Sunday, September 18, 2016
Morning World Cup Player Notes (Sep 18)
Well, that was a giant swing and a miss for the hockey pool, wasn't it? We all had no faith in those Europeans and look what they did... they shutout the Americans, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon and there were only three points collected by the lot of us. How sad.
What we all might not be too sad about is that the Americans are now 0-1-0 in the tournament and they are really behind the 8-ball to try and work their way out of a loss to try and make it to the playoff round, with games still to come against the Czechs and Canada.
The Europeans played a pretty good game, out-skating the Americans from the drop of the puck and they got the drop on them offensively, when Marian Gaborik opened the scoring in the 1st and it turned out to be enough. Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves for the shutout and none of the notable players were taken in the draft.
Yes, since this is a very quick tournament, I'm going to treat this like the playoffs, including the game-winning goals as points... it needs to be as interesting as possible, right?
Scratches for the US included Kyle Palmieri and Dustin Byfuglien, each belonging to Cam and Dale, one of which was more of a surprise than the other. For Europe, it was Mikkel Boedker and Luca Sbisa in the press box, Boedker being the only one taken in the pool (Marcie) and will be questionable to figure into the lineup after that win yesterday.
No one really wanted to underestimate the Czech Republic, since they are a good hard-working bunch of players, with pretty big hearts, but Canada, the host team with all the pressure put upon it, didn't look bothered by it at all, as they steamrolled their way through to a 6-0 win.
Sidney Crosby and Carey Price led the way in the hockey pool, as Crosby scored the opening (and winning) goal and added a couple of assists, while Price made 27 stops for the shutout, each potting 4 points a piece. Of course, that was good news for Neil and Dale, each getting off to good starts on opening night.
Oh, but that's not all. Brad Marchand also picked up a goal and a pair of assists for a 3-point night, which added to Dale's opening night total, while John Tavares had a pair of helpers, which gave Cam a couple of quick points as well.
All non-pool players were scratched for the Czechs, including forward Michal Birner and defenseman Tomas Kundratek, but for Team Canada, Claude Giroux and Jake Muzzin were the skater scratches, Giroux taken by Clayton. All three Canada goalies were taken in the draft and it was Braden Holtby that was the press box viewer, keeping one of Benson's players out of action.
So, with all of that being said, Dale's team got off to a rocket start, with a 10-point effort and a 5-point lead over Neil to start the tournament off. On Sunday, however, it will be Scott's time to shine, as Team North America will hit the ice against the Finns and there is something to be said about having all his eggs in one basket.
So far though, it has been a pretty entertaining start to this tournament.