clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Things that happened: Benoit Groulx spoke French

New, comment

Controversy erupted on Twitter when some members of the media made the game story about how Benoit Groulx speaks French without translation for his opening remarks. Instead of talking about the game that was, the media made the story about them.

Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Only Canada&#39;s coach can be so arrogant that he speaks French at international press conference.</p>&mdash; Juha Hiitelä (@jhiitela) <a href="https://twitter.com/jhiitela/status/549774383435116544">December 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

When the post-game story is about what language the head coach makes a statement in instead of the fabulous game that was played, there is a problem. Don't get me wrong, I understand Hockey Canada has not been providing a translation for Benoit Groulx's French statements and answers, but if that is a story than it looks like you are trying to make the story about yourself instead of the game that was. Truth be told, I get why Groulx is speaking French. If he is not used to making full statements about what just happened, he could feel uncomfortable doing it in English and he simply is more comfortable doing it in French. Hockey Canada has had English head coaches for the longest time and therefore rarely even has to worry about the language that their coach speaks to the media. If this is a major issue and you want it fixed, talk to those who can help you quietly and do not call the coach arrogant. They probably are just doing what is most comfortable for them.

Arrogance is the wrong word to use as well. Is it arrogant to simply speak your first language if no one has told you that it is against the rules to do so? No, it is ignorant for not knowing the rules, but not arrogant. It is stupid to make this a big deal. It is stupid to take it up on Twitter. It looks petty and unprofessional. If it is really making it that hard on you to do your job, talk to someone. If Hockey Canada is not being helpful, take it up with the IIHF and get help with some French reporters in the mean time. Instead of crying sour grapes, do your job without the opening statement and move on. If you cannot do your job without the opening statement, become better at your job and stop relying on comments to write a story. I know an IIHF rule was broken, but if you cannot solve the problem without taking it to Twitter, there are other issues there it seems. No one cares about a petty grievance like this. It makes the complainers look childish. It is even worse when the post-game report is simply about what language was spoken by the coach for their opening statement. The recap should have been about the game just played and it became about something else.

Enough of that, lets talk about the game that was. Canada-Finland was awesome. Good goaltending, fine goalscoring and even a reminder of Boris Valabik for me. Hear me out now. The first goal Canada allowed all tournament (and the first on since the second pre-tournament game) was off of a horrid turnover by Samuel Morin. Samuel Morin is massive. Boris Valabik is massive. Both players were drafted to be the next Chris Pronger. Valabik is...somewhere and Morin makes plays like that. I do not think we have to worry about him being Pronger anytime soon. Anyways, Arturri Lehkonen scored a goal and then Canada scored 2 more to win 4-1 and set up a New Year's Eve clash with the United States of America that sees the winner getting first in the group.

Denmark-Czech Republic

Hey, I watched this game and it was fun. Change that, Denmark's top line of Mads Eller, Nikolaj Ehlers, Oliver Bjorkstrand is fun. Denmark struggled to get shots on the board against the Czech Republic and their goalie was fantastic, but it they worked hard as a group and you could see that they were not intimidated by what they were seeing. Interesting note about the Danes: last World Junior Championship top division that they were a part of was in Edmonton/Calgary. They took two 16 year olds so they would have two tournament veterans with them if they did not return for three years. They did not return for three years and those two players, Eller and Bjorkstrand, are a huge part of the team this time around. Smart planning. Other fun fact about these two is Bjorkstrand's dad Todd coach the team that played in Calgary and Edmonton. This time around, Eller's dad Olaf coaches the team. Olaf Eller's system seems fearless and fun, making the Danes an easy team to get behind. For the Danes to advance they need at least a point against Switzerland and for the Czech Republic to get beat in regulation. If those two things happen, Denmark goes to the Quarter Finals and the Czech Republic goes to the relegation round.

This and That

Finland is without a win this tournament and that is concerning. They have one point from an overtime loss against the US, but the defending champs have to win against Germany to ensure they move on.

That is a German squad that has not scored a goal in two games.

Denmark: still not blown out and can score goals.

Russia may miss Nikita Scherbak, who was not invited to camp because he had a bad Super Series.

Leon Draisaitl may be headed back to junior to play for the Kelowna Rockets.

Ryan Olsen may be headed there as well.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Draisaitl is another huge addition to <a href="https://twitter.com/Kelowna_Rockets">@Kelowna_Rockets</a> and they will be adding another over-ager, possibly a familiar face: Ryan Olsen.</p>&mdash; Larry Fisher (@LarryFisher_KDC) <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryFisher_KDC/status/549816210452262912">December 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The Draisaitl case is interesting. It could be greived by the German squad and he could be ineligible to play until they are eliminated. This type of situation happened a couple years ago with the Czech Republic and Martin Frk. Frk had to sit out some games for the Halifax Mooseheads after he was declared healthy after suffering a concussion because of this.

The wording in the IIHF's suspension rulings are really interesting. Instead of placing the onus on the player receiving the hit, the onus is placed on the hitter to throw a clean hit. Read the two suspensions and see for yourself.

Watch tomorrow for Jake Virtanen disciplinary calls. As of writing this, nothing is on the IIHF's website, but fighting is a big no-no in international hockey and Virtanen came close to fighting.

Denmark has two points to Finland's one. Yep, junior hockey at its finest.

Eric Comrie gets the start tomorrow afternoon. Remember, afternoon game.