WCOH Final 2: Canada vs. Europe

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This time, there’s something on the line. Tonight, Team Canada will have a chance to put Team Europe behind them and get a chance to win their second consecutive World Cup of Hockey. Granted, it’s been twelve years since the last one and only two players have returned for this tournament, but run with me here; we need something to get excited about. 

BROADCAST INFO

Tonight’s game will kick off at 8:00 PM EST at the Air Canada Centre. That’s 6:00 PM in Alberta, 5:00 PM in Vancouver, and 7:00 PM in scenic Manitoba. For our east coasters, that’s 9:00 PM or 9:30 PM if you’re subjected to living in scenic Newfoundland. The game will be on ESPN2, Sportsnet, TVA, you know the deal by now.

LINEUP NOTES

Team Canada

Brad Marchand – Sidney Crosby – Patrice Bergeron

John Tavares – Claude Giroux – Steven Stamkos

Logan Couture – Jonathan Toews – Corey Perry

Joe Thornton – Ryan O’Reilly – Matt Duchene

Marc-Eduard Vlasic – Shea Weber

Jay Bouwmeester – Drew Doughty

Alex Pietrangelo – Brent Burns

Carey Price

Corey Crawford

Team Europe

Tomas Tatar – Anze Kopitar – Marian Hossa

Nino Niederreiter – Frans Nielsen – Mats Zuccarello

Thomas Vanek – Leon Draisaitl – Tobias Reider

Mikkel Boedker – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Jannik Hansen

Zdeno Chara – Andrej Sekera

Roman Josi – Dennis Seidenberg

Christian Ehrhoff – Mark Streit

Jaroslav Halak

Tomas Greiss 

Four Things Worth Noting

  • Team Canada will take a lot of perimeter shots followed by either the puck going in, a rebound, or Jaroslav Halak making a save. This will be the main component of their game, like it is every game. Barring that, a mistake by Team Europe will give them a two-on-one rush.
  • The main narratives after tonight will be people saying that Canada won because Jonathan Toews is a winner, that Canada winning is finally the proof we need that Sidney Crosby is great, or that holy crap, Jay Bouwmeester was here last time too.
  • Ralph Kreuger is probably either watching or preparing to Southhampton’s Europa League game against H. Be’er Sheva in his office as you read this preview.
  • There are 146 tickets under $60 US on Stubhub for this game tonight. There are eight tickets under $60 US for the entire Leafs regular season at the Air Canada Centre this season, and they are all standing room. Toronto has completely and totally tuned out, the TV crowds are tuning out, and Team Canada appeared to tune out in Game 1 and still won without any issue. Let’s just get this show over with, already.
        • KiLLKiND

          Why bother posting an article saying I think Canada is going to win then? I just don’t understand the purpose of it. If it’s supposed to be a write up for after the game then at least include somethings from the game. There will be far better write ups on every hockey site than the one Jeff had published earlier. If a new person to the nation read that as their first article on the sites it would most likely also be the last article they read on the nation sites.

          I also don’t think anyone was really offended, they all just thought it was a bad article. It wasn’t offensive unless you really are predicting Europe to dominate Canada and end up winning the entire thing. Just because someone says that was the worst article I’ve read on this site doesn’t mean it was offensive.

          • Hemmercules

            I find it hard to believe someone would just stop reading the nation websites all together over a goofy article written by an occasional writer. I found the humour in it, others didn’t. It makes it even funnier if the opposite happens and Europe dominates. Jokes over though I think, they should have left it up or just ditch it all together.

    • It’s going to run again, I had zero issue with the blowback towards the sass because I’m pretty confident in the sassiness, but as the wording of the post kinda hinted, it wasn’t supposed to go up so early. We had a technical issue and it published several hours before it should have and will be back later tonight around the time they’re supposed to win the thing.

      • KiLLKiND

        Why publish it again? Why not just post an actual game recap? You might also want to leave out “I actually wrote this post seven hours before puck drop.” Personally I thought they article was unprofessional and shouldn’t be posted at all. What purpose does it serve? It isn’t a recap and if Canada loses you look even worse. Many seemed to agree that t wasn’t well written or up to the usual nation standard.

        You could have written an article on why the World Cup did so poorly, or why it might be in the best interest of everyone to have the next World Cup be successful. Maybe an article showing how the NHL schedule is too long and prevents teams from wanting to participate in hockey outside of the NHL. There are so many potential articles about the World Cup and one saying I think Canada is going to win and Crosby will play well is about as lazy as an article can be.

        Also what does “I’m pretty confident in the sassiness” mean? Are you going to try and out-sass the comments saying it’s a bad article?

        • cberg

          As for the World Cup, its now boring and I probably won’t watch tonight, though I must say I did enjoy a few of the earlier games.

          Your comment about the NHL season being too long is spot on. That, plus the additional 2 months of playoffs is ridiculous, way, way too much. Adding in another month of World Cup is beyond too much. Its unfortunate its gotten so long, as no team is EVER going to agree to shorten the season, or the playoffs because its a revenue loss. To heck with the game, $s rule everything.

          As for the World Cup, the 3 game finale should be shortened to 1 game, like the Super Bowl, Grey Cup, golfing, soccer and etc. Even if it was two even teams its unnecessary, and when you have a mismatch, like today, its a disaster.

          Secondly, although having all star teams like Europe and NA balances out the competition overall, you definitely lose the nationalistic fervour, as well as the massive underdog angle that draws people in and is a huge story if it happens, kind of like Lake Placid 1980, or some games in the Olympics. When a Switzerland or small European team beats a Canada, say in the Olympics its a lifetime achievement for those guys and to be celebrated, versus the yeah, just another game for today’s European team.

          And don’t get me started with team NA. They were exciting, but you get none of the pride of following your nation’s team. It would have been better to ban all players age 26 and over and dump all the vets that have been around for years and years. That would likely balance things out quite a bit and get many new guys every year which would at least add an element of surprise and intrigue every WC.

        • We’ll have an actual recap as well. We’ll have reflective coverage as well. Multiple pieces of content can come up.

          The reaction was pretty split, I enjoyed writing it, there’ll probably be a few alterations to the draft, you’ll roll your eyes and not read it a second time, there will be something with more substance later in the night, and the world will keep spinning.

          • KiLLKiND

            Sounds good I thought that was going to be the only recap, and didn’t think it should be. I do like most of your articles and probably just over analyzed it. Overall the article was pretty much right just thought too early and hope Europe wins now haha.

          • Jay (not J)

            I think that it’s pretty safe to say that Team Europe doesn’t have a lot of Nation Members on its team and this article won’t make the bulletin board for Kruger’s pregame. At the same time the article is horribly disrespectful to the players and coaches of team Europe who have done an awesome job of earning their place in tonight’s game and didn’t do it to be a punch line in a mediocre article.

  • Lamar's Javelin

    If you’re going to delve back into the article and why it was pulled and comment on the comments, why pull it down? If it’s gone, it’s gone. So too should its sentiment and follow-up discussion. The article wasn’t up to snuff. Wrangling it further is the actual insult.

  • Petrolero

    This a blogging site not the new York times. Just because Jason Gregor and a couple other respectable people post here doesn’t mean all things are equal. Expect the ocasional Jeff to post idiotic things.

  • KiLLKiND

    Now I know most you don’t like the World Cup, but I got hip surgery 2 weeks ago and really did enjoy watching some of the games as it gave me something to do. I’ve watched every game and here is my takeaway about the World Cup.

    The biggest problem with the World Cup is just how good Canada is as no other team really threatened Canada. Russia did well against them, but Bobrovsky couldn’t do it all himself and Canada didn’t give Russia any space or time to create many threats. Team NA was a blast to watch and their game against Sweden is probably the most exciting hockey game I’ve ever seen.

    The World Cup does need to become a sporting event for hockey as everyone including the Olympics could benefit from this. Every other major international sport has a World Cup where the best countries play each other, it matters more than the Olympics for Soccer, Rugby, and Cricket. Hockey should be the same it would allow the Olympics to once again embrace amateur athletes and anybody could win the Olympics as no NHL players participating would narrow the selection down in a major way. Maybe AHL, Swiss league, and KHL players could get their turn in the spotlight and would help grow the game even more as every country would actually have a legit chance of winning. Imagine Switzerland winning the next Olympics, that would never happen the way it currently is.

    The World Cup does need to be held at a time during mid season, and in one of the major hockey countries. This is the only way the WC can be a success. The NHL season is too long for people to start caring about hockey in September and players aren’t in prime playing condition. I don’t really care if they bring in other countries such as Switzerland or Slovakia next time, as team North America was easily the most exciting team to watch, and team Europe actually gave those players a chance to play in an international tournament and not get blown out.

    While there is little doubt this World Cup was not as successful as hoped, it will hopefully begin improving and turn its failures into strengths. I think if it is done well, the complaints about not playing in the Olympics will not matter as much.

  • Spydyr

    After watching the sub-par caliber hockey played during last nights preseason game I for one will enjoy hockey at the highest level one more time this evening.

  • Oilersandbeer

    Please, never shut up Jeff. I enjoy your articles and the magical way you can make the scummiest people in the world comment amazes me. Keep it up dude.

  • KiLLKiND

    So far it’s been a pretty good game game Europe is winning! Halak has played well and Europe’s had lots of pressure. Price has played well, but in general Europe has been outplaying Canada.