Good morning, hockey fans!!!
Tonight at 8 pm ET is the all or nothing game for Team Europe! Will they continue to give Canada a hard time? Or will Canada do the unthinkable and go to a different gear? If they do, we need to put on protective goggles because that will be too powerful for the naked eye to see.
Well... here's what is important for the upcoming days.
If you have not noticed, Russia won their game against Finland today and eliminated Team North America. I guess we have to say goodbye to Finland (they knew it was coming) and to North America (completely blind-sided since their early mistakes against Russia cost them in the long run).
That is all for now and we look forward to seeing Crosby vs. Ovechkin in the World Cup!
No rest for Sweden and Canada as they take on North America and Europe! Will they be too tired to win? No way! They're the best professionals in their country! They can do it all!
Thoughts: Holy shoot!! The U.S. is gone!!!! Who would've thought it would have been that early?! Sorry to make a pun but that was QUICK.
And Sweden took out its rival too?! Will we see a 2014 Sochi Olympics rematch? Or will surprise teams like Team Europe or Team North America crash the party? So many questions but very few answers for now.
Sweden will advance to the semifinals after OT loss to North America.
North America will advance only if Russia loses to Finland tomorrow.
If Russia wins, North America is eliminated and they advance.
Loser of the current game between Europe and Canada will play Sweden in the semis.
It's Rivalry Night in Toronto! Good news for Swedish/ Ranger/hockey fans, Henrik Lunqvist is hoping to return today!
The North American rivalry will also feature longtime foes and will definitely be good to watch.
Sit back and enjoy a great night of rivals and good hockey.
Thoughts: The North America game featured a fantastic comeback but unfortunately they were unable to complete it. After watching the game, I feel that John Gibson should start for them because he had a shutout when he came in for Murray in the second.
I did not get to watch the Europe and Czech game but from the looks of it, it looked like a good game. I think people should start to take Europe more seriously if they haven't already.
Those were my thoughts and I hope you enjoyed them!
*NOTE: Jacob Markstrom is in goal instead of Henrik Lunqvist (illness) for Sweden.
North America vs. Finland
Today is the debut for the young and restless Team North America. They definitely have their work cut out for them against Team Finland, a tough contender.
There are so many things to watch for, like both the #1 and #2 draft picks facing each other (Matthews and Laine) and also last year's #1 and #2 playing together (McDavid and Eichel).
We also get to watch Stanley Cup hero Matt Murray start in goal vs. Pekka Rinne, one of the best goaltenders in the game. It will definitely be a battle for both because they have proven themselves in the playoffs but you could ask if Murray has proven himself enough. He lacks the experience of Rinne, being on the 23 and under team all, but does age really matter? He did so well against the veteran Sharks and stepped up to the occasion. He can take the heat and so can Rinne, so this will be good.
Will McDavid being the captain of this team be a sign of the near future? We definitely would love to see him become more of his heroic archetype and be named the Captain of Edmonton. If he does well with this team, which has teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, then the Oilers should look into him becoming the main leader. Taylor Hall is gone now, which gives way to McDavid becoming the main heroic leader that Edmonton needs.
Take Aways: Europe is a stunner and Canada is not to be messed with.
We definitely did not expect to see such a strong showing from an entire continent that resembles a hodge podge of good players but they exceeded expectations and took down the Americans. Both teams have talent but Europe shut them out and showed up yesterday.
We already know that Canada is great but watching that team is still fun for hockey fans. Sidney Crosby is a face-if not, THE face-of the league for a reason and it's great to see him play and lead so well. Another fan favourite on Team Canada is Brent Burns and it was great that he scored in the game. He has such a great personality to go with his amazing ability on the ice. He can endure all the many minutes he's logged on the ice.
I know... 6 minutes seems long but it covers everything major that happened (including Bergeron's 1st period buzzer beater at 3:02). If you like 6 goals and great saves, check it out!
It's great to be back!
Hopefully you remembered that the World Cup is happening this year and instead of waiting for October to see hockey, we can now wait for September. It may not be the same as the NHL, action-wise, but it will still feature the best players in the game and maybe some of your favourites!
This morning ESPN released the official schedule and here it is!
Sep 17, 3:30 p.m., Group Play: USA vs. Europe, ESPN2
Sep 17, 8 p.m., Group Play: Czech Republic vs. Canada, ESPNEWS
Sep 18, 3 p.m., Group Play: Sweden vs. Russia, ESPN
Sep 18, 8 p.m., Group Play: North America vs. Finland, ESPN2
Sep 19, 3 p.m., Group Play: Europe vs. Czech Republic, ESPN2
Sep 19, 8 p.m., Group Play: Russia vs. North America, ESPN2
Sep 20, 3 p.m., Group Play: Finland vs. Sweden, ESPN
Sep 20, 8 p.m., Group Play: Canada vs. USA, ESPN
Sep 21, 3 p.m., Group Play: North America vs. Sweden, ESPN
Sep 21, 8 p.m., Group Play: Europe vs Canada, ESPN2
Sep 22, 3 p.m., Group Play: Finland vs. Russia, ESPN
Sep 22, 8 p.m., Group Play: USA vs. Czech Republic, ESPN2
Sep 24, 7 p.m., Semifinal one, ESPN2
Sep 25, 1 p.m., Semifinal two, ESPN
Sep 27, 8 p.m., Final: Game one, ESPN
Sep 29, 8 p.m., Final: Game two, ESPN2
Oct 1, 7 p.m., Final: Game three (if necessary), ESPN2
For better understanding of the tournament, click on the button below:
One century of this game and League is a wonderful milestone to celebrate. Let's hope to do this in the next century!