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#126
Valar Morghulis

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I'm a huge fan of soccer. I'm a huge fan of my hometown club Feyenoord, who won the UEFA cup in 2002 and 1974 and won the Europa Cup 1 in 1970. Sadly recently they only seem to make headlines because some dumb hooligans caused riots in an away game to AS Roma.

 

Other than that, in recent years I've become a huge fan of Borussia Dortmund, I've been to the Westfalenstadion tweice and I love them, great players, always fun to watch and I'm a huge fan of their coach, Jürgen Klopp. This match is legendary as far as I'm concerned, sadly Götze and Lewandowski have left for some obscure rich club down south, but I'm sure they'll be back in the near future.

 


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#127
hunebedbouwer

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@ Valar Morghulis

 

I'm not a fan of Feijenoord. They have the worst and most aggressive 'supporters' in the NL. If you see the hate in their eyes; it's enough to put you off big time......it's just football.....  

Strange thing is that they also have the best football fans who support their club through bad (a lot) and good times. As a Dutchman its always nice to see clubs from your own country doing well and I certainly enjoyed their 2001/2002 Uefa-cup campaign with all those magical Van Hooijdonk freekicks! Unfortunately they will never be so good again as the team of 1970, which was absolutely world class with Moulijn, van Hanegem, Jansen, Kindvall, Israel etc.  I won't speak about that Cruijff-year either....... ;)


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#128
Valar Morghulis

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Every football club has its share of violent imbeciles among its fans and sadly a lot of them live in my town. But agreed by the way, it is impossible not to have enjoyed the Ajax of the early 90s for example, back when I was 7,8 years old, it's just a great achievement . But hell yeah, Pi-Air, van Wonderen, Tomasson and a young Robin van Persie, led by Bert van Marwijk, those were the days!


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#129
Twister

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Football has indeed become sterile over the years; you can't get away with practically anything nowadays with all those cameras watching every move you make :P . I've always had a soft spot for hard men and colourful figures of football. They have become something of a dying breed today. I'm most familiar with English football and Dave Mackay of Hearts and Tottenham who passed away a couple of weeks ago reminded me of what great characters there have been in England over the last few decades. Here is a 'nice' picture of Mackay and another bully Billy Bremner of Leeds:

 

_81361286_bremner_mackay.jpg

 

In the 60's and 70's there were other uncompromising hard men like Ron 'Chopper' Harris of Chelsea, Norman 'Bite Yer Legs' Hunter of Leeds and Tommy 'Iron' Smith of Liverpool. They had great nick names, hadn't they? Bill Shankly, the legendary Liverpool manager, was quoted saying that Smith was never a boy- he was a born man, and astonishingly that man was sent off only once during his long playing career (over 600 appearances for Liverpool).

In the 80's there was among others Graeme Souness of Liverpool, "a bear of a player with the delicacy of a violinist". He was the first midfield general I've seen 'live' who possessed great authority and was never afraid of physical confrontation when needed. The opponents didn't like him at all and he had great technical ability too.

In the 90's there were Paul Cascoigne of Newcastle and Tottenham, Stuart Pearce of Nottingham and Roy Keane and Eric Cantona of ManU. Gazza was the clown prince of English football and simultaneously a sad figure with his drinking habbits and with the way he lost sometimes his composure inside the football field too. Roy Keane was really like a mafia hit man, really tough and never apologizing for anything. Eric Cantona was synonymous with arrogance with turned-up collars and after practically thrown out of French football he received a cult status among Leeds and ManU fans. His press conference after his court appearance when he had attacked a Crystal Palace supporter is legendary:

https://www.youtube....h?v=SFM-9liNmrM

The English press was understandably quite furious after that :P .

Wimbledon was the team with full of hard men in the 80's and 90's and they would take revenge collectively if they felt one of their players were hard done by opponents. Here is a couple of crunching tackles by Wimbledon's Vinny Jones against Liverpool's Steve McMahon (a man not afraid of physical encounter himself) and Eric Cantona. Notice that there were no crybabies on the receiving end as often today:

https://www.youtube....h?v=RdsJnQrI-kU

https://www.youtube....h?v=lKIfbfLBPs4

 

 

 

 


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#130
hunebedbouwer

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@Twister

Are you still talking about the BEAUTIFUL game here, Twister?  :P

 

Completely agree with you about so few real personalities in modern football that have a distinctive style of playing. I think the most of those bonebreakers of the 60's and 70's would have spent most of their time suspended had they played like that nowadays. But you can't really compare them, because they would have evolved as well. 

 

My word, those names you mentioned! Some of them were real psycho's (do you hear me Gentile/Roy Keane/Gento/Vierchowod?). Most of them couldn't and weren't interested in playing football, but just in hurting their opponents. I've always despised them for they injured so many talented footballers.

Defenders that could defend well without sorting to vile behaviour are pretty limited in my book: Beckenbauer/Maldini/Frank de Boer/Roberto Carlos/ Zanetti / Ruud Krol/a couple of old style Brazilians and my favourite of all times: Franco Baresi of AC Milan. He was so clever and had such a good anticipation that he seldom crossed the line, but then, if necessary, took them out! :music:

 

In defence of Cantona: I backed him in that action! :I  If you see those scumbags of supporters, I think it's understandable (not approving!) that you'll lose your temper once in a while, certainly when you've got a short fuse yourself. But then again, you know that is part of the 'bad' game today. Being so close to the field has its negatives.

 

Then you had defenders and defending midfielders that were brilliant, but needed a bit more 'power' in their game like Hierro/Koeman/Bergomi and Thuram.

 

Now you have the 'be bad' wannabees and brainless idiots like Joey Barton/Balotelli/Terry/Materazzi/Mexes/ who can't even manage speaking a proper sentence. And all these nitwits earn a lot more money than your average prime-minister. :o    

 

Then we have a selected group of psycho's who don't care about their fellow (team) footballers at all and, in my eyes, don't belong on the football field at all, despite being talented or not: Pepe/Ibrahimovic/Nigel de Jong used to be one/some Argentinians, Uruguayans and Brazilians and maybe you could add Suarez as well.   

 

Well, the British press is the most hypocritical of all. They hype every inside and especially outside (private lives) element of the sport and suddenly, when something horrible happens, they stand on their most conservative and tabloid feet, avoiding the fact that they are one of the most disgusting parts of English society that cause a lot of awful behaviour in (general) sport. I wouldn't want to be a player in England, alone for that reason.

The same goes for Italy and Spain and to a certain extent Germany (Bild), but I think they have nothing on English evil 'journalists'. :negative:

 

For me the few real characters of today's game are: Gerrard (clubman-good player-normal) Philippe Lahm (fantastic rightback-never says nonsens) Messi (always let his feet speak, not his mouth) Xavi (the silent force) Mascherano (great defender-mean when necessary-always there) Xabi Alonso (brains-bossing midfield) Lampard (great feet-civilized).

 

Oh yes, a special mention for the second Johan please: Johan Neeskens !!! I bet you liked him Twister! He also has a special place in Dutch and other hearts, just because of his fighting spirit and endless tackles.

Do you remember that battlefield Brazil - Netherlands in 1974? It's just unbelievable! Today it would have ended with 14 men on the field.

 

https://youtu.be/LpxAy7lK7Wc

 

I heard of quite a few baby boys that were named after him in South-America :music:   


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#131
Twister

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^  I guess the beauty is in the eye of the beholder in this case too :P. But to be serious, I´m against all kinds of intentional violent play and I'm only happy how the game has developed over the years, but I must admit I like the physical side of the football too, as long as it remains fair. If only they could get rid of all forms of cheating like time wasting, shirt pulling and diving and so on, I'd be happy.

 

Yes, English press is so hypocrite, that it's almost amusing at times :P .

 

Unfortunately I'm a bit younger so I don't have any personal memories about 1974 WC or players involved and all I can remember from the 1978 WC is Arie Haan's thunderbolt against Italy and the final between The Netherlands and Argentina (especially the moment when Rensenbrink almost clinched it for Holland at the end of normal time). Year 1982 in Spain was really the first WC when I was totally hooked in football and I think I watched every single game that was broadcast on Finnish tv then.

 

Another really ill-tempered and ugly match was Scotland vs. Uruquay in Mexico 1986.


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#132
hunebedbouwer

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Well, I'm a bit of a hypocrite myself sometimes when it comes to foul play, because I very do enjoy a good old scuffle between rwo teams  I don't like. The more yellow and red cards, the better ! :I 

As long as it doesn't involve the Dutch national team.

 

Our most 'famous' match was ofcourse that one in 2006 (at the WC) against the diving, cheating, bad tackling Portugese who exactly know how to destroy a game by irritating the opponent. It must have been hilarious for the outsiders to watch, but for the fans it was heartstopping and shocking. A few years later I did watched it again and my word: you couldn't have a better action film. :P

In Fifa-quarters, it's also known as The Battle of Nuremberg with 4 RED and 16 YELLOW cards..........  :giggle: 

Portugal is the only country that does that to the Netherlands, time and time again. You know they're going to spoil and kick and cheat and the Dutch just can't

handle it.......Portugal is our nemesis.   And at every draw for whatever football tournament or qualification we pray: "please, please, not Portugal !  :music:

 

My first World Cup that I watched was the 1974 one and I don't wanna talk about it ! With only 16 teams and Australia and Zaïre as exotic participants and the DDR that beat West-Germany and the best Polish team ever who deserve a lot more praise than they got.  


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#133
hunebedbouwer

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Fantastic!

Dafne Schippers runs for the first time under the 11 seconds: 10.94 at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo, Netherlands. She has run 10.90 before, but that was with too much backwind, so invalid.

Still she doesn't know if she will put all her energy and speed in 100 and 200 meter sprinting, because her heart lies in heptathlon :( At the end of the summer she will decide herself what she will do, all with the Olympics at Rio in her mind. Personally, I would love if she gave sprinting a convincing try.  Not only because it would give the Dutch a good chance for an olympic medal (after years in the wilderness at female sprinting), but I think she can really achieve big things on both distances and give the Americans and Jamaicans a run for their money, especially on the 200 meter.

And ofcourse, she could make a decent buck or two out of it as well, and that's not that easy in athletics in general.

 

The 10.94 of yesterday:

 

 

Last year's European Championships win on the 200 m in a wonderful 22.03:

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Dafne has chosen (3-6-2015) to do the sprints for the coming years! Good news for us Dutchies!


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#134
Harvest

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EDIT: Dafne has chosen (3-6-2015) to do the sprints for the coming years! Good news for us Dutchies!

Gongrats to the Dutch. Not quite there yet, but Dafne is truly an amazing athlete. Nations record and silver medal. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce left everyone in the start, but after that Dafne was the queen of that race. Let's just see what happens on 200m, when she can really show her running skills. 


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#135
hunebedbouwer

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Yes! Yes! Yes! Well done Dafne!

It was a fantastic feeling to see her win silver medal....real goosebumps and genuine shouting here!  :music: And I like it even more, because she has a beautiful running style, in sharp contrast to Shelley who is just one big running muscle with kilometers of hair behind her.....I think the last of her hair must have finished behind Dafne  :giggle:

 

From 11.01 to 10.83 to 10.81 for silver with the last two times both a national record!

This year she has improved from 11.02 to 10.81 and she just choose to do only sprinting just two months ago. Incredible.

We´re not used to this world class kind of athletics over here (few exceptions here and there). Think she can really win the Olympics next year if all goes well.

 

 

 

It also gives me a lot of confidence that she can win the 200 m in a few days, also given that Allyson Felix is doing the 400m. 


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#136
Harvest

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Yes, it would be great to see Allyson and Dafne in 200, but the schedules are what they are. Well, maybe next year in Rio.

 

10.81, that's just 4 hundreds of a second slower than Lalova and Privalova. The fastest times by a female sprinter of non African or African-American descent. Just 0.08 shy from Christine Arron's European record. And she's only 23 years old. She will be a force to reckon with in Rio for sure.


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#137
hunebedbouwer

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Hey Harvest, let´s make a prediction for the 200 meters...............I think she will win in a new national record of 21.75, just 0.04 short of Marita Koch´s (DDR) drugs European record.

Florence Griffith´s hard drugs (she died at 38 in very doubtful circumstances!) world record of 21.34 is out of the question.


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#138
Harvest

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Well, she will probably improve her record. How much. 1 tenth, 2 tenths? Well let's be realistic and say 21.90. Better time than Jarmila Kratochvílová's record (21,97), btw. She never used anything :) .


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#139
hunebedbouwer

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Well, I was thinking: 'okay, she has managed to improve 0.21 seconds on the 100 meter this year and she is in bloody good form. So let's take this 0.21 and add some improved time on top of that, because it's twice the distance'.

 

I was strolling around some athletics forums to enjoy some positive posts, but there were typically some people (all Americans btw, the rest of the world seems to enjoy Dafne) who doubted her results, because of her acne. They said that that would indicate some form of doping. Don't know if that's true at all (I mean, come on, there are lots of people with skin problems. It did put just a little bit of a downer on me, but it could also be just jealousy. Doping in the USA is very wide spread (it starts at these high pressureed highschools to get scholarships) and a ignored issue. 

 

But to be honest, the whole doping issue in athletics (sport in general) is a very big one. And it's much bigger than we think it is, because athletes are nowhere being tested as cyclists for example. And that's in western societies. God knows what happens in China, Russia and America. Half of the 100m men's and women's final were doped, Gatlin even twice. Why not ban them for life after one positive test, take all their wins from them and let them pay a hefty fine. Ban countries for a period of time, Olympics and championships, if a certain number of dopers occur during a certain time.   

It all takes so much pleasure off sports these days. Every excellent performance is being treated with some suspicion and to be true, athletes ruin their own sports. I don't think Dafne is doped, but to be honest, there is no way I would bet on any sportsman or sportswoman not cheating anymore. That's why the general public has become so unbelieving cynical and who can blame them.

Not to mention the totally rotten sports organizations who should lead the way. But I'd better enjoy Dafne's performances as long as they last :P    

 

P.S. Dafne has been tested already 60 times this year. 


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#140
Harvest

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If acne is a sign of doping, then there are loads of people who use forbidden substances. It's innocent until proven guilty and therefore it's pretty useless to speculate on somenone's possible substance use until officials suspect somebody and prove that person guilty. It's not that unusual that athletes will improve their results, even quite substantially, if they focus fully and train for a certain sport. Is Dafne's peak here, would be the right question. Or can she be even better. Next year she will not take anyone by surprise anymore, she is one the biggest favorites to win olympic gold in 100 and 200. So there will be much more pressure for sure. 

 

The material of the tracks has become faster and they have improved training. People have to take these things to an account as well.  Of course doping is still major issue and will always be, but if an athlete is tested dozens of times during a season, it's either that WADA is way behind the athletes or the athlete is clean. 


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#141
hunebedbouwer

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Mmmmm.....Dafne strolls through the heats and semi's, but is fifth fastest for the final. I think I might have been too positive with my predictions. Dinah Asher-Smith and Elaine Thompson look good as well. For me now, anything under 22 seconds is fine. But she looks so strong and relaxed.......it's just so weird to see a Dutch athlete that good!

 

@Harvest 

What's up with these African javelin throwers?

 

Really nice performances and winners with Allyson Felix (400 m) and Usain Bolt (200m). :good:  


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#142
Harvest

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21.63. You got to be kidding me. 4th fastest time ever. Well, it's pretty obvious that Dafne won't focus on heptathlon anymore :) .


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#143
hunebedbouwer

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I am really lost for words! My word .......what a exiting and scary race. I only watched who crossed the line first and celebrating the gold with people, before I saw that time!!!!! 21.63!!!! Wow! just wow! I knew she was cool, but this is just overwhelming .....lots of people had tears in their eyes.....

No question of sports woman of the year either. :giggle: 

I don't know if she's able to run even faster (personally I think she can), but for us Dutchies it always be a remarkable moment in our sporting history.

 

Dafne-1250x750.jpg


  • 0

 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#144
AquilaTempestas

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I don't know if there are any other rugby fans on board, but I'm a huge fan!

 

Today marks the final of the rugby world cup 2015! It's the match up we've all been waiting for - Australia vs New Zealand. Both countries have won it twice already. 

 

Anyone else here watch it?


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Lastfm page


#145
hunebedbouwer

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@Aquila Tempestas

 

Yes, I did for quite a couple of games. Mostly, because I'm fed up with the diving, play acting, cheating, scandals and over-commercialization in football, but I also like rugby (only Union, mind you) for the sport.

 

I really enjoyed:

 

No moaning or shouting against referees, good atmospheres and real sport. 

South Africa - Japan - the underdog won rightly so

Wales - England - the hosts went out in the last minutes 

Argentina - Ireland - quarter final; maybe the biggest surprise of all 

Rightfully winners: the All Blacks - Home of quality rugby, intricate passing and  I love the haka. 

 

Annoying:

 

Scotland was denied a semi-final by embarrassingly bad and subjective refereeing in the quarters against Australia  

Quite a few high tackles (and unpunished)

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

What must we do with Russia (and other countries) who are so blatantly cheat, spoil, bribe and threaten almost any sport they participate in?

 

As a first step I'd say, ban them for at least 4 years from all sporting events. Sounds harsh, but I'm totally fed up with all the sporting scandals.  


  • 0

 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#146
Harvest

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40th Ice Hockey World Junior champinships are starting in 25 days in Finland and the anticipitations are high in here. Finland has one their most promising team in years, with young players like Patrik Laine (some have even compared him to Teemu Selänne), Jesse Puljujärvi, Olli Juolevi and others. Very seldom we have such amount of talented young players in same age groups. Laine will be drafted to NHL in top 3 next summer and Puljujärvi and Juolevi will probably go under 10. This has never happened before in the history of NHL draft. Draft number is not guarantee for anything, of course, but it goes to show what kinfd of expectations the NHL has towards these kids. 

 

And of course Jukka Jalonen is their coach. Often called the father of modern Finnish tactics called Meidän Peli (or our game), a tactic based on maximum puck control and off course the result of that puck control is often very offensive minded game.  Jalonen has coached SM-league team HPK to Finnish Championships and Finnish National Team to World Chapionship, so he is rather merited coach. 

 

Let's see how things work out. Hoping for 2014 again, the Finns won their 3rd world champinship. And how well it fits that the opponent were Sweden - and the championships were played in Sweden as well. But then again the Swedes have a bad habit of messing hockey tournaments played in Finland as well....


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#147
hunebedbouwer

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@Harvest

 

It´s good to be reminded, because in the NL there´s almost next to nothing written or broadcasted about it. Maybe there will be a 5-minute summary of the final, but that´ll be it, so I´ll have to find some free streams online. Because of my proper decline in interest for football, I need some substitutions like the worldcup rugby and now the hockey. Can´t name any recent player, because all the golden oldies are gone, I think. Does Wayne Gretzky still play?  

How does the match structure goes, Harvest? Only the two best of each group and then quarter finals? 

 

Anyway, like always, I will root for the Czechs and the Finns. I think that must be a relic from the Cold War period, when I was rooting for everyone, but that awesome USSR-machine under Tikhonov. It was so clinical good, but I like underdogs and upsets.  :D


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#148
Harvest

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How does the match structure goes, Harvest? Only the two best of each group and then quarter finals? 

 

 

 

 

Two groups, 5 teams each. Only one/group drops from quaters. Here are the schedules

 

Here are a few players watch from Finnish team (links to Elite Prospects, a quite nice hockey site):

 

When it comes to Finland, as I mentioned Jesse Puljujärvi and Patrik Laine are the two players I would focus on. Very gifted players on a road to a lucrative professional career. It's still uncertain if Mikko Rantanen will participate (It's up to his NHL-team Colorado Avalanche) and they are also waiting Kasperi Kapanen who has a similar situation with his NHL-team, Pittsburgh Penguins. Of course guys like Sebastian Aho  and Roope Hintz have played well in Finnish league as well. In fact Aho scored this overtime goal and clinced the final series between Kärpät and Tappara last spring.

 

By the way, poor Jukka Peltola at 1:08. The captain of Tappara, he has played his whole career, over 400 games in the team. And it was the third time in a row Tappara managed to go to the finalseries and they lost all of them. They lost twice to Kärpät in 7th game (4 victories needed to clinch the playoff- and finalseries), both of them in overtime (we have sudden death overtimes in playoff-games in Finland, the same as golden goal in football overtime). Well, that's sports, maybe this year is Tappara's turn. They have a very good team again (for Patrik Laine plays for Tappara).

 

If the Finns manage to get Rantanen and Kapanen our offece will be very good. Of course you can't win without a decent defence, but we have promising youngsters like Olli Juolevi or Vili Saarijärvi for those spots as well. But all in all, Finnish defence isn't up to par with the offence, there's so much talent there.

 

Finland is known for very good goalies and this time we have youngsters Veini Vehviläinen and Kaapo Kähkönen. Both of them have played very well in Finnish league this season and are very promising netminders.


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#149
hunebedbouwer

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@Harvest

 

Sorry Harvest, I thought you meant the proper Worlds for men. When I was looking for the schedule, I only could find that one in Moscow, May 2016.

Then I connected 1 + 1 = 2 and voila.....junior.

I don't think I'm that addicted to ice hockey to follow that age category. Sorry. I never follow junior championships in any sport, I think.

 

But I'm intending to folow biathlon as much as possible, because I do find that combination of time, skiing, shooting and time (or round) penalties quite exciting! Also the estafettes.

As a Dutchie, I do follow ofcourse all ice speed skating (not short track) and cyclocross to a certain extent.   


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 ´dance me to your beauty with a burning violin, 

  lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove,

  raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn,

  we're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above, dance me till the end of love´


#150
Harvest

Harvest
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Sorry Harvest, I thought you meant the proper Worlds for men. When I was looking for the schedule, I only could find that one in Moscow, May 2016.

 

 

In Ice Hockey, World Junior Championships are a bit more appreciated than the adult World Championships. The adult WC has become more popular amongst the NHL-players in recent years, but still the Olympics and World Cup are the biggest tournaments in Hockey when it comes to adults. 

 

The under 20 year-old tournament has the creme de la creme of the current 17-20 year olds and it's often the right spot for scouts etc. to take a look at the future stars. The games are not that tactical yet, but on the other hand they are way more colourful. So because best players (and future NHL-players) of the current agegroups are playing, is often more appreciated than the adult WC, which has mostly players from the European leagues (which aren't competible to NHL). This year the biggest star is USA's Auston Matthews. 

 

And, the final is tomorrow and Finland is playing against USA or Russia. The Finns beat Belarus 6-0, lost to Russia 4-6, won Slovakia 8-3 and the Czechs 5-4. They finished second on the preliminary round and faced Canada in the Quarterfinals. That game was a hairraising thriller. The teams took turns scoring until Finnish top-prospect Patrik Laine scored on the powerplay and the Finns won 6-5. 

 

After that it was semifinal stage and our dear neighbours, Sweden again. The Swedes had played a very good tournement so far, winning every game with ease, but the Finns were better this time. The game ended 2-1 for Finland after a very good defencive battle. Finland's main problem in this tournament has been their defence, but now it seems to fine as well. The offence has worked like a charm and especially our first line Laine-Aho-Puljujärvi have been very good. No wonder Puljujärvi and Laine are next summers hottest prospects in NHL-draft after Matthews. Finns have often had upperhand when it comes to goalies and team play in adult tournaments. On the other hand, Finns never have that many good offensive players with a talent to score goals. Teemu Selänne was one of rare the exceptions to that rule. Now it seems the younger generation with talents like Puljujärvi and Laine, are going to change that as well.

 

Tomorrow in the evening is final game. Probably going to take a few cold ones. USA-Russia semifinal is not finished yet, but US is leading and they have a team, which is the biggest favorite to win the whole thing. Let's see what happens...


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