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Canada looking for a ‘reset’ after humbling loss at world juniors

HALIFAX — Dylan Guenther is all for elite gamers utilizing each accessible device at their disposal.

He’s one among them.

It’s when that ability stretches exterior a group’s construction the place points can come up.

Canada tried “The Michigan” transfer twice within the early phases of Monday’s embarrassing 5-2 opening-night loss to Czechia on the world junior hockey championship.

Adam Fantilli and Connor Bedard each got here up snake eyes after they picked the puck up with their sticks behind the online and tried to beat goaltender Tomas Suchanek within the near-side high nook with lacrosse-style efforts.

Guenther noticed nothing flawed with both sequence in a vacuum.

However what they illustrated was how far the Canadians had already strayed from a supposed hard-nosed id and recreation plan to accompany their high-end expertise in opposition to an opponent that hadn’t registered a regulation victory in opposition to the event favourites in 23 earlier conferences.

“We’re not going to ‘Michigan’ our approach to the ultimate,” Guenther, who scored beforehand utilizing the identical polarizing transfer within the Western Hockey League, stated Tuesday on the group’s lodge. “We’re making an attempt it rather a lot. It’s a talented play. I get it. However I feel that’s sort of how our recreation’s going proper now.

“We’re making an attempt to ability our method by it. We’re making an attempt to toe-drag, beat guys one-on-one.”

“You must play the precise method,” stated Guenther, who has 11 factors in 21 NHL video games this season. “Play collectively and play as a group. It begins with the straightforward facet of the sport — successful battles. Our ability … there’s no drawback.

“It’s the compete stage.”

Canadian head coach Dennis Williams additionally has no points with hockey’s most-skilled technology so far going for the audacious — as lengthy the timing is acceptable.

“Want to have seen us do a greater job of attending to the paint, attending to the robust areas, focusing extra on the best way we need to play,” he stated. “We had been perimeter, and so to go to ‘The Michigan’ play … generally there’s somewhat bit higher play to make.”

Canadian ahead Logan Stankoven doesn’t have that transfer on his thoughts within the warmth of the motion.

“It’s nice to see the sport evolving,” stated the Dallas Stars draft choose. “After we want a purpose or when the sport is tight like that, possibly it’s not a time.”

The proprietor of mesmerizing ability and projected to go No. 1 on the 2023 NHL draft, Bedard additionally tried the transfer in pre-tournament motion, whereas Fantilli — one other probably top-5 choose — has succeeded on the highlight-reel play first made well-known by College of Michigan ahead Mike Legg in 1996.

“Some folks might imagine it’s individualistic, some folks suppose it’s a superb scoring probability from behind the online,” stated Fantilli, in his first season at Michigan. “There’s a restrict to what number of occasions you may strive it in a recreation and what number of occasions you may strive it in a event.

“It may very well be a superb scoring probability, however generally you’ve obtained to know when to curve again and make the precise play.”

An undisciplined, disjointed Canada didn’t make many in opposition to the Czechs on a humbling evening in entrance of the primary Maritime world junior crowd in 20 years.

“It doesn’t outline us,” stated Williams, whose group had a scheduled time off the ice Tuesday. “This may very well be the perfect factor that occurs for our group — perceive that we simply don’t placed on our skates and win hockey video games. We’ve got to compete, we now have to battle, we now have to handle pucks, we now have to be bodily, we’ve obtained to remain out of the penalty field.

“I’m hoping the gamers settle for our problem.”

Canada has gone with the identical ahead traces since cuts had been made following choice camp, however Williams indicated there will probably be adjustments when his group fits up Wednesday in opposition to Germany.

Thomas Milic, in the meantime, will get the beginning in purpose after stopping all 10 photographs he confronted Monday in reduction of Benjamin Gaudreau.

“Tremendous excited,” Millic stated. “One thing that each goalie goals of.”

The netminder additionally had a front-row seat to his teammates’ effort in opposition to the Czechs, and echoed rather a lot their sentiments.

“Not sufficient of something, actually,” Milic stated. “Guys had been, I feel, possibly taking them somewhat too calmly.

“Must dial in some particulars and re-establish our foundations.”

That features preparation.

“There’s a distinction between being free and having enjoyable and being able to go,” Guenther stated. “We had been on the free facet. It’s clearly not at some point that that occurs — it’s main as much as it.

“Collectively, we now have to be higher.”

Whereas there was loads of doom and gloom on the surface, the solar nonetheless rose in cloudy RisePEI on Tuesday.

Guenther noticed a silver lining.

“Before everything, that’s not us,” he stated of the Czech horror present. “That’s not who we’re. It’s not that we now have to reinvent the wheel. It’s stuff that we must be doing daily.

“Reset button.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Dec. 27, 2022.


Comply with @JClipperton_CP on Twitter.

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

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