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[Friday's FTB] The World Juniors Are Here

Some links to read as you agonizingly wait for the World Juniors

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

I've been watching and strangely obsessing over Canada's performance at the World Juniors for as long as I can remember. I remember exactly where I was (in my Montreal apartment with my Dad) when Jordan Eberle scored against Russia with under six seconds left in the semi-final (as well as the "Can you believe it!" "I can!" golden commentary from Pierre McGuire). And who could forget Jonathan Toews' shootout performance in 2007 (Americans, maybe?). It's a holiday tradition for my family-- we love getting together to cheer (or lament) Canada's performance. We were running on patriotism and a lot of coffee and egg nog (my family is really into this) when we got up at 4 a.m. for every Canada game when they were playing in Russia. Maybe it's those moments that make it so special, but getting a chance to see tomorrow's NHL stars is pretty exciting too. If you aren't so into the WJHC, it won't be too long until the Leafs are back in action-- but until then, tuning in to see William Nylander (Sweden), Frederik Gauthier (Canada), and Rinat Valiev (Russia) might be worthwhile. What are your favourite World Juniors traditions? Favourite tournament/Pierre McGuire moments? Do any of you have tickets?

Why you should watch the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship--Five For Howling

I assume that the choice is clear.

Ten who could surprise at the 2015 World Juniors

Who to watch since Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel won't exactly "surprise"

How TSN turned the World Juniors into a pillar of seasonal programming--Sean Fitz-Gerald

It's strange to think of a time when watching the tournament wasn't how Canadians spent their Boxing Day (and beyond). There is also a picture of Sidney Crosby wearing a gold sequined cowboy hat, which is worth clicking on the link in and of itself.

Five things to know about the 2015 World Juniors--CTV

Canadian Talent.

Memorable moments from the World Juniors--Toronto Star

Some of those moments I'd rather forget (I'm looking at you, Fleury)

Wayne Gretzky never thought he would make this team--CBC Sports

"He then said, ‘you guys are going to have a great team’ and he went on to list all the centres. I told him that he’d likely make the team, too, and then he said, ‘No, no. I’m just here for the experience.’"

Joffrey Lupul was in the Christmas spirit (as were elf versions of some Leafs stars)

I figured I might as well act like I'm writing about the Leafs today.