As we pass the halfway point of the preliminary round of the 2015 IIHF World Championships, it's time to revive an old JftC feature. It's the Player Power Rankings! We did them during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, so let's do them here. Who's thriving, and who's not?
1. Martin Jones, Canada
He's got a shutout in his only game, with 17 saves. As the only perfect goalie at the worlds, so he gets to be #1! Once Canada realizes that Mike Smith (.891 SV% in three games) is Mike Smith, maybe we'll get to see Jones in a few crucial games. (Sorry Germany, you're not crucial.)
2. Trevor Lewis, USA
On a US team that looked rather weak on paper, Trevor Lewis was always gonna have a prominent role. As the alternate captain, he's backing it up!
Four points in four games; if the Americans hadn't suffered a shock defeat to Belarus he'd have a strong case for #1. Having said that, they did, and Lewis was finally mortal.
Jack Eichel trying to feed Trevor Lewis on the PP is incredibly sad— Robyn (@jollywhiskey) May 7, 2015
3. Jake Muzzin, Canada
Muzzin's getting ice time...
Muzzin (19:59) finished behind only Burns (24:43) and Hamhuis (23:22) in ice time during Canada's 6-4 comeback over Sweden at Worlds.— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) May 6, 2015
... and making sweet passes.
4. Marian Gaborik, Slovakia
Two goals and an assist through four games; both goals came against Slovenia as his squad avenged their defeat in Sochi last season. Gaborik's also leading the team in shots on goal. The Slovaks are two points behind the US for fifth in a competitive group.
Marian Gaborik scores twice including this beauty to help Slovakia beat Slovenia 3-1. Tag a team Slovakia supporter. https://t.co/4ygDc6e41i— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 5, 2015
5. Tyler Toffoli, Canada
Canada's pretty loaded, so it's hard for Toffoli to stand out. Even in a reduced role, he's picked up two goals (one an empty netter) and two assists.
6. Anze Kopitar, Slovenia
This isn't a knock on Kopitar's play, necessarily. However, Slovenia has lost all five of their games in regulation, and they haven't even had to played the American Juggernauts yet. Kopitar has just six shots on goal through five games for his squad, which is going to need a win over Denmark in their final preliminary game to avoid last place. He's got three points in those five games (tied for the team lead) but that ain't enough.
On the bright side, this is happening.