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World Junior Quarter Finals Preview

Russia v Sweden: Preliminary Round Group B - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship
For those that doubt Broberg is superman!
Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Well we made it. Zero cases of Covid and round robin play is done. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there really wasn’t much drama or great games. A lot of days the Big 5 teams were outscoring the ‘rest’ by about 30-0 combined. The ‘streak’ ended (as a non Swede, I think this is actually good for them). Only major upsets was Czechs over Russia (which will mean nothing going forward). Broberg has been limping. Halloway is on top line and getting better every game. Germans overcame a tonne of adversity to finish third in the pool.

Great job by Edmonton to make this happen!

To be honest, I always love the quarters of the Junior’s and World’s but can’t say I’m too excited for tomorrow. Looks like 1 good match and 3 slaughters to me.

Germany vs Russia

I think the Russian’s make it to the finals again this year. However, if you were to pick one game that might have an upset, it’s this one. I don’t think the German’s will win but they are well coached, will have several key players back and Tim Stutzl might be the best forward in the tourney. If they had Seider and Reichel they may have given Finland a run. They are also missing their number 1 goalie. I think it’ll be a close game but Russia has too many gamebreakers and is simply better. They tend to rise as the tournament progresses. I’ve read some people doubting Askarov. I don’t see it, the guy is amazing.

Russia 5 - Germany 3

US vs Slovakia

Slovak’s will fight hard. They’ve sent a very young team with some potential first rounders in 2 drafts. Both their goalies are excellent.

US is an all star team that scores at will and they won the pool of death. Knight is coming around. States have about 6 guys that could get a hattrick. They’re gelling well. Their loss to Russia to begin was most likely the result of 2 bad giveaways. I can’t see a scenario where they lose. Slovak’s did give Canada a good challenge and will deploy the same strategy. Clog it up, defend and then defend some more.

US 8 - Slovakia 2

FInland vs Sweden

This is going to be an amazing match. As an Oiler’s fan I’ve read a lot of criticism of Broberg. He is clearly playing hurt and is still playing a lot of minutes. Both teams are amazing and could win the Gold medal. Finn’s will be very tactical and are the King’s of the quarter upset. Sweden will carry the gameplay but Finn’s battle hard. I’m taking Sweden this year in a great game. More importantly, I hope Broberg is healthy and can skate like he can.

Sweden 2 - Finland 1

Czechs vs Canada

This won’t be close. I expect Canada to score early. Score again. Then it’ll be over. I can’t see the Czechs scoring to be honest. I could see the third being ‘cruise control’.

For the Czechs to pull off the miracle they need to, somehow, combine the three periods against Russia with the period and a half against Sweden and the first period against US. They simply don’t have the guns to get many goals nor do they have the D to stop Canada. It’s a big mismatch. Czechs will battle, clog up neutral zone and give it everything. I have no doubt about that. They’ve been short a key player in every match and might have a full squad which will be nice to see. Key players like Pytlik, Raska, Kubicek, Gut and Krutil have all missed games. Martin Lang has established himself and might be a late round pick in the next draft as an overager. Both our ‘cage’ D (Jiricek and Svozil) look very promising. Expect us to start the only goalie we have that is not drafted into the NHL. Also expect to see both our goalies before it’s over.

On suggestion would be to start a different goalie every period. Even better would be if we could start 2 at the same time and have them play side by side.

For Canada to win this they have to play at about 70 percent, avoid injury and just dump it in, go get it and cause havoc. Be patient, get on Powerplay. Expect Halloway to get a few points and Levi the shutout.

Canada 7 - Czechs 0

Teams get reseeded for Semi’s so I’m not sure if it’s possible for Canada and Russia to meet in Semi’s. If not, I think those are the 2 finalist’s. Canada will roll and Russia will get better.