"It's a great day for hockey."
-- Bob Johnson
Every day was a great day according to Badger Bob, but yesterday this was particularly true. The IIHF World Championships kicked off with a truly extraordinary game, in which host Germany beat USA 2-1 in overtime in front of a staggering crowd of 78,803, an all-time record for a hockey game. The first-ever win for the Germans over the Americans could hardly have come at a better time (although a minute earlier for the winner would have meant a 3-0 split of points instead of 2-1). For a sense of what the occasion was like, I recommend this terrific account from the IIHF page which was presented in a live blog format. Very well observed and written, with just the right sense of occasion - "For one brief shining moment, hockey is bigger than football in Germany! (We're enjoying that moment.)" - and of fun - "the shrill derision heaped upon the American power play is roughly akin to a horde of Nazguls from The Lord of the Rings having a scream-off with a junior high girl's school attending its first Jonas Brothers concert."
The other thing that happened yesterday was the introduction of SBNation's latest blog. Puck Worlds is primarily about high-level hockey beyond the NHL, be it international tournaments, the European leagues, or major junior. It is hosted by a fellow named Bruce Peter. Due respect, I think I'll just keep calling him by his screen name of SaskHab: less confusing that way.
Puck Worlds kicks off with coverage of the 2010 Men's Senior World Championships. That tournament starts today for Craig MacTavish, Ryan Smyth, Jordan Eberle and the rest of Team Canada, with a tune-up game against hockey minnows Italy at 8:00 a.m. MDT. The new site will be hosting a game-day thread for this one, so by all means if you're watching the game drop in over there to read and contribute. Group previews are/will be featured as well.
While we'll leave the GDTs to our new colleague in Puck Worlds, The Copper & Blue will have our own tournament coverage in the form of game reports from each Team Canada match. It's always fascinating to watch the team slowly come together as the tournament moves forward, and even the easy early games are significant for establishing line combinations and team chemistry. That process starts in semi-earnest today; watch for our review of Canada-Italy a little later.