The Epic Day of Hockey
And the IIHF said, "Let there be an epic day of hockey," and there was an epic day hockey. The IIHF saw that an epic day of hockey was good, and separated the contenders from the cinderellas.
Today, my friends, is that epic day of hockey.
vs.12:00 PM PST
|1-0-0-1, 4 points||2-0-0-0, 6 points |
|2nd in Group B ||1st in Group B |
Team Russia struggled against Slovakia on Thursday, losing by a final score of 2-1 in the shootout. Our Russian correspondent Ivano was angry with the coaching decisions made throughout the course of the game, specifically Bykov's refusal to abandon rolling four lines in overtime. Furthermore, premier defenseman Anton Volchenkov is currently dead last in TOI amongst all eight Russian defenseman. It's a coaching strategy that could come under fire if Russia doesn't manage to make some noise in the elimination rounds.
The Czechs are a damn good team, one that hasn't really gotten much publicity when talking about medal contenders. Jaromir Jagr has proven that a stint in the KHL isn't the end of a players NHL career, as it is apparent he could still be a force on the top line of many NHL teams. Tomas Vokoun is criminally underrated throughout NHL circles, and in a short tournament where a hot goaltender can put a team on the podium, he definitely gives the Czechs a chance. The blueline has an excellent top four-- Zbynek Michalek, Tomas Kaberle, Jan Hejda, and Pavel Kubina all are legitimate NHL defenseman. The only issue may be their forward group, who despite being pretty solid, don't match up as well compared to the top teams in the tournament.
vs.4:40 PM PST
|2-0-0-0, 6 points||1-0-1-0, 5 points |
|1st In Group A ||2nd in Group A |
We've covered Team USA pretty extensively on FTF-- not much more to say other than the blueline, as it was coming into the tournament, is a question mark. Lots of bad pinches and turnovers in the neutral zone.
Team Canada managed to squeeze past Switzerland on Thursday during the shootout. The Sharks line has been far and away the most effective group out there for Canada, but I think the rest of the roster wakes up against the Americans. I wouldn't be extremely disappointed with a loser point today; to use a football reference, Team USA needs to pull a Giants-Patriots from 2008, when New York took New England to the fourth quarter in the final week of the regular season and proved that they could hang with the big dogs. That sets the tempo for the elimination round, where if CAN-USA meet, the young Americans would have the confidence to withstand a boisterous hometown crowd.
vs.9:00 PM PST
|2-0-0-0, 6 points||2-0-0-0, 6 points |
|T-1st in Group C ||T-1st in Group C |
To be fair, I haven't watched all too much of either Finland or Sweden this tournament. The bits and pieces I caught of SWE-BEL didn't leave me all too impressed with Team Sweden. Then again Henrik Lundqvist wasn't in net-- he's definitely another guy who can steal a game if the team requires it.
That being said, both rosters are very strong. Should be yet another exciting game.
This will be the gameday thread for Team USA vs. Team Canada-- discuss all other games in this Fanpost.