Friday, July 01, 2005

Canada Day Championships 2005

Continuing with the yearly tradition, I have celebrated every July 1st with a simulated hockey tournament to determine the best Canadian NHL franchise.

Using the current rosters on the EA Sports NHL 2005 game series, I chose a tournament format that contained all original 8 Canadian franchises. I had to use the most updated rosters from the 03-04 season with some subtle alterations. (I put Selane on the Jets while removing Moore and Bertuzzi from the tournament play.)

Divided into East and West pools to determine the preliminary rounds, each team played their regional rivals twice (home/away). From there, they were matched into tournament play.


After the prelim series ended, it looked like two teams this year rose to the top of the heap with no looking back. Calgary Flames again with the support of their phenom goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff, went undefeated 7-0 through the prelims and medal rounds. Montreal Canadiens also took off with a 6-1 record to chalenge for this years Canada Day Cup. The first period went slowly, as both teams traded open ice hits with cross rink passes. It wasn't until late 1st period that Richard Zednik was able to hit the first goal home. In the second period Alex Kovalev scored twice. It looked as if the Canadiens had figured out hot to solve the Flames dominance in this years tornament. In the end, the Flames flickered out and the Canadiens were the ones holding up the trophy. Final score: 5-2

Other notables: Even with Hasek in net, the Ottawa Senators did a lousy job scoring and finished at the bottom of the heap with Edmonton. Vancouver didn't really skip a beat with Bertuzzi out of the lineup. They did just fine. Quebec's Milan Hejduk had the top players honor of 15pts.

Previous Canada Day Champions
2002: Toronto Maple Leafs
2003: Edmonton Oilers
2004: Quebec Nordiques
2005: Montreal Canadiens

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