Okay FOLKS, it’s almost here: the World Cup of Hockey!
And while we’ve been talking for quite a while about this extravaganza, one thing is still quite uncertain: who’s going to win it? What should we bet on? Blatant nationalism? Experience over youth? Youth over experience? Sorting by total points per game of all the players and sorting downwards?
With such a unique tournament format and a few wildcards in play, it’s hard to really find the best method to predict the winner of the WCH. But we wouldn’t be a hockey blog if we didn’t give you slightly biased opinions.
Without further ado, here’s our picks for the winners of the WCH, which starts off tomorrow afternoon.
At the end of the second period of the second game featuring Canada and the USA, there was a scrum between Corey Perry and Justin Abdelkader.
That scrum drew a crowd, and before long Brent Burns had Justin Abdelkader in a headlock. At first Abdelkader tries to fight it, then he just submits and realizes that Burns is going to hold him there for as long as he likes. Abdelkader goes from feisty to helpless while Burns remains calm and toothless. I think that scene nicely summarizes the World Cup of Hockey.
It’ll be a fight for Team Canada but ultimately their natural strengths will subdue their opponents and at the end of it, it will almost look easy.
I’m still of the mind that the North American kids are winning the whole thing. They’ve got a boatload of skill, enough to keep up with the older guys, but what’s going to help them is their stamina. These full tilt games are going to be so close together that between them and practices, players will barely have room to breathe. The youth might hold it down solely based on their bodies being less prone to catching up. Plus, you know, Connor and Auston are due.
I’ve never been a big fan of betting on the underdog for one sole reason: they’re the underdog. More often than not, the favourite comes out on top. Sure, odds don’t exactly play out the same way our best projection models would in hockey on a regular basis.
But by every reasonable projection, Team Canada is still the favourite.
It’s more fun to watch Team North America as well, just about every hockey team I’ve ever watched, but I do think there’s still a more-well rounded side in Canada. Sure, Sweden’s defence might hold up well, and sure, Finland’s been a consistent medallist on the world stage, but, despite their downfalls, Canada remains the most well-rounded team.
It’s not impossible they’ll lose, but it’s also not looking increasingly likely.