A Perfect Storm of Disaster. 5 Thoughts 2018 Men’s World Championships

In Ted Nolan We Trust? My meme that has become a legitimate question. A question, where I still think the answer is honestly yes. The problems in Poland are bigger than just on the ice. We all know the problems. Who will fix them?

The Nolan Influence

There were at points during the World Championship, where I did see the Ted Nolan style from Poland and it was effective. The North American physical style works in division 1A look no further than Great Britain, who play a game very similar to North America and were promoted. This forechecking team was honestly really fun to watch at points and they dominated the ice when they did. They’re of lesser talent, but when the team was firing on all cylinders of the Ted Nolan engine you would think Poland was the more talented team. This team didn’t stay consistent like that, in fact, a majority of the time they were no were close to it.

Everyone Was Basically Hurt

Injuries played a big part in Poland’s lack of talent and poor play. Maciej Kruczek, Patryk Wronka, Bartosz Dabowski, Grzegorz Pasiut, Kasper Bryniczka, and Jan Steber all missed the tournaments due to injuries. Wronka and Pasiut are top 5 forwards for Poland, Wronka is number 1. Losing them was devastating for the team. Michael Cichy and Adam Borzecki that didn’t play due to retirement and personal reasons. While I have been critical of Cichy’s play with the national team, the potential is there. He dominates the PHL and was an NHL draft pick for a reason. Then even at Borzecki’s 39-year-old season, he was still an effective defenseman. His retirement leaves Pawel Dronia as the lone Polish defensemen playing outside of Poland in a higher league.

Taking a Pass on Pas

Here is the thing that I do think Ted Nolan more than deserves criticism for; his roster choices. First, the initial roster choices come out and I’m not really happy with them. Nolan talks a cultural change, but he brings no change to the table. You could make an argument there is more young talent for Poland to test now than any time in the last decade. Ted Nolan only used Łyszczarczyk. Bartosz Fraszko, Radoslaw Sawicki, Dominik Pas, Bartlomiej Jeziorski, Lukasz Krzemien, and Oskar Jaskiewicz were all players, who I felt could have played on team Poland this year. It would have been great for their careers and development. The biggest one that I would say is a gigantic mistake is cutting Dominik Pas. Pas actually got added to the roster late. He played in Poland’s two exhibition games before being cut. Dominik Pas also had 3 assist in those 2 games. How do you want to promote a cultural change and have a focus on youth than cut Pas after his season and performance?

The Legend of Łyszczarczyk Begins

If you want to name the most important player in Poland hockey then it is Łyszczarczyk. The forward made his first World Championship appearance for Poland and he did well. He didn’t get on the score sheet much with one assist, but he had plenty of chances. He was a force in the opposition’s zone and honestly, it made me believe Łyszczarczyk is ready for pro hockey if he chooses too. He can either return to Owen Sound in the OHL for his overage season or turn pro if a team presents an offer.

Division 1B

That is where Poland will play next year. Poland will take on Japan, Estonia, Ukraine, Romania, and the Netherlands. A far cry from their opponents of the last few years. You see countries you could claim are on the decline like Japan and the Ukraine and hockey countries on the rise like Estonia. Poland will have to decide where they are on this scale. The young talent is there, but the cloud of uncertainty and politics around the PZHL places them on the downside.

Small Thoughts

– Chmielewski is great on the ice and off it.

– Both Murray and Odrobny played great. Poland’s goaltending is in more than good hands. Muray’s ability to move the puck is so beneficial.

– At 36 years old, Zapala still has it. 3 goals in 5 games including this one. giphy (6)

– The defense needs to be rebuilt and it was not good. If you want to bring on imports please let them be defensemen.

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