World Cup of Hockey resumes today with the tournament favorites Team Canada takes on Team Czech republic on home ice in Toronto. Can Team Canada show us that favorite billing, or are we in for another Team USA upset?
World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament is over. Meaningful World Cup of Hockey games are now upon us, with Canada versus the Czech Republic.
Team Canada and New York Islanders captain John Tavares are looking to push on and own that favorite status. Pre-tournament was one thing, but these games mean something.
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With the format of the tournament, there are only three round-robin games. Losing any of those games puts any team in hot water (that one was for you Team USA).
Canada, as a program has its history against the Czech. All Canadians remember how the Czech’s beat us in a shootout in Nagano as they went on to win gold. That 2-1 loss still stings.
Tavares and Canada
For Islanders fans, we get to enjoy John Tavares take to the ice once again. Every game Canada has played, Tavares has gotten better.
From anonymous in the first game of the pre-tournament to owning the second game with two goals to becoming captain clutch from Canada against arch-rivals Russia.
Going into this game the narrative for Team Canada is going to be: Can we get the same level of output that we got all pre-tournament?
They may have just barely won against the Russians, needing an overtime winner. But just looking at the shot totals shows just how dominant the Canadians were. It was 48-26 in favor of the Canadians.
Being the dominant force doesn’t guarantee victory (again, looking at you USA), but it certainly put the team in a position to do so. Team Canada are going to have to try and keep up that unbelievable level of play through the tournament if they are to prove their favorites billing.