Hamhuis doing some defending versus the Czech Republic (who, we remind you, are not Chechnya).
Immediately after the Canucks were eliminated from the postseason, Dan Hamhuis, along with the Canucks’ swedish contingent and Nicklas Jensen, accepted the invitation to World Hockey Championships in Stockholm.
Steve Yzerman and Lindy Ruff, Team Canada’s GM and head coach, respectively, must think highly of Hamhuis. With his arrival, Yzerman all but declared his team-building job complete, despite P.K. Subban becoming available. And as for Ruff, he handed Hamhuis huge minutes in his debut: The Canucks’ defenceman led all Team Canada skaters with 22:38 of ice time in a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic. (One suspects this was either Ruff playing his best all-around veteran defenceman in a tight game, or this was an otherwise unemployed Lindy Ruff trying to show Mike Gillis, who may or may not be looking for a new coach, how well he gets along with Dan Hamhuis. But I digress.)
Hamhuis was even more impactful in his second game, a 4-3 overtime win over Slovenia. The Smithers native was on the ice for just two goals in Canada’s come-from-behind victory: Team Canada’s first goal and Team Canada’s last goal.
On their last, the Community Man pitched in in a big way, making a beautiful pass to Steven Stamkos, the best guy to pass it to, for the overtime winner. Here are the highlights. The goal comes at the 1:38 mark of the clip:
That’s Hamhuis making the awe-inspiring hail mary from his own goal line to Stamkos at the far blue line, springing the sniper for the game-winner. What a perfect pass.
It’s a shame that the clip starts so late into the play because it cuts off the moment Hamhuis recognizes the opportunity. The puck is dumped into Canada’s end by the Slovenians, where his partner, Brian Campbell, retrieves it in the far corner and moves it along the boards to Hamhuis. As the puck is coming to him, he makes a quick look and sees that the Slovenians have effectively vacated the neutral zone, and Stamkos is breaking the other way, unmarked.
A second later, he fires that bomb. Three seconds later, the game is over.
Canada’s next test is Sweden in the quarterfinals, meaning that Hamhuis’s defensive pairing will be seeing a healthy dose of: Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Worse, the winner of this contest is eliminated in the first elimination round, so someone is about to hit a teammmate with a pretty severe dose of déjà vu.Tags: Dan Hamhuis, Steven Stamkos, videos, World Championship