Knee-Jerks: Super Series Game 2

kneejerk.jpgIn a contest that wasn’t as close as the final score, Canada took Game 2 in the Super Series by a 3 – 0 tally. It was a more physical contest than Game 1, and had a bit of the surreal as well, with a light covering of fog on the playing surface. Notable to Caps fans is that Josh Godfrey (Canada) and Simeon Varlamov (Russia) did not play.

  • Canada’s defense is very good, but the Russian team didn’t try to drive the slot at even strength at all. Russia’s shots were mainly from the perimeter, with a Canadian player in between the shooter and Jonathan Bernier. Simply put, against the talent level of the Canadians, that’s an excellent way to lose a hockey game. It might not be fun, but the Russian forwards may need to man-up and go right into the teeth of the defense to created scoring chances.
  • Brandon Sutter certainly brought his physical game today, throwing several big hits, including a high hit on Alexei Cherepanov, which was penalized.
  • Speaking of Cherepanov, the skilled winger is certainly an interesting player. Projected to go top 5 in the 2007 Draft, he slipped to the Rangers at 17th. It’s not hard to see why his skill-set is highly thought of, as he pulled several very slick moves, including a nice curl-and-drag on the power play to set up a teammate. At one point, he seemed irritated by Canada finishing their checks, and threw one of his own. That said, he played strictly on the perimeter, and many of his shots were from outside.
  • Canada’s first goal highlighted the difference between the teams: Turris and Perron (who scored on an excellent individual effort later in the game) worked a give-and-go like they had been practicing it together for months, resulting in the Canadians’ first goal. The Russian team, however, looked disjointed and uncoordinated, and when they had to make more than one pass to set up a play, it seemed to fall apart for them.
  • Karl Alzner wasn’t as noticeable in this game as he was in Game 1, and that’s probably a good thing. It may cost him a chance at the coveted fur hat, however.

Not much more to say than that. Team Canada looked like a well-oiled machine and Team Russia looked like a collection of individual talent, with predictable results. Unless the Russian squad pulls together as a team and gets reckless in the slot, the prospects of them taking a contest from their North American rivals seems slim.

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2 Responses to Knee-Jerks: Super Series Game 2

  1. pepper says:

    interesting notes about Cherepanov’s play, for those who thought we should have traded up to get him (myself included), if not used our first pick:
    “a nice curl-and-drag on the power play to set up a teammate”
    Think we’ve got a guy already pretty good at that move, also Russian.
    “[H]e played strictly on the perimeter, and many of his shots were from outside.”
    I know its one game, but could one make a more damning assessment? I certainly wouldn’t want another one of those types playing forward for the Caps.

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