Cheer up, Kovalchuk. You've at least led the WCs in points and came away with a medal unlike Vancouver. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The 2010 IIHF World Championships had their gold medal final today. Russia was on a mission for redemption after their worst ever showing at the Winter Olympics in men's ice hockey. They wanted that third straight gold medal, and so Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, Seymon Varlamov, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Pavel Datsyuk all joined the Russian roster to ensure it.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. Tomas Vokoun was a wall for most of the game, and the Czech Republic defeated Russia 2-1 to win their first gold medal since 2005, their first medal of any kind since 2006. Needless to say, I don't think many of the Russian players or the supporters are satisfied with just a silver medal. Even if they are now first in the IIHF's world rankings.
Kovalchuk shouldn't feel too bad about his own performance. While the IIHF directorate named his teammate Datsyuk the best forward of the tournament and the media snubbed him for their all-stars, Kovalchuk led the World Championships in points with 2 goals and 10 assists along with 15 shots and an average ice time of 16:52. So much for Kovalchuk being a selfish player. The coaches named him Russia's best forward. He certainly made his mark. All stats are viewable at the IIHF's statistics page which has all this information in PDFs for some inexplicable reason.
As for the other New Jersey Devil at the tournament, well, it didn't go so well for Andy Greene. The United States sent a young (read: weak) team and didn't even win one game in the group stages. They actually were sent to the relegation round, where wins over Kazakhstan,France, and Italy (by a shootout). So the US will remain in the WCs for 2011, and without an Olympics, you can be sure USA Hockey will take it incredibly seriously. Greene only had 2 assists, 4 shots, and averaged only 14:48, the fifth most out of all defensemen. Yes, less than Matt Greene and Mike Lundin. Still, he represented his country for the first time, and so it can't be seen as a total loss.
Anyway, after the jump, I found a highlight video that a fan made of the final game. It shows that even championship games can be decided by just a bad bounce. Feel free to mute the music if you don't care for it.