WJC Day Three: Finland Upsets USA, Sweden Wins In Shootout

Written by Brian McCormack on .

The four games on Wednesday featured some of the best action we've seen thus far at the 2012 World Junior Championships. We saw Finland bounce back in a big way from their embarrassing opening loss to Canada and Sweden just barely survive a feisty Switzerland team. Also, has Canada found themselves a new goaltender?

After the jump, we'll take you through all of yesterday's action and preview the pair of games on today's slate.

The Three Stars of HBO's 24/7 Road To The Winter Classic: Episode III

Written by Mike Salerno on .

Each week, the THS staff will select the three stars of each airing of HBO's 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic.

The third installment of HBO's "24/7 Flyers-Rangers: Road to the Winter Classic" showed us the triumphant return of Claude Giroux to the Philadelphia lineup, both teams gearing up for the Holiday season at home and with each other, the many faces of Ilya Bryzgalov and a closer look at how Steve Ott can sound like a bumbling idiot.

Once again, there were quite a few worthy of a three-star selections, but we can only honor so many. Here are Tonight's Healthy Scratches' Three Stars of 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic:

WJC Day Two: Czechs, Slovaks Win, Looking Ahead To Day Three

Written by Mike Salerno on .

Day two of the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship offered a moment of rest for most of the big-name teams, with only two games on the slate. Like yesterday's recap of a busy opening day, THS is keeping you updated on all the action and looks ahead to some intriguing matchups on Wednesday.

Flyers Bryzgalov Lost in Orbit

Written by Frank Castaldi on .

With just under a week remaining until the puck drops at Citizens Bank Park for highly-anticipated 2012 Winter Classic, a simple message has been delivered to the Philadelphia Flyers: Houston, we have a problem!

You see, Flyers' netminder Ilya Bryzgalov might have poked his head a little too high into the clouds trying to discover the truth of the universe. Bryzgalov has been made consecutive appearances on our installments of The Three Stars of HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic with his never-ending thoughts about the universe, but lately, his numbers have been so cold, they belong on Pluto.

Talkin' World Juniors With The Power Play Radio Show

Written by Mike Salerno on .

In case you missed it earlier tonight, I joined Christian Arnold of Islanders Hockey Blog and Jack Torrey on The Power Play, a weekly radio show on WCWP Radio heard on Tuesdays from 5-6 pm, to talk about the first day of the World Junior Championships and some of the players to look out for over the rest of the tournament.

We touched on the injury to Canada's Devante Smith-Pelly, recapped last night's action and discussed some medal predictions. Here's the clip of when I joined the show:

Special thanks to Christian and Jack for having me on to talk. We'll be getting into some podcasting here at THS soon as well, and we'd love to have them on once we can dislodge our heads from our Holiday leftovers.

Yes, this was my first radio appearance ever. Not too shabby. I mean, I was at least better than this guy, right? Actually, don't answer that.

Weber Concussion Raises Questions in Nashville

Written by Brian McCormack on .

Once again this season, the rampant epidemic that concussions have become has claimed an NHL star. Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators suffered a concussion on Friday night on this hit from Derek Fistric:

I'm not going to waste time right now discussing head injuries or player safety, as there have already been numerous opportunities to do so, and there will undoubtedly be more. For now, a Predators team that is 8th in the Western Conference with a negative goal differential through 36 games must begin considering their options.

WJC Day One: Russia Blanks Switzerland; US, Canada Win Big

Written by Mike Salerno on .

The 2012 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships kicked off yesterday in Calgary and Edmonton, with almost no surprises. The US and Canada rolled in their opening games and in the final game of the night, Russia blanked Switzerland thanks to a 40-save effort from 17-year old Andrei Vasilevski, 3-0.

Vasilevski, who is draft-eligible in 2012, certainly helped his own draft stock, erasing any and all mistakes made by an inexperienced defensive corps. While goaltending seemed to be one of the biggest questions surrounding this Russian team entering the tournament, Vasilevski has given his mates confidence between the pipes, something that may make this run-and-gun offensive power unstoppable.

After the jump, we'll give you a run down of all of yesterday's action and look ahead to today's games.

THS 2012 World Junior Championship Preview

Written by Mike Salerno and Brian McCormack on .

Here's to hoping all our readers had a wonderful Christmas holiday. The day after Christmas is still quite the holiday in Canada. Of course, as many of you know, today is Boxing Day for our neighbors to the north. However, many of it's hockey-crazed inhabitants are much more concerned with the return of the World Junior Hockey Championships, which begin today in Edmonton and Calgary.

The Canadiens, after reeling off five straight gold medals from 2005-2009, have been fallen just short of the ultimate prize in each of the last two years, settling for silver. For most of the countries competing in the tournament, it would be an honor to take home a silver medal, but for Hockey Canada, anything less than gold is unacceptable.

Russia, the defending champions who used a five-goal third period to stun Canada in the Gold Medal Game a year ago, is the all-time leader in gold medals at the World Juniors with 16, one better than Canada's 15. Can they return to their 2011 form and capture glory again?

Then there's the Americans, who have taken home a medal in each of the past two tournaments and seem to be catching up in the everlasting arms race for international hockey supremacy. Capitals defenseman John Carlson will be forever remembered by USA Hockey fans for his gold-medal winning overtime goal against Canada in 2010 which ended one of the most exciting games in American hockey history.

The popularity of the tournament growing in the United States exponentially from year to year. More and more hockey fans are tuning in to get their first glimpse of tomorrow's stars. NHL Network will be broadcasting all of Team USA's games, starting with tonight's matchup with Denmark at 8 p.m. (EST), as well as a slew of others through the 2018 tournament.

One of these three countries has won every tournament since 2002. The likes of Sweden, Finland and Czech Republic have boasted talented squads in recent years, but have never been able to capture gold. Is this the year one of them breaks through?

Ruff Time of Year: Sabres' Play Could Put Lindy's Job on Line

Written by Brian McCormack on .

Lindy Ruff's seat could be geeting warm

The NHL has seen six coaching changes this season, and it may be time for the league's longest tenured coach to take notice.

While perhaps no team in the NHL has been hit harder by the injury bug than the Buffalo Sabres have been forced to deal with, the team still has sunk to 11th in the Eastern Conference and have won only three of their last ten games.

Happy Holidays from the Chicago Blackhawks

Written by Mike Salerno on .

Everyone's talking about the hottest new record to hit stores this Holiday season, the Chicago Blackhawks Sing-Along Holiday Album! The CD that's flying off store shelves and into everyone's stocking this year features your favorite Hawks stars singing all the hits, with a bit of a twist. They've got classics like Oh, Hossa Night, Patrick Sharp is Coming To Town and many more. Check out a free preview here at THS!

This will get even the most scrooge-tastic Blackhawks haters in the holiday spirit. I mean who doesn't love a good rendition of Frolik Navidad and Bickel Bells? Hats off to BlackhawksTV, who struck gold with this idea.

A bit surprising that Jonathan Toews didn't get a song, but his uber-goofy face holding up his own jersey at the end might have been the best way to put an end to the "infomercial."

After the jump, we'll introduce you to another star of BlackhawksTV.

Trust us. It's worth your time.

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