Former NHL coach Ron Wilson, 60, is guiding the United States team at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s world junior championship in Finland and has the Americans in the semifinals. They play Russia on Monday.
Wilson enjoys coaching juniors
After his 18-season NHL coaching career ended tumultuously, Ron Wilson needed time to decompress and fall back in love with hockey before he would consider coaching again.
Almost four years after the Toronto Maple Leafs fired him, Wilson is back behind the bench — and this time he is having fun.
Wilson, 60, is coaching the United States team at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s world junior championship in Finland. He is the first former NHL coach to lead the Americans in the under-20 tournament. The United States will face Russia in a semifinal game Monday.
Wilson’s background also includes coaching the U.S. senior national team to a bronze medal in the 1996 world championship and to the title in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. He coached the Olympic teams in 1998 and 2010, taking the silver medal with the latter group, and led the Washington Capitals, one of four NHL teams he has coached, to the Stanley Cup Final in 1998.
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Wilson, who took over as U.S. coach in June, said he had started to miss the game and was intrigued by the idea of guiding younger players.
“This is really the only age group I hadn’t coached,” he said.
Wilson had 1,401 NHL victories, but after years out of the game, he was something of a mystery to his 18- and 19-year-old players.
“I Googled him; I feel like most guys did,” said Zach Werenski, the U.S. captain.
Wilson said he wanted to make sure players fed off his own newfound love for the game.
“We want to win, but why can’t we have some fun while doing it?” he asked.
• In the NHL, Jaromir Jagr scored twice and Al Montoya made 39 saves as Florida beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1. The victory was the ninth in a row for the Panthers and seventh straight at home, both franchise records.
• Kyle Okposo and Cal Clutterbuck each scored two goals as the host New York Islanders edged the NHL-leading Dallas Stars 6-5.
Chelsea routs Crystal Palace
Chelsea signaled its intent to move up the English Premier League standings by crushing Crystal Palace 3-0 in a stylish display that had shades of last season’s cruise to the championship.
Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa scored for Chelsea, which is out of realistic title contention after a dismal start to the season but could still challenge for a UEFA Champions League spot on the evidence of its performance at Selhurst Park.
“That was the Chelsea of last year, I think,” team captain John Terry said.
The defending champions are unbeaten in four matches under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink since they fired Jose Mourinho, but are still languishing in 14th place — 13 points behind fourth-place Tottenham.
Tottenham played to a 1-1 draw at Everton.
Boston Marathon inspires film
America’s marquee marathon is ready for its close-up.
“Boston,” a feature-length documentary film about the Boston Marathon, is in the works. Its creators say the movie will go well beyond the 2013 bombings to retrace the iconic footrace’s first steps in 1897.
“Over the years, the Boston Marathon has had so many extraordinary stories of people achieving and accomplishing things,” said producer Megan Williams, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker. “It’s like looking at cultural and social change over the last century through the lens of this major sporting event.”
Two feature films (one starring Mark Wahlberg), a stage play and an HBO special also are in production, though they reportedly are all about the 2013 finish-line attacks that killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others.
No Boston Marathon documentary would be complete without the dark events of 2013. But “Boston” will focus less on the chaos than the comeback.
The producers had 56 cameras along the course in 2014 for the marathon’s first running since the bombings.
Director Jon Dunham said the city’s determination to take back its namesake race will be a recurring theme in the movie, which was conceived before the attacks.
The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the race, gave Dunham exclusive rights to its archive of photos, video and marathon memorabilia.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” Dunham said. “We’ve got 300 hours of stuff we shot, not counting the archival material.”
The movie tentatively is set to premiere in April 2017 in conjunction with the 121st edition of the race.
• Top-ranked Serena Williams withdrew from her opening tennis match at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, because of inflammation in her left knee, an early setback in preparations for her Australian Open title defense.
Williams was replaced on the U.S. team by Vicky Duval, who lost 6-4, 6-1 to Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.