COLOGNE, Germany - The learning curve has been steep for a collection of young Canadian players at the IIHF World Hockey Championship. With six games played, the interim report card marks are in—and there's still room for improvement:
Chad Johnson, B-plus: Just one goal has got past the backup in nearly four periods of work. He wasn't even sure if he'd see any game action after coming to Europe.
Chris Mason, C-plus: Freely admits that he's let in some untimely goals. However, he had an excellent game in a losing cause against the Czechs.
Marc Staal, A-minus: Quietly having an effective tournament on the blue-line. Tied for team lead with a plus-4 rating.
Kris Russell, B: Logging important minutes for coach Craig MacTavish.
Francois Beauchemin, B: A calming presence and one of the few guys capable of growing a beard.
Brent Burns, B-minus: Offers a nice combination of size and versatility, but has to watch out for needless penalties.
Mark Giordano, B-minus: His offensive contributions have been appreciated.
Kyle Cumiskey, C: A useful depth defenceman, he's been pretty good while playing roughly 14 minutes per game.
Michael Del Zotto, C: Trying to make the most of a limited opportunity.
Tyler Myers, C-minus: Experiencing a few growing pains so far in Germany. His ice time has been on the decline.
Ray Whitney, A: At 38 years old, he's leading by example with a team-best eight points.
John Tavares, A-minus: The sniper has six goals in as many games at his first world championship. Must still be thinking about a couple that got away against the Czechs.
Matt Duchene, B-plus: Scored a ridiculous goal against Norway that will be shown on highlight reels for awhile.
Corey Perry, B: A competitor and leader on this team, he's consistently made his presence felt on the ice.
Steven Stamkos, B: Hard to mark him down for the two-plus games lost to injury.
Brooks Laich, B: An effective member of the energy line who scored a nice short-handed goal against Sweden.
Mason Raymond, B-minus: After two games here, it's clear that his speed is a serious asset on the bigger ice surface. Still looking to contribute a bit more offensively.
Evander Kane, B-minus: Numbers have been solid for a guy being used sparingly—two goals, four points and a plus-2 rating.
Steve Downie: C-plus: Has kept his emotions mostly in check while getting under the skin of opponents, including Tampa Bay Lightning teammate Victor Headman of the Swedish team.
Steve Ott, C: His penalty killing contributions have been particularly notable.
Rich Peverley, C: He's been used in a variety of situations.
Jordan Eberle, C: Named Canadian player of the game in his debut at this tournament, he's seen a more limited role since then.
Rene Bourque, C-minus: He's struggled to establish a consistent role and leads the team with 14 penalty minutes.
Ryan Smyth, no rating: Captain Canada only appeared in one game before fracturing his left ankle and returning to North America.