Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NHL Network To Show All Games of U.S. National team in WJC w Schedule

It was announced today that when the United States National team attempts to win back-to-back World Junior Championship gold medals starting Sunday that the U.S. version of the NHL Network will provide exclusive coverage of every Team USA game. The tournament is going to take place from December 26 until January 5, 2011 in Buffalo, New York.  The USA squad is considered among the pre-tournament favorites and if this year's tournament is half as exciting as last year's was then it is a can't miss event.  Team USA will officially announce their roster for the tournament tomorrow, Wednesday Dec 22nd at 9:10 am, exclusive on the Team USA facebook page

Here is the prelimary round schedule for the USA team:
Team USA Schedule/Results
DateOpponentLocationTime (ET) / Result
Dec. 26FinlandHSBC Arena8 p.m.
Dec. 28SlovakiaHSBC Arena8 p.m.
Dec. 30GermanyHSBC Arena7 p.m.
Dec. 31SwitzerlandHSBC Arena8 p.m.

If that was not enough good news the announce team is Gary Thorne and Dave Starman with Billy Jaffe and Fred Pletsch as rinkside reporters.  It will be good to have Gary Thorn back on hockey games, Starman does a very good job with the CBS College Sports coverage of the NCAA games as well.

Less than five days left.

From the official announcement:
NHL Network U.S. will provide exclusive live coverage of the U.S. National Junior Team games at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. NHL Network also will televise all medal-round games and five additional preliminary-round match-ups, airing a total of 15 games in high-definition from the tournament, and provide nightly re-caps in its signature show “NHL On the Fly.”  All USA games will be NHL Network original broadcasts.
The tournament’s popularity stems from its reputation as a showcase for the game’s best up-and-coming young players from around the world. Many current NHL stars have played in the tournament; an abbreviated list includes Sidney Crosby, Mike Richards and Jarome Iginla for Canada; Patrick Kane, Zach Parise and Bobby Ryan for the United States; Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk for Russia; Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and the Sedin twins for Sweden; Martin Havlat, Milan Hejduk and Tomas Kaberle for the Czech Republic; Teemu Selanne and the Koivu brothers for Finland and Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik and Jaroslav Halak for Slovakia.
Many players who will take to the ice in this year’s tournament are very close to realizing their dream of an NHL career — no fewer than 25 players who played in last year’s competition already have made their League debut.

Is Brandon Dubinsky Now Top Line Quality or Same Inconsistent Results?

Andrew Burton/Getty

For the first 20 games this season Brandon Dubinsky seemed poised for a breakout season and to put all his skeptics in their place.  In those first 20 games the 24-year-old left winger would be the New York Rangers best player registering eleven goals and seven assists with the majority of that coming in the absence of star winger Marian Gaborik.  Plain and simple Dubinsky was playing at an all-star type level.  The key to the tremendous start for Dubinsky the level of aggression and consistency of it on the offensive end was higher than he had been at thus far in his career.  For some they were just waiting for the offensive slumps that came to define his previous seasons as much as any of the good things he had done, but he looked to be over that and then Marian Gaborik returned from his 12 game absence.

For many the assumption was that with Gaborik returning it would mean easier competition for Dubinsky and similar if not increased production because of it.  The problem with that assumption is from the moment that Gaborik came back sans a few games/or stretches within a game Dubinsky has seemed content to fall back into the secondary role and defer to Gaborik.  With that shift in mentality Dubinsky has seen a drop in his production as well collecting a mere three goals in his last 15 games while adding another six assists, but being held scoreless in 9 of those contests.  The question then becomes this; Is Brandon Dubinsky the player who has the mentality and skill to carry an offense as he showed in the first 20 games or is he the same guy he has been the last few years inconsistent with flashes of brilliance?  Only Dubinsky can truly decide.