Canadiens: 24 Thoughts on Owen Beck and Canada's Trouncing of Latvia

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Owen Beck and Team Canada continued their quest for Gold at the World Juniors in Gothenburg Wednesday aginst Team Latvia. It was their second of four round-robin games. Latvia is certainly not on the level of Canada, but you don't want to take them lightly, because anyone can beat anyone at this tournament. Germany proved that with their win over Finalnd earlier today.

Having watched it live from Gothenburg, here are 24 thoughts on Beck and Team Canada’s game against Latvia.

First Period Thoughts

Beck and his line had a great first game of the tournament and were rewarded by getting to start the second one. This line has played very well thus far, and it will be interesting to see how they’re used as the tournament progresses. Will they see many tough matchups, particularly against Sweden and the US? They’re certainly capable of that.

The powerplay gets an early opportunity on a questionable call, and it takes all of five seconds for Conor Geekie (ARI) to pot his first goal of the tournament. It was an excellent shot, and it’s good to see some of the big guns get on the board early after a rough game #1, in my opinion. Geekie can really shoot the puck.

Beck just continues to win in the faceoff dot. I think faceoff percentage is a bit of a flawed stat because not every draw is the same, nor is it automatically a good or bad thing if you win or lose the draw, but when you consistently win them, it adds up. Beck is just money here. It’ll come in handy at some point.

Macklin Celebrini looks like the best player on the ice every time he’s out there, regardless of who he’s playing with. He has two assists in the first and could have two or three more. Not that it was ever in doubt, but I can’t envision anyone else’s name being called first overall this summer.

The top line is starting to figure things out a little bit, with some sustained offensive zone time. Geekie’s goal must’ve gotten them going. This team isn’t as strong as last year’s, nor is it as top-heavy, but they still need the big guns to produce and play well. This is a much better start for the first line.

The second line still looks lost out there, and I think they’ve been Canada’s worst line. Obviously, these guys haven’t really played with each other, but I’m finding it more noticeable with this trio than anyone else. It’s hard to believe Matthew Poitras (BOS) has spent most of the year in the NHL because he hasn’t looked a level ahead of anyone so far. But it’s still early; I’m sure he and his line will figure it out.

Defensively, Canada has just smothered Latvia, with very few, if any, scoring chances. It’s only 2-0 Canada, but there is no sign of life from Latvia’s offence thus far as they search for their first of the tournament.

Being here in person is super cool, and I’m not the only Canadian here, not by a long shot. The rink is littered with red and white, and they are loud and proud. They even brought a giant Canadian flag. I’d like to know the story behind getting that thing on a plane.