The Buzz From The Worlds - Day 3
May 2, 2005
NO GOALIE CONTROVERSY Team USA coach Peter Laviolette has two goalies
who could be his No. 1 at the world tournament. Rick DiPietro got the
shutout in a 7-0 win over Slovenia on Sunday and Ty Conklin will
start Tuesday against Latvia.
But who gets the start against Canada on Thursday? Laviolette isn't
"That's the only thing I can do, just keep evaluating as we go along
here," says Laviolette. "Eventually I would like to come up with an
answer (about who is No. 1). That's not to say I will."
Conklin was in net last year when the United States won bronze in
Prague and Laviolette was the head coach.
"Ty's record is pretty amazing in a USA Hockey jersey. He is 8-1 in
his last 10 (international) starts," said Laviolette. "A lot of the
guys in that room played in front of Ty last year and they played
hard and they know how good he is. He was the goaltender of the
tournament and he deserves to be there."
Is Slovenia's Anze Kopitar Europe's version of Sidney Crosby?
Not according to Ken Holland, the GM of the Detroit Red Wings who is
the assistant GM here at the world championship.
"Sidney is in a class of his own," says Holland.
Kopitar is the top European available in the NHL draft, if and when
that happens. He won the Swedish junior league scoring title and is
pegged as a top-10 draft pick.
Kopitar took the game-opening faceoff against Mike Modano in the
tournament-opening game for both teams. The fact the Slovenes went
with a teenager speaks to the status he has in Slovenia's hockey
"He's a good player and he will go somewhere in the first round,"
says Holland, who watched Kopitar against the Americans. "The other
night when he had the puck - and he did not have the puck a lot - but
he did some good things. He has good hands and he seems to know what
to do with the puck.
"I didn't get the chance to see him with his peers and that is
obviously where he will do more. It will be tough for him to show a
lot on this tournament, especially against Canada and the United
States. Certainly at some point in time they will play teams in this
tournament they are on par with and maybe he will be able to use that
to show a little bit more."
SAFETY FIRST Canadian goalie Roberto Luongo knows changes are coming
for NHL goalies and as long as they don't compromise safety, he is
all for them.
"I am not against it, but as long as it stays within a reasonable
limit," says Luongo. "I am not aware of all the changes. I know a
little about them, but as long they changes are not out of hand and
they still maintain the safety of the goaltenders, I am not against
it. I want it to stay within a reasonable limit."
The NHL wants to make goalie equipment smaller, making some
netminders not look like a Michelin man.
Luongo got a chuckle when he saw newspaper pictures of the revamped
nets the NHL was thinking of trying to implement.
"Those were ridiculous," says Luongo. "I saw them, especially the
round ones, and I got a good chuckle."
REMEMBERS WELL The last time Joe Thornton played at the worlds was
2001 and everything was going fine until he broke a bone in his face
in an on-ice collision, knocking him out of action for the tournament.
"It is nice to come back and play. Scott Walker is my roommate and
he's the guy who hit me," says Thornton.
SEDINS, HOGLUND BENCHED Swedish coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson has no
problem sitting players out if he thinks they don't deserve ice time.
He benched twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin for the third period against
Ukraine on Sunday night. Sweden won the game 3-2.
WANTS RED LINE OUT Detroit GM Ken Holland used to a strong proponent
of keeping the centre red line in the NHL but now he's all for
"I'd get rid of it," says Holland, without elaborating why he's
changed his mind.