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Kings In The 2008 World Championships Part V

Kopi versus Lubo

On Sat. May 10th, the Slovakians faced the Slovenians again in the relegation round (best of 3) where the Slovaks won 4-3. So Slovenia has been officially relegated to the lower group in next year's tournament, whereas, Slovakia can remain. Even though both Lubomir Visnovsky and Anze Kopitar had showings in this game, I'm giving the edge to Lubo. Kopi got 1 goal, 3 shots on net, was even in the plus/minus, and had 26:48 of ice time. Once again, he puts the Slovenian team on his back and is unable to lift his team above the Slovaks. Lubo got 2 goals, 1 assist, got 9 shots on goal, ended at a -2, and had 25:13 of ice time. This game actually went into the overtime frame and eventually made its way to the shootout. From what I read, the international shootout format follows the NHL except that instead of shooters only being able to shoot once, the 3 shooters go again but in reverse order. Can you guess who the 3rd shooter was for Slovakia? That's right, Lubo!!!

(IIHF/HHoF/Mika Kylmaniemi)
Top shelf!

Listen up, Crawford! The next time you're finding yourself in the 6th round of the shootout, don't go with Brian Willsie. Lubo was put in to score in the shootout and he did, which got him the game winner!

Latvians School The Norwegians

The Latvians got 4 goals past the Norwegians while the latter only tallied one goal. For Raitis Ivanans there wasn't much for him on the score sheet or the game recap. He got 1 shot on, was even in the plus/minus, and had 7:37 of time on the ice. So...yeah...

Major Drama with the US and the Finns

The Finns beat the US 3-2 in a ... game I wish I could have watched. So I'm not exactly sure what the difference is between a penalty for "roughing" and "fisticuffs." There were 10 penalties given out at the end of the game, two of which were for "fisticuffs." That actually sounds pretty damn cool. But what doesn't sound cool is Dustin Brown getting 2 minutes for "Checking to the head and neck Area" and getting a 10 minute misconduct. Brownie got a total of 24 minutes (he had 2 minutes in the 2nd period for roughing), had no goals or assists; he also only had 2 shots on net but had 22:31 of ice time. Patrick O'Sullivan didn't have much of a showing except for 9:54 of ice time and ended at a -1.

Something interesting that happened in this game was that Finland's first goal was allowed, but after the game, replays showed that it shouldn't have counted.

The IIHF agreed that Finland's first goal entered through the side of the net. The IIHF wouldn't identify the goal judge who missed the call on replay but said he was fired from the tournament.

"I've heard about these horror shows as far as international refereeing. I have finally lived through one," Tortorella said. "But not even that play there, the whole game. It's just ridiculous as far as how they're calling the game when you have two pretty competitive teams willing to go toe-to-toe. Let the teams and players decide."

In total, the Finns had 96 minutes in penalties and the US had 106 minutes. The US was also severely outshot only getting 22 shots on Niklas Backstrom while Robert Esche faced 45 shots. Both teams will face off again Mon., May 12th.

"I don't even know what to think anymore," U.S. forward Phil Kessel said. "It was one of those games. It was hard fought. It was a battle. A lot of hitting."

I couldn't find an embeddable player from TSN, but here are some links:

Highlights from the game

After-game reaction from coaches and players