Jack and USA done, Bernier ready for Ovechkin tomorrow

Johnson and Jagr at IIHF quarterfinals
Photo by Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF

Out of the sixteen countries to play in the main pool at last year’s IIHF World Championships the United States finished 13th – ahead of only France, Italy and Kazakhstan.

They’ll finish five slots higher this year, but there isn’t much to celebrate. After advancing to the elite-8, they were bounced in their first game by the defending champions from the Czech Republic.

In today’s opening game of the quarterfinals Team USA lost 4-0. Al Montoya (New York Islanders) was announced as injured, so Ty Conklin (St. Louis Blues) was given the start in goal. Jack Johnson played over 20 minutes again, but the offense just couldn’t get anything going.

The Kings defenseman also laid out Patrik Elias (New Jersey Devils) behind the net in the third period. Probably should have been a penalty, but there was no call.

Johnson finished the tournament with 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in seven games, picked up eight penalty minutes and was a minus-4. He also led all U.S. defenseman with 20 shots on goal.

Jaromir Jagr looked every bit the part of a player ready to return to the NHL, posting three goals on his first four shots in today’s game. He’s now tied for the lead on his team with five goals and eight points (matching the totals of Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec).

The Czech’s beat Russia for the gold last May and this year’s brackets have things lining up for a possible rematch.  Russia has also played in the finals for three straight years, having won the gold medal in 2008 and 2009.

Germany and Sweden will play later today. The winner of that game will play the Czech Republic in one of Friday’s semi-final games.

On the other side, the winner of tomorrow’s two games – Canada/Russia and Finland/Norway – will meet up in the other semi-final game.

Both the gold and bronze medal games will be played on Sunday, airing live on VERSUS in the U.S.

But, back to that Canada-Russia game. Coach Ken Hitchcock has already announced he’s sticking with Jonathan Bernier in goal, who is 2-0 in the tournament. One of the many story lines to watch in that game is if Bernier and the Canadian defense can shut down Alexander Ovechkin. In two games played, he’s yet to register a point.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

Recent Articles

NHL RADIO REPLAY: Hoven on Kings Coaching, Lines, and Rookies

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined hosts Dennis Bernstein and Dave Pagnotta to talk all things LA Kings – including hot rookie Jaret Anderson-Dolan, young Austin Wager, suggestions for line combinations, John Stevens’ powerplay, Ilya Kovalchuk, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, and more.
Today’s radio […]

TSN RADIO REPLAY: Hoven on Kings, Ducks, Pacific Division Preview

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on TSN Radio, where he joined hosts Rick Ralph and Andrew Paterson to take a look at how things may play out in the Pacific Division this season – they talked Anze, Kopitar, Ilya Kovalchuk, Dustin Brown, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Austin Wagner, the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, […]

LA Kings Opening Night Roster: Final Decisions Made, This Is It

With the Kings idle, waiting to roll into Opening Night this coming Friday, there isn’t much going on.
Actually, it was a little challenging to type that sentence with a straight face. Truth is, not much has gone right in Los Angeles during preseason and things are a bit challenging at the moment.
Forget the […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2018 Mid-Season Top 10 Prospect Rankings: The Top Two

It all comes down to this. After an extensive journey through the LA Kings current prospect pool, we've finally arrived at the top two players in the rankings - including this year's highly coveted No. 1 spot. … [Read More...]

More Prospect News