Boxing Day is an odd contrivance, as people elbow their way through brick-and-mortar stores in order to save 20% on a DVD player. That’s why we’re very glad that the annual World Junior Hockey Championship begins every year on Boxing Day, so there’s an excuse to avoid the malls.
The Calgary Flames have several players in the tournament. Most of them played on Boxing Day. Here’s a quick look at how they fared.
Sweden beat Belarus 6-1
Linus Lindstrom did his level best to play like Mikael Backlund. Aside from a lack of offense, he largely succeeded. He was a perfect 11-0 on faceoffs and was on the ice for zero goals by either side while centering the second Swedish forward line. He created chances and played 12 minutes of very dependable hockey, which was likely why he was named Sweden’s Player of the Game despite generating zero points.
Canada beat Finland 4-2
Dillon Dube, Canada’s captain, had a solid if unspectacular game. He was off the scoresheet, but he played 17:46 (more than any other Canadian forward) and was even with three shots. He was on the ice for Canada during all the high leverage situations and his job was to keep Finland off the scoresheet: he succeeded.
TSN thinks this Dube kid might be alright pic.twitter.com/bEi2JCXg6B
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) December 26, 2017
Juuso Valimaki, Finland’s captain, was a bit more active in the scoresheet parts of the game. He had a minor penalty (that resulted in the second Canada goal) and a primary assist on Aleksi Heponiemi’s goal later in the first period. He played 18:57, second-least of Finland’s six defenders, and was minus-1 with two shots.
Here’s the deal with Eetu Tuulola; he’s not on the Finnish team for now. Seventh defender Robin Salo has been dealing with an injury, which was why Eemeli Rasanen was skating with the team. Salo was listed on the roster but played zero minutes today, and the Finns still have an extra roster spot – which is presumably for Rasanen or Tuulola. We’ll see what happens there.
USA beat Denmark 9-0
Adam Fox, an alternate captain for the United States, had a strong game. He skated well, made smart passes and occasionally jumped into the rush. Granted, they were playing Denmark, who lost by more than a touchdown to the Americans. He played just over 17 minutes, had an assist, and was rock-solid in all three zones.
Adam Fox with the sleek stickwork pic.twitter.com/A2WaEzYT3z
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) December 27, 2017
(Pour out your beverage of choice for Denmark goaltender Kasper Krog, who was hung out to dry over the first two periods.)