COPENHAGEN – Just minutes into Wednesdays practice, an irritated Brent Sutter stopped the proceedings and called the 25 players over for a stern talking-to. cheap nfl jerseys . The message was simple. "We needed to be better," the head coach of the Canadian junior hockey team explained. "We need to make sure we form an identity, make sure we have an element to our hockey team that we have to have and thats to be a hard-working team, thats to be a team thats going to play in a way that needs to be played. "Everyone knows that its a skilled group, everybody knows that its a group thats elite in its age group in Canada, but theres intangibles and things that we need to continue to get better at: competing, working, playing hard, winning battles, making sure were responsible defensively, making sure that, in the offensive zone, we got guys going to the net, all the things you need to do to be a successful team. "Practice didnt start off the way I liked and I just addressed it." And if the words werent enough, Sutter put his charges through more than 30 minutes of battle drills, including one called "The Gauntlet." That drill saw all the players line the side boards and then, one-by-one, each would skate down the line on the inside getting body checked every few strides. WATCH: Canadian players go through The Gauntlet: http://bit.ly/19TkOeR "Thats probably the old school coming out of me a little bit," said the 51-year-old Sutter, who is the owner, general manager and head coach of the Western Hockey Leagues Red Deer Rebels. "Its about getting the guys involved. You got to get in the trenches to win hockey games. Youre going to have to give hits and take hits, especially along the boards. The ice surface over here is obviously a little bit bigger, but the board-work and the trench-work is still a big part of the game. "Its just something to get the guys engaged. And you saw it here today, after we did a couple of those types of drills, the guys were more in sync and more in tune with their emotional level, their intensity level picked up." Sutter has employed this drill in the past, notably ahead of the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series, which saw his team post a dominant 7-0-1 record. But most of the players on the ice in the Danish capital on Wednesday hadnt gone through "The Gauntlet" in quite some time, if at all. "That was a first for me," admitted Derrick Pouliot, a Portland Winterhawks defenceman drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins eighth overall in 2012. "Thats definitely old school. I wasnt sure what was going on and then he said to go through everybody and I was like, Ooooookay." "My dad used to do it with our teams in minor hockey," said centre Scott Laughton, a Flyers prospect, who captains the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League. "I think some of the boys were wondering what was going on, but I knew what was up. It was pretty cool to see." "I used to do that when I was a little younger in minor hockey when I first started hitting," said London Knights forward Bo Horvat, who was picked ninth overall by the Canucks in June. "It was good to get the boys going, a little team bonding and I think the boys really enjoyed that." But "The Gauntlet" was far from the only battle drill employed by Sutter, who has a well-earned reputation for demanding discipline, including asking that players shave facial hair and cut any long hair before coming to camp. On Wednesday, he also had the team gather around the centre-ice circle and watch as two guys battled for the puck. "You definitely put more effort into it when you see the whole team there," said Laughton. "I think it brings the guys together when you battle together and you battle with each other. I think it really sends a message." "Everybodys watching," added Horvart, "and you dont want to look stupid out there or anything like that." The battle drills and Sutters speech were designed to set the template for the teams identity. Canada hasnt won a gold medal at the world junior championship in four years and last year missed the podium altogether, snapping a 14-year medal streak. Sutter, who has an unblemished record behind the world junior bench, leading Canada to titles in 2005 and 2006, was brought in to right the ship. "Canadas never won anything when they thought they could win it strictly on skill," Sutter said. "Youve got to have those other things and it doesnt matter at what level. Its stuff that we have to continue to dig in with these guys and get them to understand. And theyre a pretty receptive group, very coachable group and theyre sponges and it showed today." "Weve got to take it day-by-day," said Laughton, a top contender to be Canadas captain when the tournament opens on Boxing Day. "Thats the most important thing and just be a hard-nosed team to play against. Play Canadian hockey: good on the forecheck and good on the cycle. We got a bunch of big guys that can move pretty well so I think thats going to be the identity." "We want to be a hard team to play against," said Horvat. "We want to play hard every game, take it day-by-day, and that message definitely got across at practice." Sutter wants his team to remain humble and hungry so he wasnt thrilled to learn the oddsmakers at Bodog have installed Canada as 7/4 favourites to win the gold medal. The defending champion Americans, host Swedes and Russians, who beat Canada in the bronze medal game a year ago, were all 3/1. "Last I saw, another team won the gold medal last year and we finished fourth so people can say what they need to say on the outside, but we have a lot of work ahead of us," said Sutter. "Youre always favoured. Canada is always favoured, because its our game, you know, its Canada and thats all perception on the outside. But the ones inside, weve got to get busy, get to work, theres a lot of work involved and we got to dig in. "We havent won here in a while so weve got to get back to playing the way we need to play and if we want to have a chance in this tournament, its not going to be strictly based on skill." cheap jerseys from china . Although Canadian athletes are troubled by the 31 lives lost in the two bombings nearly 650 kilometres from Sochi, they are trying to focus on their Olympic goals and are placing their confidence in the security measures enacted by the International Olympic Committee, Russian organizers and government security agencies. cheap jerseys . The two men started about 30 seconds ahead of the pack on the cross-country leg and never looked to be in trouble. They exchanged places several times before Frenzel broke away about 300 metres from the finish to win by 4.(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers still cant find a way to win in Minnesota. The club hopes a return to Rexall Place this evening can help them find a little bit of momentum in its series with the Wild. The Oilers and Wild are set to clash for the second time this season after Minnesota claimed a 2-1 shootout victory at home over Edmonton a week ago, with Devin Setoguchis fourth-round winner handing the Oilers their 17th straight loss in Minnesota. That victory also ran the Wilds current winning streak in this series to seven straight, including three in a row at Rexall Place. However, Minnesota is only 4-6-1 in its last 11 trips to Edmonton and the Oilers hope that trend continues as they look to avoid a second straight loss and fourth in five games. Edmonton appeared like it would escape Calgary with a victory on Tuesday on Tom Gilberts first-period goal, but the Flames Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Tanguay scored 89 seconds apart late in regulation to hand the Oilers a 2-1 loss. "We got that early goal and it just kind of seemed like we were just trying to hold on," said Shawn Horcoff. "We werent skating like we can, we didnt get pucks deep enough, we didnt make it hard enough for them to come 200 feet." Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves for the Oilers, who played without Ales Hemsky (strained right shoulder) and Darcy Hordichuk (knee) due to injury, as well as Taylor Hall because of flu-like symptoms. Halls status for tonights game is still unknown. Defenseman Ryan Whitney did return to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 28 because of ankle surgery, calling the loss a disappointing one. "Its just a game we got to win, its a frustrating loss," said Whitney. "We played pretty well for 50 minutes and then we dont even get a point out of it. Its games youve got to learn how to finish off." Edmonton kicks off a four-game homestand against a Minnesota club that suffered a 4-2 home defeat to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. It was the Wilds fourth loss in five games. "We came out a little flat tonight, and it is too bad. They are definitely a good team. You cant take anything away from them," said Minnesotas Greg Zanon. Cal Clutterbuck and Guillaume Latendresse scored for the Wild, while Niklas Backstrom stopped 21-of-25 shots in defeat. The Wild went 0-for-5 on the power play, leaving them without a goal in their last 10 chances on the man advantage. Head coach Mike Yeo believes his players are trying to hard to score. "I think the one thing that will help us right now is a little less focus on Im going to be the guy to make the play. Everybody wants to score a goal wheen theyre out there obviously," said Yeo. wholesale jerseys china. Backstrom made 21 saves in last weeks win over the Oilers, giving him a lifetime mark of 19-2-1 with a 1.70 goals-against average and four shutouts versus them. Nashville Predators at Vancouver Canucks It hasnt been the best of starts to the season for either the Predators or the Canucks. Scoring goals has been at the root of both the teams problems. Nashville tries to avoid a fourth straight setback this evening, while Vancouver aims for its third victory in seven games so far in the young season. The Predators opened the season with consecutive road wins at Columbus and St. Louis, netting seven goals in that span. However, they have been held to five goals in losing three straight (0-2-1) and managed to find the back of the net only once in Mondays 3-1 defeat in Edmonton. Sergei Kostitsyn had the lone goal and Pekka Rinne stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced as the Predators lost the opener of a three-game swing through western Canada that ends in Calgary on Saturday. Nashville came away with only 12 shots on goal, a number that left defenseman Shea Weber frustrated. "We didnt generate any offense. We didnt play hard in our own end. This is one of the worst losses Ive ever been a part of," said Weber. Even David Legwand wasnt immune to the struggles. The forward had notched a point in each of Nashvilles first four games, posting two goals and six assists in that span, but was held off the scoresheet on Monday. Nashville hasnt lost four in a row since Feb. 19-26. While the Predators failed to generate many chances on Monday, the Canucks fired 40 shots towards the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist on Tuesday. However, the goaltender stopped them all and Vancouver lost a 4-0 decision. Roberto Luongo made nine saves through the first two periods, but yielded four goals on 10 shots faced in the third. Vancouver was shut out for the second time in three games despite eight power- play chances. "We need to convert on one of those power plays to turn the tables," Canucks forward Chris Higgins said. Center Ryan Kesler, who netted 41 goals last year, saw his first game action this year after having offseason hip surgery. The reigning Selke Trophy winner had three shots in just over 19 minutes of ice time. "You got to give credit where credit is due. [Lundqvists] one of the best in the game and he played like it tonight," added Kesler. "Saying that, it seemed like we were doing all the right things we just werent burying them." These two clubs split four meetings a season ago, but the Canucks have won 10 of the last 15 meetings overall. ' ' '