Usually during the World Junior Championship, the key to winning games and moving onto the championship round is speed, physicality and skill. However, due to extra high precautions of concussions and injuries to the junior hockey players more penalties are being called.
The key to winning games in the 2013 World Junior Championship is discipline.
In the pre-tournament matches Thursday, there were an over-excessive amount of penalties being called. Some were legitimate, but most were weak. When saying “weak”, I mean it wouldn’t be called in the National Hockey League, or in North America, quite frankly.
At the end of the United States and Sweden’s exhibition game, there were eight penalties called on the US and six for Sweden, a sum of fourteen penalties.
The referees are going to start calling games more tightly and teams have to be ready for it. Big name powerhouses like Sweden, Russia, United States, Finland and Canada are going to have to stay disciplined or else teams like Germany, Latvia, Switzerland and Slovakia could pull upsets.
That does sound appealing, but it won’t seem like a legit win with an overdose of penalties being called.
Luckily in this topic, the same referees who officiated the pre-tournament games will not be officiating the WJC tournament games. However, it is likely the same type of officiating will implemented, which is terrible.
Expect plenty of upsets if teams are not disciplined. It is World Juniors time people. Finally some hockey.