Today is the round robin match that everyone has been waiting for. Team Canada vs. Team Our Parents Immigrated from Canada. As a child of the 80s it seems odd to consider the US as Canada’s chief hockey rival, but I can no longer trap myself in 1987 and continue to believe that the Russians are the greatest test for Canada.
This game preview could take the high road and talk about how great the US National Team Development Program is, and how I wish that Hockey Canada had something resembling anything close to that. We could talk about how this game could be a gold medal preview and features the two undefeated teams from Group A and a victory has the high stakes of a much easier path to the medal round, though losing to the Swiss or the Czechs would be unlikely for either of these teams.
Or we could take the low road, and make this a jingoist preview that accuses the USNTDP as being nothing more than a federal agency that forges American birth certificates for Canadians so they can play in the World Juniors when they aren’t good enough to make Team Canada. Ahhh, low road, you’re so much more fun. We get to watch Americans try to portray their country as an underdog in this tournament solely because of before Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews the best hockey player their country was able to produce was Mike Modano (please note that Pat LaFontaine is actually the greatest American player). We can reminisce about how Team USA didn’t show up in Sochi or Ryan Miller’s performance in Vancouver. Of course, this isn’t the Olympics so it’s not as easy to dismiss the U.S., but I’d keep their hotel’s security on high alert nonetheless.
So far so good for Team Canada. Clearly it was the uniforms that were holding them back for the past few seasons. Not a whole lot to complain about if you have a Nick Ritchie sized blindspot. The race is on between Ritchie and Leafs prospect, blue chip faceoff specialist Frederick Gauthier to see who will be the last Canadian forward with a point.
Forwards (Check out Top six usage here)
Max Domi – Sam Reinhart – Anthony Duclair
Nick Ritchie – Connor McDavid – Curtis Lazar
Nick Paul – Nic Petan – Robby Fabbri
Lawson Crouse – Frederik Gauthier – Jake Virtanen
Defence (Defence Usage)
Josh Morrissey – Madison Bowey
Darnell Nurse – Shea Theodore
Sam Morin – Joe Hicketts
This game will provide Edmonton fans with an opportunity to see future Oiler Jack Eichel outmatched by Connor McDavid. For the rest of us, we can enjoy seeing a team that has a great blend of size, speed, and skill that most Canadian hockey fans would admire in a non-international tournament setting. Instead they are poor sportsmen who are clearly playing dirty.
Motte – Eichel – Tuch
Wood – Matthews – Schmaltz
Milano – Larkin – Fasching
Louis – Compher – Hayden
Butcher – Carlo
Hanifin – McCoshen
Werenski – DeAngelo
What to watch for
- Hockey talk quickly devolving into jingoism on twitter
- Guaranteed accusations of poor officiating
- Nick Ritchie point watch
- Chase De Leo, hockey’s most indie-rock name ever
- Way too many jackasses in the stands with “It’s Our Game” signs
- If you’re an Oilers fan, probably the best hockey game you’ve watched this season and you’ll probably attribute it to Darnell Nurse being the greatest shutdown defenseman of all-time.
- At some point you’ll come to terms with the fact the Jets have a lot of really good prospects
- Plenty of Leafs fans who still want to talk about how great William Nylander is
- I think a couple of these kids might get drafted this year. I wonder if TSN will mention it or try making a rivalry out of two players who’ve never met?