The world juniors are the talk of the NHL today after Russia's stunning come from behind win over Canada last night in Buffalo. Here was what players were saying in Toronto prior to the Leafs meeting the Blues at the Air Canada Centre:
Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn, won gold with Canada in 2008 and whose brother, Brayden, won silver twice with the Canadian team in 2010 and 2011
"It's real tough. For me personally, it was more exciting and more nerve-wracking to have a little brother in the game than playing in the game yourself because I mean there's nothing you can do about it. You want the best for your little brother and for him to kind of follow in your footsteps a little bit while doing his own thing at the same time.
"He fell short last year and had that bitter taste in his mouth and not too many people get the chance to do it all over again, to get another shot at the gold medal. It's frustrating.
"You could just see it kind of in the guys' eyes and in their play. They were kind of sitting back and hoping for mistakes not to happen. As soon as you start playing like that, playing tentative, that's when bad things do happen.
"It's even tougher with the whole hockey Canadian crowd there. There's obviously going to be a lot of people questioning what happened and there's no hiding from it now."
Blues defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo, won silver twice with Canada in 2002 and 2003
"It's better than no medal. Silver medal's still a silver medal. I think at the end of the day [the players and fans]will be [more satisfied with silver]but as a Canadian, when you watch hockey, live hockey, all you think about is gold. And that's all you work towards. And ultimately when you don't achieve that, it's one thing, but when you're that close and you don't achieve it... we lost to Russia both years when I was there and we had third period leads in both years. When you lose those games, you kind of think back at what you could have done different and changed the outcome of the game. But at the end of the day, there's nothing you can do now."
Leafs winger Nikolai Kulemin, won silver with Russia in 2006
"I think it's very good for Russia. It was a great game. I know the goalie [Igor Bobkov] he's from my city, he's a good guy. I just watched at home with my family, cheering for Russia."
Leafs centre Tim Brent, won silver with Canada in 2004
"When I played, we lost to the Americans. We were up 3-1 going into the third (period) and lost 4-3. My heart goes out to those guys - it's a lot of pressure to bear when you're wearing that Canadian jersey, especially at the world junior tournament."
"I've been there and I know what they're going through today," said Brent. "It's not going to get any easier for the next little while. Some of them I'm sure will get a second chance at a gold medal next year. I wish I had a second chance - I didn't.
"To those guys that do get it, make sure they make do. Get a gold medal for the rest of the guys that don't get that second chance."
Leafs coach Ron Wilson
"I wanted to see if Luke's brother would break that Canadian scoring mark, so I thought, okay I'll watch a couple minutes of the third period. If you get through five minutes, I think the game's over at 3-0, and I mean that was unbelievable how quickly things changed. The Russians had shown the ability to come back in every third period after the first two games, they came on like gangbusters, and the same thing happened last night.
"What happens with young players is you can get ahead of yourself and it happened last night. You have to also credit the Russians. Nobody seems to want to give the Russians any credit for what they did.
"From everything I could see, I know Brayden Schenn played great, but the most dynamic player in that whole tournament was Kuznetsov. When he decided he was going to make a difference in the game, he certainly could, he turned the switch on. In the last five minutes of all the other games, he was a dominant player. He did it yesterday, he was unbelievable, almost unstoppable when he got going. He looked like an Ovechkin, or a Semin, then you find out he's [drafted by]Washington -- you're kidding. He was pretty dynamic."Report Typo/Error