Canadian goalie Zach Fucale will lead Team Canada into its gold medal match against Russia

Point Shots: Canada faces Russia for World Junior gold; Canucks host Tavares, Islanders; Draisaitl to Kelowna Rockets?

Canucks prospects Jake Virtanen and Gustav Forsling (Sweden) are both in action Monday, in the U20's gold and bronze medal games...



Canada plays some country called Russia in tonight’s World Juniors gold medal game. Should be real…

  • Both Canada and Russia have rolled through their quarter- and semi-final matches, although Russia did it against more traditional hockey powers. Canada bested Denmark 8-0 and Slovakia 5-1 en route to the final, while Russia defeated the U.S. 3-2 and Sweden 4-1, an impressive showing from a team facing that double-headed gauntlet.
  • Here’s TSN’s Bob McKenzie on tonight’s game:

“Canada’s done what they’re supposed to do. There’s no question this is going to be their toughest test, but it’s for the gold medal so it should be their toughest test.

“This Russian team is very, very good. They are big and they are strong and they’ve got some swagger. They’re not the least bit awed or intimidated by playing in front of a hostile Canadian crowd. In fact, I think they really kind of thrive on that.”

The Vancouver Canucks are coming off a pretty solid 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday – no doubt bumpering the score sheet with two empty net goals from Henrik Sedin – and will welcome the New York Islanders to Rogers Arena on Tuesday night…

  • The last time the Islanders and Canucks met, a John Tavares-less Long Island team scored seven third-period goals to win 7-4 after trailing 3-0 through 40 minutes.
  • I mentioned the Canucks are coming off a 4-1 win over Detroit. The Islanders lost their last game 5-2 to the normally terrible Edmonton Oilers, which snapped a three-game win streak over Washington, Winnipeg, and Calgary.
  • Tavares leads the Islanders with 36 points through 39 games. Linemate Kyle Okposo is just behind with 34 points.
  • Daniel Sedin leads the Canucks with 35 points, one more than his brother Henrik, through 37 games. Their winger Radim Vrbata leads the team in goals with 16.
  • Speaking last week, Canucks general manager Jim Benning commented on power forward Zack Kassian (via The Province), who was a healthy scratch against the L.A. Kings on New Year’s Day:

“He’s got the physicality and size to be a power forward for us. He’s going to have to embrace that style of game.

“That’s how he’s going to help us win.”

With any young player you have to patient, but having said that, if somebody calls us, and we think we can make our team better we’re going to look at that. We’re going to talk about it… That’s the case with any player.”

The Edmonton Oilers dropped rookie Leon Draisaitl back to the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders over the weekend, but it appears the No. 3 overall draft pick could be on the move again…

  • Reports almost guarantee Draisaitl will be on his way to the WHL’s top team, the Kelowna Rockets (via the Edmonton Journal).
  • In the Okanagan, the big, shifty German would join forward Rourke Chartier and Nick Merkley, not to mention still-playing Canadian World Junior blueliners Madison Bowey and Josh Morrissey. (Morrissey was also acquired by Kelowna in a trade with Prince Albert, this season.)
  • (NHL.com also reports that Prince Albert is expected to trade Draisaitl to the Kelowna Rockets sometime after tonight’s World Junior final.)
  • The Rockets sit first in the WHL standings with a 31-6-3 record, three points ahead of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Both teams have been the class of the league so far this season, playing across each other in the East (Brandon) and West (Kelowna, duh).

Just Posted

Students perform in annual Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra

Okanagan Valley students are getting a taste of orchestra performances

Kelowna Big Bike set to ride

Proceeds from the bike go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation

White Rock man dead after vehicle rollover near Kelowna

RCMP suggest that icy road conditions may have been a factor

Gas prices spike overnight in Kelowna

It’s going to cost a lot more to drive around this week.

Wrestlers invade Kelowna and Vernon

Wrestling events this weekend benefit numerous Okanagan charities

Don’t forget about women left to sweep up shards of glass ceiling, W7 urges G7

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau champions gender equality at the G7 he is being asked to raise the concerns of marginalized women

Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

Sky-high farmland prices ‘ruinous’ for B.C. agriculture: UFV ag professor

Fraser Valley-based Tom Baumann says $80K-per-acre in area threatens food security

B.C. man charged with litany of drug charges in cross-border smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Saanich faces multiple charges

Constructions starts on Hwy. 1 upgrades near Golden

The $19.4 million project will expand the Trans-Canada Highway to four lanes between Donald and Forde Station

KIJHL’s Chiefs name Law new head coach

Ken Law, who coached for eight seasons in Osoyoos, has 40 years of coaching experience.

Political heavyweights hit Washington in hunt for NAFTA deal

Officials from Prime Minister’s office, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland part of talks

Greenbelt Microgreens recall in B.C., Alberta, due to Listeria concerns

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says there have been no illnesses linked to the microgreens

Most Read