While the Blue Jackets were busy beating the Dallas Stars last night at American Airlines Center, one of their top prospects turned in a solid performance on junior hockey's biggest stage. Team Canada continued its torrid pace in the preliminary round of the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship, keeping the Rexall Place crowd entertained from start to finish in a 10-2 win over Denmark.
It's a tough position for the Canadians, because while they know they're a far better team than Denmark, they have to "pour it on" to not lose their killer instinct in the later rounds. Blue Jackets draft pick Boone Jenner, captain of the OHL's Oshawa Generals, picked up a pair of assists in Canada's rout and continued to be a physical presence all over the ice. He's stepped up in the leadership department, too, as Devante Smith-Pelly is out for the rest of the tournament. Canada head coach Don Hay has shown no hesitancy to use Jenner on the top penalty-killing units, and he was the first forward out for a 5-on-3 disadvantage earlier this week.
For the Americans, they need to rebound big-time.
Their 4-1 loss to Finland on Wednesday was as shocking as it was a major setback. John Gibson struggled in goal, but USA head coach Dean Blais did not back down from his decision to start him over Jack Campbell. It's expected that Campbell is back in goal today against the Czech Republic (featuring Blue Jackets prospects Lukas Sedlak and Petr Straka), but the Americans' struggles against Finland were hardly the fault of the goaltender.
T.J. Tynan's game has come along as the tournament progresses, and he certainly caught the eye of NHL Network analyst Dave Starman. Starman regularly covers NCAA hockey for CBS Sports and the Notre Dame forward has garnered praise for his versatility.
Starman (@DaveStarmanCBS) tweeted this in response to a question about Tynan: "Showing great speed and hockey sense. Need to see him generate chances tmw - so gifted as a playmaker.
Today's game gets under way at 3:30 p.m. on the NHL Network.