While the Stanley Cup playoffs are going on in North America, the World Championships are going on in Riga, Latvia. There are some interesting stories going down there, too. Here's just some of the things you may have missed if you haven't been paying close attention (and trust me, we'll all forgive you):
-Sidney Crosby netted two goals for Canada in their first game/win over Denmark. Not to be outdone, Alex Ovechkin netted a hat trick in Russian's thumping of Kazakhstan. Alexander Semin, the other Caps Russian, also netted a hat-trick in the beating. Gotta love the youth movement heading the NHL.
-Belarus is at it again. First it was brutalizing Tommy Salo and Sweden, while today it was upsetting Slovakia 2-1. The true test for these underdogs will be the Russians, who will be their next game.
-Though both the US and Canada won their games (to Norway and Denmark respectively), the seemed a bit out of it. You can't really blame either as both are waiting for more reinforcements from the first rounders that are coming over, but it's also a cause for concern. Could the state of North American hockey really be deteriorating, or is it just a transition process from young to old?? The time will ultimately tell.
-Sadly, it seems that the Swiss are the last team not to get caught up in the Nike "swift" jersey trend. Sweden was donning their new swift jerseys on the ice Saturday. There are plenty of people who don't like them, mainly for the fact that they bring no originality to the table. It'll be interesting on what RBK rolls out, if they in fact still go full bore on the idea, in '07-'08; which is when their new "swift" jerseys are supposed to happen. I'm sure hockey traditionalist everywhere will be up in arms of it all.
For more on the IIHF World Championships, just click onto their website for more information. If you're lucky enough to get TSN either cable, dish, or stolen satellite transmissions, then they'll be playing all of Canada's games on the network at around 1 PM. I could go into how they should really not mention this as "Sidney Crosby's team", but I'll leave that for another rant at another time.