WCOH Game 10: Canada vs. Europe

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Canada and “Europe” are both bound for the playoff round of
the World Cup, but that doesn’t make this final game of the preliminary round
meaningless. The winner finishes the group segment with a perfect record; the
loser draws Sweden in the semifinal. It’s a game worth winning.

Canada has, unsurprisingly, dominated the tournament so far.
The favourite in every best-on-best international hockey tournament, the
Canadian entry is going so far as to rest Ryan Getzlaf and Shea Weber in this
contest.

Europe, on the other hand, has been a surprise. After a
lackluster exhibition performance, the Europeans shocked Team USA and beat the
Czechs, and now will test their mettle against the tournament’s acknowledged
superpower. Can Ralph Krueger and Leon Draisaitl get them the win?

Broadcast Info

Today’s game starts at 8 PM ET/5PM PT. It will air on
Sportsnet, TVA and ESPN 2.

Lineup Notes

Team Canada

Brad Marchand – Sidney Crosby – Patrice Bergeron

Logan Couture – Jonathan Toews – Corey Perry

John Tavares – Claude Giroux – Steven Stamkos

Ryan O’Reilly – Joe Thornton – Matt Duchene

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Brent Burns

Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty

Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo

Corey Crawford to start; Braden Holtby as backup 


Team Europe

Tomas Tatar – Anze Kopitar – Marian Hossa

Marian Gaborik – Frans Nielsen – Mats Zuccarello

Nino Niederreiter – Leon Draisaitl – Tobias Rieder 

Thomas Vanek – P-E Bellemare – Jannik Hansen

Zdeno Chara – Andrej Sekera

Roman Josi – Dennis Seidenberg

Christian Ehrhoff – Mark Streit

Jaroslav Halak to start; Thomas Greiss as backup 

Three Things Worth Knowing

Despite Matt Duchene’s role as a “fourth line” player here, he’s actually tied for the team lead on the Canadian side, with three points through two games. Brad Marchand, Sidney Crosby and John Tavares are the other players with three points for the team.

The line of Toews, Couture and Perry has been playing what we typically think of as “third line” minutes for the Canadian side. Against the Americans, for example, they took on the primary matchup against Patrick Kane’s line and did it while starting three-quarters of their shifts in the defensive zone. That’s an awfully nice luxury to have, and if they seem to be spending more time in their own end of the rink than they should be that usage will be a big part of the reason why. 

Europe beat the United States, but had to lean hard on Jaroslav Halak (2-0-0, 0.969 save percentage) to do it. The European side was out-shot 35-17 and out-Corsied 67-37. Krueger ran his top defence pairing of Chara/Sekera into the ground and although they weren’t scored on in that contest they were out-shot 13-2 and out-Corsied 22-4. For all the accolades this team has had, they shouldn’t win the possession battle against Canada.