07 May 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You know, it's really a shame the IIHF World Championships don't get more press coverage. I don't know about you, but it is one of the most wonderful times of MY year. The thrill of (the inevitable Canada-Sweden-Russia-Czech-USA) victory! The agony of (every other team's) defeat! It's even in Canada this year!

However, it has come with some sad changes. The first, and saddest change, is no roster pictures. Seeing the IIHF Worlds roster photos is like, a highlight of my year, and it never ever fails to be an excellent source of amusement. Come on, most of the players look A) exhausted from the playoffs, if they were lucky enough to even make them, B) bitter that their NHL team did NOT make the playoffs, C) thrilled beyond all belief that their country picked them, or D) faintly confused by the entire process and wondering when dinner is.

Also, sadly, Team Russia kicked off my favorite Russian Petr Schastlivy, which made me quite upset because since he plays in Russia, I get very little chance to actually see him play. But here's the thing--the coach who punted him is his coach in the Super League. I sense some drama going down! I'm still going to cheer for Team Russia, though, because I am a huge sucker for the superfast skating and the passing and oh my goodness, I can't help it. I mean, for heaven's sake, they have Ovechkin AND Kovalchuk AND The Sergei Fedorov Accept No Substitutes, plus a whole host of less-well-known NHL and Super League players, oh my God they are SO GOOD. Man, somewhere along the line I fell in love with Russian hockey and now I can't stop--look, I don't even like Atlanta but if I'm down, watching RDS's Top Ten Kovalchuk Goals or one of the most perfectly-placed shots ever or just about anything by Ovechkin, and you know, life is good again.

But I digress, because I just got off on a tangent there of watching about thirty minutes' worth of highlight-reel goals.


Belarus is thanking their lucky stars that Montreal got knocked out and they can avail themselves of the services of the Amazing Flying Kostitsyn Brothers. And so am I, because it brought the best interview ever into my life. One question: Apparently Sergei Kostitsyn watched Saw IV eight times. EIGHT TIMES. Why? WHY? I am simultaneously horrified and amused. Around Viewing No. 5, wouldn't you get bored? "Oh, this is the part where the guy pours red-hot battery acid into his own eye. You know, that reminds me, I need to make an appointment with the optometrist." I'm just speculating because I've never seen any of the Saw movies, but...EIGHT TIMES? Get a hobby, man.

Did you know that in Sweden they love Peter Forsberg so much they put him on a stamp? Personally he freaks me right out so I would never buy a stamp like that. Anyway, this is a pretty roundabout way of asking have you ever listened to Swedish hockey highlights? Now there is a language with a LOT of syllables. It sounds like they're trying furiously to get in all the words before the action moves on.

If Craig Anderson doesn't get a chance to play in this tournament I will cry. Tim Thomas is pretty awesome, but come on! Craig Anderson! TEAM USA PLEASE PLAY HIM BEFORE I HAVE TO FLY TO HALIFAX TO BECOME HIS ONE-PERSON CHEERING SQUAD.