In IIHF play today, Canada just barely got past Germany 3-2 in the opening game of the Group C round robin. Germany, who has zero NHLers on its active roster, wasn't expected to have any chance, but thanks to a big mistake by Dwayne Roloson, they found themselves right in the thick of things against the favored Canadians.
Eric Staal had one of Canada's goals, and it was assisted by Justin Viva Williams. So far, then, four of Carolina's eight participants in the IIHF tournament have tallied points, and John Grahame picked up a win for USA. Only Mike Commodore and Chad LaRose have yet to make a mark. And Cam Ward didn't play. For some reason, Frantisek Kaberle isn't on Czech Republic's team.
Early in the game, there was a call that I wish would happen in the NHL. Shea Weber, who was second among Predators defensemen with 40 (17/23) points in 06-07, delivered a high hit to the head of Germany's Yannic Seidenberg (little brother of Carolina's Dennis) as the German was coming through center ice. The call against Weber was five minutes for checking to the head and neck area and a game misconduct. It's the penalty specifically for hitting to the head and neck that I like. In many leagues at every level, and in international play, it is illegal to hit a player in the head. The NHL stubbornly refuses to ban that type of hit, and its disciplinarian routinely defends players who deliver high hits by blaming the victim for "not skating with his head up", or "failing to anticipate the hit". I don't think we'll see any NHL rule changes any time soon with respect to that, but I'll keep bitching about it.
Apparently, Dwayne Roloson fell asleep for a second, and allowed a goal from a center-ice shot. This made things very tense, and it wasn't until midway through the third that the Canadians got the go-ahead goal.
Also, in early games on Saturday, Switzerland beat Latvia 2-1 in group A play. Two other games are in progress. Sweden is playing Italy in group A, and Slovakia is playing Norway in group C.
For all the info you need on the IIHF World Championship tournament, go here.
5 years ago