IIHF World Championships Putting Talent on Display: NHL Stars are Shining


If you haven’t had a chance to at least see the highlights from the IIHF World Championships, do yourself a favor and make time.  This tournament is exhibiting everything that hockey should be, and more.

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The NHL has become a game of obstruction, mucking, and grinding. I recently discussed this topic here.  The IIHF World Championship is exactly opposite.  It has provided an atmosphere in which highly skilled players can put their talents on display and have fun playing an open form of hockey.

Below is a goal scored by Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby.  Who would have thought he would be playing on a line with Claude Giroux, and having fun while doing so?  It’s simple, the two are highly skill players with open ice and less interference.  This kind of hockey is fun to watch.  Watch as Giroux looks off the opponent, then feeds Crosby for a can’t-miss goal.  All goal gifs are courtesy of @MyRegularFace, do yourself a favor and check her out on Twitter.

Some of the point totals of young NHL talent are as follows:

Matt Duchene – 6 Points (2g, 4a)
Taylor Hall – 6 Points (4g, 2a)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – 5 Points (1g, 4a)
Filip Forsberg – 5 Points (4g, 1a)

These players have completed three games each.  You can tell by watching them that they’re having a blast in this tournament.  How about this beauty from Filip Forsberg?

The speed and skill that is on display in the IIHF World Championships is something that all hockey fans need to take in and enjoy while it lasts.  Larger ice, less obstruction, and in some ways, less talented competition for guys like Crosby, Giroux, Hall, Forsberg, and the others that I mentioned above.

So far, in three games played, Team Canada leads the tournament in goals-for with 22.  Sweden is right behind them with 20.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Those two teams are averaging 7.3 and 6.7 goals-per-game, respectively, through their first three contests.

The only NHL superstar that hasn’t been able to put on a clinic just yet is Evgeni Malkin.  Malkin was battling an anke injury toward the end of the NHL regular season and playoffs, reportedly suffered in the St. Patricks Day game in March, and hasn’t really been himself.  Team Russia’s normally prolific offense has struggled without Geno’s normal potency so far, and when I say struggled I mean they only have 13 goals (4.3 goals-per-game).

Pittsburgh Penguins fans, let me leave you with Crosby going top shelf, something we haven’t seen enough of this season.

The IIHF World Championships are a thing of beauty when NHL caliber players partake.  They are putting on a show for the hockey world to enjoy.  Aside from my Pittsburgh Penguins being eliminated so early in the playoffs, if you mix the remaining competition in the NHL post season with what’s happening at the IIHF World Championships, this is a great time for hockey fans.

Next: NHL Officiating is a Hinderance: It's Time to Showcase Skill

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