The World is New; Blues in World Championships

Who needs Playoffs?! [Photo via iihf.com]

It’d be easy for me to keep the song on repeat and say how upsetting it is that our St. Louis Blues didn’t make the playoffs in a stellar playoff round-up, but why? Not only would I be beating a dead horse, but I’d also have my eyes closed to discover an also awesome hockey scenario in the 2011 IIHF World Championship in which eight of our Blues are participating in. April 29-May 15th a high concentration of Blues will be competing with and against one another in the quest for the gold. Many Blues players in the past have played in the WC and speak of it’s greatness and excitement being comparable to nothing else, due in part to representing their country while playing.

This year five countries will be represented by the eight blues playing. [More after the jump...]

USA: Goalie Ty Conklin will be making his third WC appearance, though it’s been a while since he’s seen competition on a stage like this (2005). Chris Porter caught fire with the home team late in the season and will hopefully continue his hot streak in the WC’s as he makes his first appearance. One half to the St. Louis Blues “trade of the century”, Kevin Shattenkirk, will be taking his strength and offense minded defense along with him to Slovakia for his first appearance in World Championships without the word “Junior” in the middle.

CANADA: The remaining half of the St. Louis Blues “trade of the century”, Chris Stewart, is headed to Slovakia and will look to keep his scoring hand strong in his first WC appearance. Young Blues “should be Calder consideration but that’s also beating a dead horse” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo will be making his WC debut alongside Stewart and should be considered an offensive threat to anyone who dare crosses him.

SLOVAKIA: Jaroslav Halak isn’t a new-comer to huge game situations nor representing his country. Halak has played in two World Junior Championships, two World Championships and the Olympics as the key goaltender and will seek victory alongside many of his fellow Slovakian teammates.

RUSSIA: Perhaps the most exciting news of Blues in WC play came today, when Russia announced Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko will be representing Russia. A right-winger whose admitted to playing “Ovechkin-style” helped to lead his country to a gold in this years World Junior Championship. This is yet another chance for Tarasenko, or “The Tank” as some lovingly refer to him as, to prove that he’s exactly what the St. Louis Blues are looking for.

SWEDEN: Patrik Berglund also has a chance to shine as he plays in his first ever World Championship. Berglund has aided his country before on the world stage as he helped Sweden reach a silver medal in the IIHF World Juniors in 2008 and a bronze medal in 2009.

The St. Louis Blues website has a handy page set up for all eight of the players headed to Slovakia. Go here to keep tabs on all the players’ stats during the Championship.

Post Music: The World Is New by Save Ferris – “I was sitting and waiting, just thinking, contemplating my life when I heard the phone” has to be what some of these men were doing in the days after Blues play ended, just waiting to hear their fate for Worlds. I hope each and every one of these guys have the time of their life, playing their hearts out for their countries. I also hope it’s fun to watch some of our own players be pitted against one another.

Topics: Alex Pietrangelo, Canada, Chris Porter, Chris Stewart, IIHF, IIHF World Championships, Jaroslav Halak, Kevin Shattenkirk, Patrik Berglund, Russia, Slovakia, St. Louis Blues, Sweden, Ty Conklin, United States, Vladimir Tarasenko, World Championships, World Junior Championship

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