Helminen, too, was secretive on the subject of his starting goalie. Chris Gibson, who plays for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Chicoutimi Sagueneens, was outstanding his two periods of the exhibition game against Canada.
Sam Aittokallio played the last period and the Colorado Avalanche prospect has the experience of playing one game in the tournament in Buffalo.
The Finns last won this tournament in 1998 and are looking for a bounce-back year after finishing sixth in Buffalo. They have six returning players, as well as a player who is considered the best one outside the NHL this season in Mikael Granlund.
With 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points through 33 games this year, Meurs has easily surpassed his totals through December of 2010, when he had four goals and 17 assists for 21 points over 36 games.
Although Meurs played with his typical energy last year, if there was a post to hit last season, Meurs hit it. If there was a net to shoot at, Meurs missed it. To his credit, Meurts never stopped working and was selected by Colorado in the fifth round of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Fast forward to this season and Avalanche scout Rick Pracey has a smile on his face whenever he comes to Compuware Arena to check on Meurs.
"We really like Garrett, especially where we got him in the draft," said Pracey. "It's a credit to him that he played in an exhibition game for us this fall. He earned the opportunity."
Not every team wants to be on HBO's 24/7. That's fine, but I want the Avs to be one it already!
HBO’s 24/7 program has been a success as far as realty television shows go, but don’t expect Winnipeg Jets’ coach Claude Noel to participate in it anytime soon.
Noel made it very clear Friday that he wants no part of HBO’s hockey program, which follows the two NHL teams playing in the league’s annual Winter Classic outdoor game. This year’s show is tracking the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.
"I don’t know if it’s old school or what it is, I’m not a realty [TV] guy," Noel said when asked Friday if he would like to be part of the show. He didn’t stop there.