The Stars get a rare two days off now in the Windy City before playing the Blackhawks and you can bet that a big chunk of the team will take the opportunity to enjoy the World Junior Championship final four games today, and so should you.
Not just because Jack Campbell is the star goaltender, leading the United States against the hated Canadians, and not because two Stars prospects, Klingberg and Nemeth, are having impressive tournaments for Team Sweden, no. That's a good reason to watch (and one we didn't have last year with no prospects in the tournament) but it's not the best reason. Watch because...well, we hate those guys and they hate us.
Just ask Art. We hate Art ;)
It was written on Puck Daddy today that this game "doesn't carry 1/100th the bragging rights that, say, the gold medal game in the Olympics does," but I disagree. If you're a hockey nerd you know just how important this game is to Canadians, and that importance, bordering on fanaticism in the online hockey world, is what makes it so much fun when they lose (on occasion). Of course, that "We won the gold medal in Vancouver" force-field will be in full effect should the U.S. manage a victory tonight.
Steve Ott and Adam Burish have a little bet on the line, but it could be Eriksson and Grossman having the last laugh if Sweden hauls off and wins the whole thing.
"The Sleeping Giant" has been a wonderful, over the top American biased source of entertainment during the tournament you should check out.
If you can't get on board with Team USA because you're annoyed at how much Canadians care about this, then there's always still young Mr. Campbell who has "Property of the Dallas Stars" stitched into his underwear. He has thrived in big situations like this, so much so that one bad night tonight won't change that opinion of him (or shouldn't.)He's allowed only four goals in four appearances so far.
While Steve Ott will be rooting vehemently against him tonight, some day a grizzly old veteran Otter will be clearing enemy attackers out of Campbell's crease.
The game starts at 6:30pm CST on NHL Network in the U.S.