IIHF World Championship 2013 Preview & Open Thread

Martin Rose

The Avs have a whole buncha guys headed to Finland and Sweden for the World Championships this year. Here's a look at who's going and who they'll be playing for.

There are really only two reasons to watch the IIHF World Championships: one, you just really love international hockey, or two, you're a fan of a non-playoff team who has a "whole buncha guys" going. I happen to fall into both categories this year, so I'll be bringing you as much coverage as I can during the tournament.

The Avs are extremely well represented this go-around. They have at least one player on half of the 16 teams. For everyone as mathematically challenged as me, that would be eight. A grand total of 9 of our roster guys and 3 of our prospects will be involved in the festivities, as well as two er, one of our coaches. As always, the IIHF's Power Rankings are outstanding and good for a giggle, but without further ado, here's a look at the Avs who are going. I've listed them in reverse alphabetical order by nation for, uh, no real reason at all. I promise.

USA

Who's going: Erik Johnson, Matt Hunwick, and Aaron Palushaj are all on the roster this year. Oh, and Paul Stastny will be wearing the C. Tim Army is an assistant coach, and our old friend Joe Sacco is behind the bench. No word yet on whether or not the USA will start the game on time, play a full 60 minutes, or have a high compete level, but I'll get back to you on that. Either way, the expected addition of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter within the next few days should help. (Roster)

SWE

Who's going: Oh hi there, Gabe. This is the one time of year when we all uncomfortably remember that you're not as North American as you sound. For everyone following him on Twitter, here's a convenient link to Google Translate - you're going to need it. Unfortunately, the Avs golden-boy didn't get the Captaincy for the Tre Kronor, but he'll likely wear an A. (Roster)

RUS

Who's going: Evidently Bobrovsky's back was bothering him after carrying the Blue Jackets all season, so he decided to sit this one out. Russia went to plan B to find Bryz's backup, and our very own Semyon Varlamov got the call. Hopefully Bryz's five-hole proves to be humangous big so Varly gets the chance to regain some of the swagger he had last year. We all know the guy could use some confidence right now. (Roster)

NOR

Who's going: Did you know that Mr. Imaginary Awesomeness himself, Jonas Holos, is still technically an Avs prospect? No, neither did I, but obviously the Avs website did. He'll be "representing" us for Team Norway this year. (Roster)

DEN

Who's going: Lake Erie Monster and newly-signed Avs prospect Markus Lauridsen will be patrolling the blueline with his brother, Oliver. Relying on an Avs and a Flyers defenseman... absolutely nothing could go wrong with that, right? (Roster)

CZE

Who's going: Jan Hejda will be bringing some serous veteran presence - this will be his 6th Worlds. Looks like playing for the Blue Jackets for so many years actually does have it's perks! (Love ya, #Lumbus) Suspiciously missing from the roster is Milan Hejduk, but ex-Avs Tomas Fleischmann and Radim Vrbata will be covering for him. Varly better watch his back. (Roster)

CAN

Who's going: This roster is STACKED. Not only are Ryan O`Reilly and Matt Duchene going, but Stamkos, Skinner, Giroux, Hall, Eberle, J. Schultz, Captain Staal and Cute Staal are as well. If Mike Smith and Devan Dubnyk hold up, this is going to be the team to beat. Luckily, Weber declined his invitation, but if Pittsburgh can win with questionable D, so can this team. THIS JUST ISN'T EVEN FAIR!!!! (Roster)

AUT

Who's going: The only Austrian in our entire system, Lake Erie defenseman Thomas Pock (which is pronounced POKE for some odd reason) got the call. He'll join Thomas Vanek and a whole bunch of guys I've never heard of in representing his country. (Roster)

Other Countries

The countries not awesome enough to have any Avalanche representatives are BLR, FIN, FRA, GER, LAT, SLO, SUI, and SVK. Slackers.

Coming Up this Weekend:

Friday, May 3
Czech Republic vs. Belerus (8:15 a.m.)
Sweden vs. Switzerland (12:15 p.m.)

Saturday, May 4
USA vs. Austria (3:15 a.m.)
Norway vs. Slovenia (4:15 a.m.)
Russia vs. Latvia (7:15 a.m.)
Canada vs. Denmark (8:15 a.m.)
Czech Republic vs. Sweden(12:15 p.m.)

Sunday, May 5
Austria vs. France (3:15 a.m.)
Russia vs. Germany (7:15 a.m.)
Canada vs. Switzerland (8:15 a.m.)
USA vs. Latvia (11:15 a.m.)
Denmark vs. Norwary (12:15 p.m.)

Monday, May 6
Czech Republc vs. Swizerland (8:15a)
Sweden vs. Belarus (12:15 p.m.)

**All Times Mountain Daylight (MDT)

And yes, I did copy this schedule from the Avs website. You're welcome.

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