This is how Johnny Bower celebrated New Year's 1970. Just after Christmas 1969 he broke his leg, an injury that would ultimately lead to the end of his career.
This image comes from Bower's autobiography, The China Wall: The Timeless Legend of Johnny Bower. It is an awesome collection of stories from one of the most popular hockey players ever.
Canada - USA
We've spent quite a bit of time remiscing about New Year's Eves past already (and really, isn't that what we do best around here?), but there is a potential classic hockey game going to be played tonight, too.
Canada plays the USA to decide first place in their pool at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships.
I haven't really talked much about the World Juniors yet so far. Here's a few random thoughts:
- Lots of empty seats for Canada's games against Latvia and Switzerland. I know those are weak opponents, but when was the last time there were empty seats in Canada for a Canada game?
- Eh! Oh oh. Pepsi spent a lot of money trying to establish the Hockey Canada cheer. The crowds have been quiet so far. Pepsi was hoping to infiltrate the Olympics with their cheer, but it ain't looking good.
- Taylor Hall is an incredible individual talent, but I'm still trying to warm up to him. Ryan Ellis has a brilliant hockey mind, and is my favorite player so far. Good job by Canadian coach Willie Desjardins - he benches anyone - even his team captain - for undisciplined or lazy play.
- I have not seen too much of the opposition yet, but Sweden's Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and Slovakia's Peter Hrasko have really impressed me.
- As much as I cheer on Canada at every championship, Canada winning every year can not be good for hockey, not even Canadian hockey in the long run.
- Also, we need to move this tournament around Europe again. I understand Canadian venues are incredibly lucrative, but let's build this tournament by returning to major European markets. Alternate every second year with Canada, with markets like Stockholm, Moscow, Prague, Helsinki and maybe Berlin hosting great hockey action center stage.