A Great Weekend for Hockey: USA wins gold, hockey returns

Arguably the greatest weekend of hockey we’ve seen since who the hell knows when. Let us start from the beginning:

U.S. fans got up bright and early on Saturday morning to see Team USA face off against Team Sweden in the gold medal game of the World Junior Championship. The U.S. just barely squeezed into the playoffs as they faced a must-win situation against the Slovaks due to narrow defeats against then-undefeated Team Canada and powerhouse Team Russia. The Americans downed Slovakia 9-3 and later crushed the Czech Republic 7-0 in the quarterfinals. This was where things got tense. Team USA would have to face rival Team Canada in the semifinals. I will be the first one to tell you that I saw Canadian fans all over Twitter blabbering about how they couldn’t wait for a Canada-Russia final. Can you say PLAN THE PARADE? Unlike what I normally do (open my enormous mouth and make an asshole of myself) I ignored it all, while secretly laughing on the inside knowing these statements were going to come back and bite them in the butt (hopefully).

And it couldn’t have played out better. Team USA came storming into the game, putting up 4 goals over the course of the first two periods compared to Team Canada’s big fat friggin’ zero. The only goal the Canadians managed to put past John Gibson wasn’t a goal at all as the whistle had clearly been blown a good half-second before it crossed the goal line. But that’s okay. The Americans still stepped on the Canadian’s faces, crushing them 5-1 and advancing to the final against undefeated Team Sweden. The scenario almost felt a bit like the infamous 1980 Olympic miracle between the U.S. and the Soviets. The “bigger” game came before the gold medal game, a game against a hated rival that had a superior roster and skill set. Nothing stopped Team USA as they earned a 3-1 victory over the Swedes to win their 3rd gold medal in the WJC.

It’s also important to note that Canada did not medal as they fell to Russia in overtime in the bronze game. As if it couldn’t get any sweeter, this fourth place ending marks an end to Canada’s 14-year medal streak. AND AS IF IT COULDN’T GET ANY SWEETER THAN THAT

That is like…a full-blown SOBBING. Not just a single, dramatic tear, carving a glistening path down a Canadian cheek filled with unmatched pride for their magnificent country. But a sob. A sad, 13 year old girl’s blubbering sob. Take it all in.

Although as B’s fans, we have to feel for some of this young Canadian roster as we have three of our future stars in the lineup: Dougie Hamilton, Anthony Camara, and of course, goaltender Malcolm Subban. All three saw some success throughout the course of the tournament. Dougie tallied 1 assist and put a bomb in the back of the net during a win against Russia. Camara’s big moment came when he put a monstrous hit on Slovakia’s Patrik Luza, a hit that resulted in him being tossed from the game. It was a brutal hit, but it was completely clean. And of course we can’t forget about Malcolm Subban. Subban shined throughout the tournament. He made highlight reel saves and held down the fort for his team (for the most part).

These young-guns are making a name for themselves and will bring great talent to the Bruins in the future.

But that’s enough about the World Juniors. Let’s get down to what I’m really here to talk about.

HOCKEY. IS. BACK.

That’s right, the NHL and NHLPA have reached a “tentative” agreement and is set to begin a 48-game schedule on January 19th.

Some of the Bruins have already hit the ice in Boston at BU’s Agganis Arena. The following players took to the ice for an informal practice this morning:

Shawn Thornton
Gregory Campbell
Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic
Adam McQuaid
Andrew Ference
Brad Marchand
Tuukka Rask

Sounds like Seguin was the standout as he was donning a bright yellow “MOTOR” jersey (if anyone knows where that shit’s from please inform us) and playing in “midseason form” according to Joe Haggerty. Bish tweeted out pictures from the practice, stating that Seguin was “flying.” Nothing but positive vibes coming from the ice.

Seguin also stated that the greatest part about returning to Boston is “being back with the boys.” Oooh my heart.

I’m gonna bust out the bullet points and list all of the exciting things we have to look forward to:

  • Potentially opening up the season against the Montreal Canadiens
  • DOUGIE HAMILTON
  • Tuukka Rask making his return as a starter.
  • Nathan Horton is healthy and ready to go.
  • Seguin seems to be more than ready, set to surge into his junior season.
  • I can’t really think of anything else right now but I’m so effing excited I may spontaneously combust.

Rather than boring you with CBA talks and making this article longer than it already is, if you’d like to read up on the details of the new CBA’s framework, go here.

What a weekend it was.

Team USA is on top of the world.

Hockey is back.

More importantly, Boston Bruins hockey is back.

It’s time to drop the puck.

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