Tuesday night Guy and I presented our 2 hour World Junior preview show, trying to cover as much ground as we could and get to as many of the contenders as possible, as well as some key individuals to watch.
We started things off with the pre tournament favourites from the States. Dave Starman will provide colour analysis on the broadcasts and he filled us in on who's looked good in camp, which guys are on the bubble, who looks to be the starting goaltender and more.
Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo Sports gave us the inside scoop on team Russia, including the fact that Maxim Kitsyn will be staying in North America after the tournament and joining the St. Mike's Majors who are hosting the Memorial Cup this year. Kitsyn will be key for any Russian success, but so will goaltending and Dmitry gave us his opinion on who might start. We also chatted about just how important the Subway Series was to Russia and if the country and Kirill Kabanov can ever kiss and make up. With each of our guests we asked for podium predictions and their biggest WJC disappointments, for Chesnokov there are 2, and they're very fresh.
As for the rest of Europe, that's where Peter Loubardias, the voice of the Flames on Rogers Sportsnet, came in. Prediction Peter as we like to call him for his ability to nail a major event that will happen in the tournament, gave us his prime time player. In the past Peter called Matt Halischuk scoring a major goal for Canada (he scored the golden goal in 2007) as well that Cody Hodgson would lead Canada in scoring (he did in 2008) Peter ran down who to watch for and why when it comes to Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and Switzerland. A precious few people stay on top of the CHL as much as this man.
Guy and I gave our predictions for the podium to start the second hour, while also discussing the CHL's top prospect game list and the fact that Michael St. Croix maybe wasn't on the original list, but might be on the one being unveiled Wednesday.
Patrick King of Sportsnet.ca came aboard after that to breakdown team Canada for us. He agreed with us that this team might be underrated offensively and that it looks to have 3 scoring/checking lines and an energy line which might make them harder to defend against. Is the potential combination of Eric Gudbrandson and Simon Despres a little scary given their struggles this year, and is there a number one goalie emerging are all questions we asked Patrick.
Finally we wrapped things up by throwing out story lines you will hear about all tournament long, that you would have already heard if you're a regular to our show. By the way, I think Dylan Olsen will be this year's 'Human Eraser' or favourite player by a certain colour man on the TV broadcasts.
If you missed it live, check out the archive by clicking here.