Denmark needs Jannik Hansen
I am far too mature to make a “dong” joke about the above picture. Not too mature to point it out, however.

Jannik Hansen is one of only two Vancouver Canucks at the 2012 World Championship, and one of only four NHL players on Team Denmark. He is also one of the most important players on the team, which has already proven to be true just three games into the tournament.

Hansen was named Denmark’s best player of the game in a 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic, finishing the game with 4 shots on goal from the second line. He also received a 2-minute minor for boarding, however, that turned into a one-game suspension, causing him to miss Denmark’s game against Italy on Sunday.

While 2-0 was a solid result against a team like Czech Republic, the most important games for Denmark at this tournament are against teams like Italy, who they will be battling to avoid relegation. Unfortunately for Denmark, they seemed to sorely miss Hansen against Italy, losing 4-3 in overtime. Even the IIHF thought he was missed, with the following couplet appearing under Denmark in their power rankings:

There once was a guy named Jannik, whose absence created a panic

Denmark’s other NHL players are defenceman Philip Larsen of the Dallas Stars, Lars Eller from the Montreal Canadiens, and Frans Nielsen of the New York Islanders. Eller and Nielsen combined for one goal against Italy, but were unable to lead Denmark past the Italians, who boast no NHL players on their roster. An experienced two-way player like Hansen might have made all the difference in such an important game.

Denmark just doesn’t have the depth of the powerhouse teams in this tournament, such as Sweden, who they faced on Monday. Sweden boasts a bevy of NHL stars, with just 8 players on the roster from outside the NHL. But with Hansen back in the lineup, Denmark gave Sweden a scare and Hansen played a big part.

Sweden rolled out to a 4-0 lead early in the first period before Denmark could even manage a shot on goal. When that shot finally came, Hansen was the one taking it. He also drew the first Danish powerplay, a hooking penalty on Zetterberg, and after a boarding call turned it into a 5-on-3, it was Hansen with the primary assist to Nichlas Hardt to get Denmark on the board.

It didn’t take long for Sweden to reassert control, scoring twice early in the second period, but Denmark shut them down from then on. Then they began chipping away at the lead. Hansen picked up his second assist of the game on Danish captain Morten Green’s 6-4 goal, then poured on the effort as time ticked away. He created a turnover in the Sweden zone, setting up teammate Julian Jakobsen with a glorious chance, but Swedish goaltender Jhonas Enroth made an impressive save. Then, shorthanded, Hansen created another turnover and attempted to break in behind the Swedish defence, but had the puck poked away.

In short, Hansen was noticeable whenever he was on the ice. He was constantly in the right position and skated miles. With this kind of performance against Sweden, it seems certain he would have made a difference against Italy.

Denmark has 4 games remaining in their round robin schedule. Next up is a tough matchup against Russia, but the most important games for them will be against Germany, Latvia, and Norway. If they want to avoid relegation, they’ll need strong performances out of their leaders, including Hansen.

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  • Top prospect Nicklas Jensen would be playing for Denmark if he hadn’t suffered a concussion in game two of the Chicago Wolves’ first round playoff series against the San Antonio Rampage. Jensen had 4 goals in 6 regular season games for the Wolves, then scored 2 goals in game one of the playoffs. Canucks main training camp is just 4 months away!
  • Speaking of concussions, it seems as if Alex Burrows doesn’t have one. The Team Canada winger (which feels great to say) missed his second game of the tournament, sitting out Canada’s 7-2 win over France on Monday. The good news is that he’s not showing any symptoms of a concussion, but is missing games simply due to official concussion protocol to make sure. He may be able to return on Wednesday against Switzerland, but there is no official word as of yet.
  • There are a couple other Canucks connections at the World Championship: former Canuck Mario Bliznak is playing for Team Slovakia and has 2 assists in 3 games, while Antoine Roussel, a standout invitee at last year’s training camp who ended up signing with the Chicago Wolves, is playing for Team France and has 1 assist. Former Canucks prospect Sergei Shirokov is playing for Russia, but yet to hit the scoresheet.
  • There is also the 40-year-old Petr Nedved, Vancouver’s second overall pick in the 1990 draft, playing in his first World Championship for the Czech Republic despite playing in the 1994 Winter Olympics for Canada. Nedved has 2 assists so far in the tournament.
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25 comments

  1. tom selleck's moustache
    May 8, 2012

    “1994 Winter Olympics for Canada” Is this a typo?

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    • Timmy Wong
      May 8, 2012

      Believe it or not, nope – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hockey_at_the_1994_Winter_Olympics

      That’s where the Foppa stamp came from

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    • Josh
      May 8, 2012

      Pretty sure Nedved is/was dual citizenship or something.

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      • tom selleck's moustache
        May 8, 2012

        Oh, ok. That little factoid caught me by surprise.

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        • J21 (@Jyrki21)
          May 8, 2012

          Yep, Nedved defected from the CSSR when he came to North America and played junior in Seattle. The iron curtain fell not long after that, but it was quite a big deal at the time. He applied for, and received, Canadian citizenship, and joined the Canadian national team for the 1993-94 season (remember when they used to have a full-time national team?), because he was holding out from the Canucks and had nothing better to do.

          Basically, the Canucks were Nedved’s sham husband for immigration purposes.

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  2. cathylu
    May 8, 2012

    Good for Jannik! It’s cool you are able to watch the World Championships in Canada. Down here in California I don’t think anyone is showing them on TV. If I get time I’ll have to try the internet.

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    • Dane
      May 8, 2012

      http://www.youtube.com/user/iihf

      Check out the IIHF channel on youtube. They have been streaming all games live. You get some pretty dodgy commentary but at least you get to see he action. It works over here in Australia, but by the comments, some users are having difficulty getting it to work. Could be geographical, could be connection issues. You might be lucky. Hope that helps.

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    • Brent
      May 8, 2012

      If the youtube doesn’t work in the states (I heard it was blocked because of someone owning the rights in the states, check out:

      http://www.rojadirecta.me/

      It has a whole bunch of live streams of sporting events. Just go there before the game starts and pick a feed, there are usually a couple of choices, maybe the Swedish and Finnish feeds. I watched some Canucks games while in Europe but the timing change nearly killed me.

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      • cathylu
        May 9, 2012

        Thanks Brent and Dane. I’ll try both of those.

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    • Max
      May 9, 2012

      Another Cali Canucks fan (San Diego) I have NHL Network/Center Ice, but even they have no coverage… If u find something reply to this!!!

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  3. bearspaw
    May 8, 2012

    Hansen is a delight to watch! So awesome on the forecheck. Also can’t wait to see Burrows back in the lineup…yeah, it does feel great to say “Team Canada Winger!’

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  4. Bluetouque
    May 8, 2012

    You can watch all the games (except when TSN decides you can’t) on the icehockey youtube channel. They’re split between Helsinki and Stockholm feeds. They show the games live and you can also watch all the older games.
    A nice bonus is that they don’t include the results in the listings so you can watch the game without knowing the outcome already.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/icehockey/

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  5. Chris the Curmudgeon
    May 8, 2012

    I thought players weren’t allowed to play for more than one country in their international careers. Nedved did represent Canada, so what gives?

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    • Daniel Wagner
      May 8, 2012

      I’m honestly not sure how that works. I was surprised to see him in the Czech lineup.

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    • Max
      May 9, 2012

      Nope, you must choose only one country if you have dual-citizenship, however, I believe he has now relinquished his Canadian citizenship… remember when the Statsney’s played for Canada?

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  6. Nee
    May 8, 2012

    Wagner: “Canucks main training camp is just 4 months away!”

    /weeps

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  7. J21 (@Jyrki21)
    May 8, 2012

    Anyone find it weird that the IIHF has little quips and digs at the teams in their power rankings? It’s hilarious, but somehow doesn’t seem… fitting… for the governing body.

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  8. holidayblues
    May 8, 2012

    I didn’t notice the “dong” thing until you pointed it out. Thanks.

    Also, Jannik Hansen is awesome, as I’m sure you all already know.

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    • Zach Morris
      May 10, 2012

      I had a dong joke but it was too long

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      • Daniel Wagner
        May 10, 2012

        Hey-oh!

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  9. Mt
    May 9, 2012

    Funnier than “Dong” is “Dong Energy.” Turns out what Denmark needs, besides Yannick Hansen, is subtlety. Some of us are not near mature enough to pass up dong-humour.

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  10. SteveB
    May 9, 2012

    If any creature has Dong Energy, Honninggrævling would have to be at the top of the list.

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  11. invisibleairwaves
    May 10, 2012

    What? No limericks from that couplet?

    There once was a guy named Jannik
    Whose absence created a panic
    But the Swedes hadn’t heard
    That this Dane was absurd
    Though their language, too, is Germanic

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    • invisibleairwaves
      May 10, 2012

      There once was a guy named Jannik
      Whose absence created a panic
      For his speed was quite nice
      And his impact on ice
      Was rather unlike the Titanic

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    • J21 (@Jyrki21)
      May 10, 2012

      There once was a guy named Jannik
      Whose absence created a panic
      The reports had it wrong
      He knew nothing of Dong
      For his heat source was bio-organic

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