Friday, September 23, 2016

Morning World Cup Player Notes (Sep 23)



The most meaningful of the last two round robin games was the afternoon game, which was a shame, but there wasn't much we could do about it, was there?

Russia needed a win over Finland, regulation or overtime, to move on to the semi-finals and face Canada and once the wheels were in motion in the 2nd period, the Russian machine wasn't going to be stopped.  Vladimir Tarasenko took a cute little pass from Alex Ovechkin to open the scoring and it turned out to be the winning goal, as the Russians mowed through the Finns, 3-0, with very little resistance.

Sergei Bobrovsky was in net for his second win of the tournament and his first shutout, giving him a 4-point night, and he only had to make 21 saves for the afternoon's achievement.

In lineup news, Russia was without Pavel Datsyuk, who is dealing with a minor lower-body injury, which meant that Vadim Shipachev was able to draw back in.  Shipachev was able to register an assist in the win, while Datsyuk's availability going forward is up in the air.  Tony is hanging on to Datsyuk, hoping that he can be back for the game on Saturday.   On the Finnish side, there were no immediate changes to their lineup, none of the players scratched were taken anyways.

The late game was only a matter of pride for both the Americans and the Czechs, but it was a pretty half-hearted effort on either side, especially since the game had no bearing on the standings, as both teams already knew they were splitting up after this one.

It was kind of a back-and-forth game, with scoring both ways until the middle of the 2nd, where the Czechs took a 2-goal lead before the end of the frame and they never really looked back.  The US were able to draw one back in the 3rd period, but Petr Mrazek and his compatriots were able to hang on for the win in the end.

The Czechs were not very well represented in the pool, having only seven players chosen, and it was only Mrazek, who made 36 saves for the win, who jumped out as a notable player, much to the delight of Clayton.  Milan Michalek, who scored a pair of goals, including the winner, went uncollected and his points out into limbo.

Jonathan Quick was given the night off, while Ben Bishop got the start and Cory Schneider was given the 3rd period, making the Americans the only team to play everyone in this tournament in the end.  David Backes and Erik Johnson were also given the night off, scratching another one of Tony's players, unfortunately.  On the Czech side, Roman Cervenka was out of the lineup, taking one of Dale's players out and they went with seven defensemen with Tomas Kundratek figuring back in.

ImplicationsThe Russian win was a monster game for Dale, who managed to increase his lead to 9 points over Scott, 32-23.  Scott's tournament came to a crashing halt, as his team, which was mostly Team North America players, were eliminated with that Russian win and now he has the least amount of players going into the semi-finals, with only 4 of his 15 players.  We'll go more into the number of players left here in the next day or so.

Clayton and Cam now sit 3rd and 4th, 4 points back of Scott, while Marcie is only 1 point back of those two.  It does seem a little far-fetched to think that Dale could be caught, but we shall see.
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