It’s true that the World Cup of Hockey does not have the same hype as the Olympics but it will feature some incredible hockey by some of the world’s best players. The pre-tournament games have come to a close and the competition is set to begin when the puck drops in Toronto on Saturday, September 17.
An international hockey tournament that means watching hockey a few weeks earlier than usual? Sign me up! If the tune up games were any indication, we are in for some great hockey no matter who ends up winning the event. Will you be joining fans from around the world as the games begin?
Eight teams: Canada, United States of America, North America, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Europe. Much like the Olympics, World Juniors, and World Championships; teammates become rivals and rivals become teammates. Each team will face it’s own pressure in the competition.
Team Canada has the weight of an entire country on its back to win a championship on Canadian soil once more. Canada may a favourite in the tournament and have incredible depth on their roster but they will need to play disciplined if they want to win on home ice.
Team USA would love to steal Canada’s thunder on Canadian soil. Lots of talent on the USA roster that under John Tortorella’s coaching will put an aggressive effort every night. The USA is a team not to be taken lightly as they go into the tournament as one of the major contenders.
Team Russia has the pressure of winning after missing out on hockey medals at each of the previous two Olympics. With players like Ovechkin and Malkin at their helm, Russia will aim to get back on top of the hockey world.
Team Sweden has the pressure winning another international championship.Will the Sedins and Eriksson be able to continue shaping their line chemistry? Will Henrik Lundqvist find his form or will another goalie emerge as Sweden’s star?
Team Finland though no longer having Teemu Selanne on their roster, but they do have the young Patrick Laine. Finland is still a team to never be counted out, they are feisty and always have fight left until the end.
Team North America may be comprised of a youthful roster, but they are team that will put the pressure on every team they face and could just surprise everyone. They should not be overlooked. Question: if they do go on to win, would both Canadian and USA hockey fans be happy to share the victory?)
Team Europe is a team that may be overlooked by many as a contender in this format but once the tournament begins, anything can happen.
Team Czech Republic is always up for a good challenge and the same will true going in to the World Cup games.
When the puck drops, who will you be rooting for when the puck drops on September 17th? Leave a comment below to cheer on your team!
Tournament Games Schedule:
September 17: Team USA vs. Team Europe.// Team Czech Republic vs. Team Canada.
September 18: Team Sweden vs. Team Russia.// Team North America vs. Team Finland.
September 19: Team Europe vs. Team Czech Republic.// Team Russia vs. Team North America.
September 20: Team Finland vs. Team Sweden. // Team Canada vs. Team USA.
September 21: Team North America vs. Team Sweden. // Team Europe vs. Team Canada.
September 22: Team Finland vs. Team Russia. // Team USA vs. Team Czech Republic.
SEMIFINALS (Single Elimination Games):
September 24: Semifinal #1
September 25: Semifinal #2.
FINALS (Best of Three):
September 27: Game #1.
September 29: Game #2.
October 1: *Game #3. (*if necessary)
Hockey is BACK and it feels GOOD. Here’s to an exciting few weeks of hockey before the NHL gears into full swing come October!
As always, until next time, nuck said.