Team Canada on the verge of all-time collapse at the World Juniors

Team Canada on the verge of all-time collapse at the World Juniors

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.




UPDATE: Matthew Wood gets Canada on the board! They're within 1 now! Let's go, boys!

If you're a Canadian Hockey fan today with no regard for your fingernails, you might wanna flip on today's Quarterfinal game between Team Canada and Team Czechia at the World Junior Championships.

Canada is currently down 2-0 to Czechia through 20 minutes in today's elimination game and, frankly, haven't looked good in the early going. Team Canada went 14 minutes without a shot to end the period... YIKES.

To me, Canada looks like it's having difficulty handling Czechia's speed. Canada started the game tremendously with five minutes of intense pressure, but they came away from it with nothing to show for it. They appeared to lilt a bit after Czechia's opening goal and have since fallen way, way, waaaaaay back in terms of compete level ever since. There's still a lot of game left to play, but Canada needs to get going NOW.

"The defence and their connectedness are really not reading the speed of this Czechia team today," commented TSN analyst Cheryl Pounder during intermission.

"They've fallen way short of what's needed to win this hockey game," agreed TSN analyst Jeff O'Neil. "The forecheck, players in the offensive zone, goaltending, neutral zone play. They're all falling way short."

To be frank, this version of Team Canada hasn't inspired like past versions have and we may be witnessing a real-time changing of the guard in international hockey.

Where once Canada would dominate a country like Czechia at this tournament, recent versions of the team have struggled. Pair this with the emergence of countries like USA, Finland and others in recent years and it's clear that hockey doesn't solely belong to the Canadians anymore. Canada has five gold medals in the past decade at the World Junior Championships and are defending back to back champions, so it's not like they're chopped liver or anything. But when anything but gold is considered an absolute failure, well... maybe we need to manage our expectations better. The fact is that there are a LOT of strong hockey nations out there now.

Still 40 minutes left to go... let's go, boys!

Source: TSN