WCOH Final 1: Canada vs. Europe

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It may not be the most perfect narrative, but it certainly could have been worse. In one corner, we have Canada, a team that everybody expected to be here, with a suffocatingly high level of talent and execution of their system that has found a way to make greatness seem almost boring. In the other, we have Team Europe, a group of players who are old, wise, have never really played together, and may never play together again, looking to upset goliath on their own ice.

It’s not very likely at all, but hey, let’s make the most of the occasion.

Broadcast Info

Tonight’s game will kick off at 8:00 PM EST at the Air Canada Centre. That’s 6:00 PM in Alberta, 5:00 PM in Vancouver, and 7:00 PM in scenic Manitoba. For our east coasters, that’s 9:00 PM or 9:30 PM if you’re subjected to living in scenic Newfoundland.

Lineup Notes

Team Canada

Brad Marchand – Sidney Crosby – Patrice Bergeron

John Tavares – Claude Giroux – Steven Stamkos

Logan Couture – Jonathan Toews – Corey Perry

Joe Thornton – Ryan O’Reilly – Matt Duchene

Marc-Eduard Vlasic – Shea Weber

Jay Bouwmeester – Drew Doughty

Alex Pietrangelo – Brent Burns

Carey Price

Corey Crawford

Team Europe

Tomas Tatar – Anze Kopitar – Marian Hossa

Nino Niederreiter – Frans Nielsen – Mats Zuccarello

Thomas Vanek – Leon Draisaitl – Tobias Reider

Mikkel Boedker – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Jannik Hansen

Zdeno Chara – Andrej Sekera

Roman Josi – Dennis Seidenberg

Christian Ehrhoff – Mark Streit

Jaroslav Halak

Tomas Greiss 

Three Things Worth Noting

  • Carey Price vs. Jaroslav Halak takes us back to a simpler time, where the Montreal Canadiens were a somewhat successful mess rather than a disastrously bad one, and their worst case scenario in net was just pretty good goaltending and not a draft lottery position. The fan debates between the two were legendary, and while history has concluded that sticking with Price was the right call, having a big time event where they can fight for all the marbles sounds like a lot of fun.
  • Speaking of people who get a chance to exhibit some I Told You Sos, former Edmonton Oilers head coach Ralph Kreuger is behind the bench of Team Europe. Kreuger was known for his on-ice play in Germany and his off-ice work with the Swiss hockey program, before coming back to North America and bringing the Oilers to a slightly more respectable record and getting fired (over Skype!) just a single season in. Kreuger has already stated his commitment to being a chairman in the English Premier League for now, but a continued good effort could do wonders for his odds of returning to the NHL some day.
  • The Europeans will be without Marian Gaborik tonight. The LA Kings forward injured his foot while blocking a shot in the first period against Sweden, and will miss the next eight weeks with an injury. Mikkel Boedker comes in as a replacement.