Well, it’s over.
The tournament that I spent months working towards, waking up early for every single game, not missing a single minute of the action. It’s complete. Congratulations to Genève-Servette.
Right now, I feel like I’m missing something. Not just because the tournament is over, per say, but also because I feel like something is missing. It’s almost as if the tournament didn’t excite me in the end the way it has in recent years.
I started to follow the tournament like a religion back in 2012 when Canada brought their stacked roster during the lockout. I had always watched the tournament before, but the lack of big stars really turned me off. It wasn’t until I began seeing incredible performances out of guys like Micki Dupont and Roberts Bukarts that it really clicked that this tournament can be special.
But once it all ended today, I didn’t feel the same like I did in recent years. I was almost dis-interested in waking up at 5am EST to prepare for the game. Now, of course, that would make most hockey fans cringe having to wake up at that time, but I do that a lot to follow the hockey I do. But after the tournament failed to create many magical moments this year, I almost didn’t want to wake up and see a KHL team lose to an NLA team.
Last year, the tournament saw some great moments. Canada borrowing a goaltender from the Rochester Americans of the AHL prior to Canada’s final game was something I’ve never seen before in a tournament. Barys Astana had to pull out of the tournament, and would later be replaced by fellow KHL club CSKA Moscow. Moscow happened to make the finals despite originally not being named to the tournament. Sergei Fedorov returned to professional hockey to play for Moscow, the team he manages. Genève-Servette was able to win their first ever Spengler Cup, even though they weren’t favourites to do so.
I was disappointed for the fans last year that Canada and Davos didn’t take to the ice in what would have been an incredible rematch from the year before that saw Canada win 7-2 in the finals. Besides that, the tournament was incredible. Great action, some fantastic highlight real goals, some spectacular storylines and even an awesome final game to boot.
In 2014, interesting storylines were almost non-existent, unless you were an Edmonton Oilers fan. The top ten in scoring featured many players that were once or currently affiliated with the Oilers at some point. Was it interesting that Geneve-Servette won the tournament without using their actual goalies for the majority of the event? Yes, at least to me.
But that was really it. Nothing that really stood out to me. The finals were a dud, with Ufa unable to do much of anything after showing obvious signs of fatigue from playing five games in six days. Don’t get me wrong, the games had some exciting moments, but nothing that couldn’t be matched by the World Juniors. The ignorance of some people on Twitter in regards to European hockey and the tournament itself was definitely well publicized, leaving a poor taste in the mouths of many people.
That doesn’t mean the tournament wasn’t exciting. The fact that it wasn’t the best makes me even more excited for next year. I felt like I was left unfulfilled and now, I can look forward for my favourite tournament to redeem itself for next year. Surely, whoever participates next year will put on a good show.
TSN’s Dean Brown deserves a shout-out for his great coverage on TV this year. The Ottawa Senators broadcaster is used to talking about the players we see and hear about everyday. So to have to go to Switzerland to replace Paul Romanuk, learn about hockey in multiple different countries, the different style of play and the confusing names many people don’t bother trying, he went out and put on a great effort for all eleven games throughout the tournament. TSN made the right choice with Dean, and am looking forward to hearing him on TV again next year.
I want to thank everybody who took a look at the Spengler coverage on The Hockey House. We had record numbers this year for the tournament, and it’s all thanks to you for checking back each day.
It was fun. Until next time, vielen Dank für folgende entlang.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.