-off. That goal means nothing. There’s way too many guys like this out there. Guys that put themselves above the team. Their team can be getting killed 10-1 but they’re happy as long as they got the one goal. There’s a famous saying in sports that I’ve always loved. “the name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back.” That’s magnified about 10 times if you’re playing for your country.
These guys should all be embarassed. You’re supposed to be representing their countries and this is the way they choose to do it. I’ve heard people say “oh that’s just how the Europeans are.” That’s bullshit. You didn’t see Igor Larionov doing stuff like this when he was one of the first Russians to come over to North America and pave the way for these young guys. Didn’t see much of this shit from Jari Kurri when he and Gretzky were setting records in Edmonton. And he ACTUALLY had something to brag about! these guys need to show some respect. If they ever get to the NHL they’re gonna get fucking killed the first time they do something like that.
Cuz guess what? You don’t get kicked out of the game for fighting in the NHL!