2018 World Juniors Report (Day 1)

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The World Juniors are underway with the first day of games over with and the path to the gold medal officially started.

Some of the biggest teams in the tournament began the tournament before everyone else and it was interesting to see some of the scheduling play out.

Generally, the biggest teams don’t have to start with the biggest games as they often are eased into the tournament.

These teams often start by playing those teams that are on a different level than themselves but it isn’t quite to help the big teams out.

Instead, scheduling these easy games to start the tournament allow the bigger games between the best teams to be scheduled later.day1

For the World Juniors that usually means the biggest and best games are held for New Year’s Eve where the traditionally important games are held.

It has been a long tradition that some of the biggest rivalries are held on the final day because that usually makes those games that much more important.

This year those games still exist as the Swedes and Russians will face off on New Year’s Eve while the Canadians and Americans will play on December 29 for the first outdoor game in World Junior history.

Generally, that would mean that Canada and USA would play the two teams not nearly as good and the Russians and Swedes would do the same.

The middle of the road teams would wait a day for their first game while they watch the two big teams get started.

This year it wasn’t quite the same as the Canadians took on the Finns and the Russians took on the Czechs.

Finland and Czech Republic aren’t necessarily the greatest teams given their most recent history but both are good.

Finland tends to win gold medals or nothing while the Czech Republic has been one of the best hockey nations in the world but have seen a fall from that recently.

It would give the Russians and the Canadians a less than easy first game to kick off the tournament which leaves many to wonder which would be preferred.

These international teams, for the most part, have not played with each other ever before and creating team chemistry is one of the toughest things.

Small mistakes that can come from lack of communication or just not knowing how their teammate’s play can have a major effect.

Playing a team that isn’t quite at that major level can make those mistakes just simple mistakes that teams can work on later.

Against the better teams in the tournament, those mistakes become major mistakes that lead to goals and losses.

Playing against better teams to start the tournament can certainly make things interesting but don’t give these great teams a chance to get into the flow of things.

Obviously, that isn’t necessarily an excuse as the tournament is not for the biggest teams in the world but the fact is that as fun as the underdogs are to watch they often can’t last against the best teams.

Seeing a gold medal game that is a blowout is not what anyone wants to see as they are hoping to see the best against the best.

These type of games can put those later games in jeopardy as anything can happen and when better teams face-off right away it puts those big games at risk.

At the same time, some teams might prefer to be thrown into it right away and give them no time to get comfortable.

It has been an issue with some of the best teams before as they walk through their first games and think that it is just that easy for the rest of the time.

That is never the case and when they get caught they could lose in their biggest games or in the playoffs.

hockey-sidebarBeing thrown into it right away can wake a team up really quickly and have them playing in that other gear from the start.

Depending on the results of these games the teams could have varying opinions which is likely the case right now.

The Russians began their tournament against a tougher team and did not meet the expectations.

They lost to the Czechs and started their tournament off in the worst way going down one game putting their chance at winning the group in danger.

The Canadians came out on top of their first game as the Finns were not an easy opponent as they never went away in the game.

Still, the Canadians took the win and started the tournament the way they wanted to despite the big game.

Russia might not enjoy the first challenge in the tournament while the Canadians might be fine with it.

For now, the tournament is still young and although these wins are important the losses are not the end of the tournament quite yet as the Russians have time to come back.

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