Whether you’re a national hockey league or a sportsbetting24.ca fanatic, one thing is sure; you expect to have losers and winners in any game. So today, let’s look at the winners and losers of the 2021 junior hockey championship.
- Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks have the upper advantage since they have both Jamie Drysdale and Trevor Zegras on their team. Drysdale proved exceptional for team Canada when he finished second in total shifts and minutes played. He tied for third in plus/minus. The two goals and three assists from Zegras in the AHL have also positioned him as one of the best in hockey’s biggest stages.
2. Germany’s Second Line
Germany’s second line of John Peterka, Tim Stutzle, and Florian Elias was third place with 29 points after USA’s and Canada’s first line. Peterka had six assists and four goals, Stutzle had five assists and five goals, and Elias had five assists and four goals. Despite Germany’s leaky defense, these three players combined efforts proved to be a bright spot for the hockey team.
3. Ottawa Senators
Tim Stutzle stole the show for the German team, where he led with goals and made the tournament an All-Star team that won the Best Forward Award. Despite the bad reputation that the Senators have garnered over the years due to losses, the future seems bright for the team with Stutzle’s four goals and three assists in the fourteen games.
4. Topi Niemela
The whale in the sea of junior hockey players in 2021 was Topi Niemela, who finished as the first among defencemen with eight points. His excellent play won him the Best Defencemen Award. He was also drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round, making him a quality addition to the team. Topi has a perfect combination of creating and preventing goals that have seen him a winner.
5. Team USA
The 2021 world junior hockey tournament was a victory for Team USA. Beating Canada in the finals to finish with a gold medal, the team has an excellent offensive in the special teams, making the team lead in both percentage and power-play goals. The team had the second-highest save percentage and the second-fewest goals, but the hockey line was filled with great players like Trevor Zegras, who won the MVP, Arthur Kaliyev, and Alex Turcotte.
- Pittsburgh Penguins
The goalkeeper can influence greatly whether a team wins or loses. And this time, the Penguins lack the talent they got from players like Sidney Crosby, Evgenii Malkin, and Marc-Andre Fleury. This lack of skating prospects forced the Nordic goalkeepers Joel Blomqvist and Calle Clang to combine zero minutes on the ice. Hence, the Penguins lose.
2. Edmonton and Hometown Heroes
They say hockey is a game of inches. This has never been truer for Edmonton, the team that lost because of a few misses on the biggest prizes. Why? Their team captain, Kirby Dach, broke his wrist, and the surgery left him out of the game for five months. Also, the Edmonton Canada team lost in the finals.
3. European Hockey
The fact is that Canada and the USA scored 75 goals against the European teams. The best two hockey teams in Europe, Finland, and Russia saw a dip in Europe’s points with their significant losses to Canada and the USA. Canada beat Russia five to nothing while Finland lost with four goals from Canada and the USA.
4. Team Canada
Why did team Canada lose despite their most scored, least give-ups, and dominant play? The simple answer, the existence of the Americans. In a tournament where Americans exist, nothing but gold would suffice to see Team Canada the winners of the 2021 junior hockey tournament. By their design, Team Canada is a loser.