In an even game vs Latvia Denmark managed to win in shootouts. That’s enough to avoid the Regulation Round and the Danes were very happy about that, of course, and they should. It was an open game but Denmark had a GREAT goalie in Frederik Andersen and a fantastic sniper, Mads Christensen. I saw the potential in both of them already in the first game I saw Denmark here in the WC and in this last game they stepped up when the tempo wasn’t as high as vs the Finns and Tjecks. I thought to my self when I saw Mads Christensen; Where do this guy play. He can play in the Swedish Elikte League……. I got the explanaition after having met an old Coach friend in the stands, Doug Mason (ex National Coach of Holland and now Head Coach of Iserlohn in the DEL). He told me that his manager, two years ago, went to Herning to watch another player. Then he saw Mads Christensen and signed him. After one succesful year in DEL the Berlin Capitals offered him a much better contract. So that is were Christensen is playing today – and are doing a great job……
Kirrill Starkov was playing a little better in this game. But it is still not enough. He works hard but he does not have the edge. He is not playing in the PK and in PP he plyed just temporary and when he did nothing really happened. Hopefully ha can step up several steps by playing in the Allsvenska but in the National Team he is in a line where he have good Team mates, for example Morten Green is the Centerforward and it obviosely does not help. Well, time will show but if Rögle BK wants to be one of the Teams that should have a chance to make it the whole way to the Elitserie next year they need som new players who can help them with the top edge. Players that just “fill in” can be found in the Junior Team.
Later yesterday I watched the game CZE vs FIN. A good game that CZE won. High tempo, a lot of emotions, some small fights and the spectators had a great time. The big difference between the Teams were that CZE scored on their chances. There one can see that a player like Jagr still is important. He does not dominate at all anymore – I’d rather say the opposite – but when he got ONE chance to score it was clean. Up in the roof, end of discussion!
My tip is that both this Teams will have a good chance to compete about the Medals in this Tournament. I’m saying that without having watched the Teams that is playing in Kocise so it is, of course, just my feelings.
Between the two games I met a delegation from the Swedish Organisation Committe for the World Championships in Sweden the nest two upcoming years. All of them are very enthusiastic and we also shared some old memories. Bo Tovland, Lars G Karlsson, Mats Hedenström, Peter Forsberg (Södertälje) – just to mention some of them. Great people!
I also met the Danish delegation – the Staff incl Enver Hansen and the Board incl Chairman Henrik Bach from Ålborg. They were VERY nervous before the game and VERY released and happy after the game.
A long chat with Mr Frank Gonzales was also interesting. He told me about things in Spainish Ice Hockey and it seems as if they are, slowly, hitting the right road for development. New Rinks are built and more and more kids starts to play our wonderful sport. Mr Gonzales is making a great job with this and he is a genuine Ice Hockey Man. He is also a gentleman that gives his greetings to “All the wonderful people I met in Sweden during the IIHF U-18 World Championship in 2006″.
After the game I was talking to Dr Steve Norris and his wife Lea. Dr Norris is also one of the speakers at the Symposium here and they are very interesting and nice people. From Calgary Canada. Dr Norris works for the Canadien Olympic Committee with planning etc, etc in all sports.
They also showed me how to catch the Tram back to our hotel and that made it much easier.
Well -Let’s face a new day with new challenges. It is nice and developing to be here and to meet many, many old and new friends. I’m looking forward to my speak tomorrow, Friday, at the Coach Symposium and also to travel home to my wonderful family.