Thursday, September 08, 2016
Goalie Announcements (Sep 8)
Three games will kick off the pre-tournament schedule for the World Cup on Thursday and they get started nice and early, as Team Sweden will visit Helsinki and Team Finland's arena for their first game and they will be set to go for a 10am MT puck drop, getting those early games out of the way. This game will be featured on the regular Sportsnet channels, FYI. In net, we'll have Jacob Markstrom for Sweden and Pekka Rinne for Finland.
Markstrom gets a chance to make an early impression, just in case he's needed down the road, while Rinne is making his bid for the starting job for opening night of the tourney.
In the 10:30am MT start (on Sportsnet One), it will be between the Czech Republic and Russia in St. Petersburg, where we will get our first look at Petr Mrazek for the Czechs and Sergei Bobrovsky for the Russians.
Mrazek gets the first look in the Czech net, as he is expected to be the number one guy, while Bobrovsky has a battle on his hands for that number one job for the tournament and a solid game against an underdog opponent could give him a good fight.
Finally, in the evening match-up, we'll have Team Europe playing the North American 23 & Under team in Quebec City for a clash of mixed up squads. That game will be a 6pm MT start on Sportsnet and the goaltending match-up for this one has not been announced yet, but we are thinking it might be Jaroslav Halak against John Gibson. Literally, this is a shot in the dark, due to the time of the post, since I'd like to have something down when the publish button gets hit.
Halak would be the ideal look for Europe, as he has battled his way back from injury and could use the start, while Gibson is my pick as the favourite to come out with the number one job, but that's a long way from being decided, I'm thinking. Both teams will hit the ice in Quebec City later on this morning and the confirmations will certainly come. If I get a chance, I will post an update.
Update (10:03am MT)... one out of two ain't bad. Matt Murray will be the goalie to start for the North American squad, riding the high of winning a Stanley Cup with the Penguins, so why not?