On the second day of the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, the Calgary Flames had players on both sides of a big primetime game. Canada routed Slovakia 6-0 and the Flames were represented by Canada’s Dillon Dube and Slovakia’s Adam Ruzicka. One player had a better night than the other.
Once again, Dube played a ton. He had an assist and was second on the team in shots on goal with six – Jonah Gadjovich had seven. He was on the ice for half of Canada’s goals and was generally strong and steady in all three zones. The thing that’s remarkable about Dube’s game is the lack of panic; no Canadian forwards played more than he did (for the second game of the tournament), but he has an impressive ability to calm things down and push the puck into the right areas of the ice. Dube didn’t light up the scoreboard, but he was noticeable for positive reasons on the majority of his shifts.
Ruzicka understandably had a rougher time. The positives? He played a ton – only two Slovak forwards played more – he was only on the ice for one Canada goal, and he won 13 of 17 faceoffs. The negatives? For a player that’s relied upon for offense, he had zero shots and was largely invisible in the offensive zone. He had a few decent shifts, but he was pretty much representative of a pretty overwhelmed Slovakian group on this occasion.