TLN Roundtable: Who will win the World Cup of Hockey?

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Okay FOLKS, it’s almost here: the World Cup of Hockey!

And while we’ve been talking for quite a while about this extravaganza, one thing is still quite uncertain: who’s going to win it? What should we bet on? Blatant nationalism? Experience over youth? Youth over experience? Sorting by total points per game of all the players and sorting downwards?

With such a unique tournament format and a few wildcards in play, it’s hard to really find the best method to predict the winner of the WCH. But we wouldn’t be a hockey blog if we didn’t give you slightly biased opinions.

Without further ado, here’s our picks for the winners of the WCH, which starts off tomorrow afternoon.

Keegan Tremblay

At the end of the second period of the second game featuring Canada and the USA, there was a scrum between Corey Perry and Justin Abdelkader. 

That scrum drew a crowd, and before long Brent Burns had Justin Abdelkader in a headlock. At first Abdelkader tries to fight it, then he just submits and realizes that Burns is going to hold him there for as long as he likes. Abdelkader goes from feisty to helpless while Burns remains calm and toothless. I think that scene nicely summarizes the World Cup of Hockey. 

It’ll be a fight for Team Canada but ultimately their natural strengths will subdue their opponents and at the end of it, it will almost look easy.

Jeff Veillette

I’m still of the mind that the North American kids are winning the whole thing. They’ve got a boatload of skill, enough to keep up with the older guys, but what’s going to help them is their stamina. These full tilt games are going to be so close together that between them and practices, players will barely have room to breathe. The youth might hold it down solely based on their bodies being less prone to catching up. Plus, you know, Connor and Auston are due.

Dom Luszczyszyn

Canada is the strongest team, they’re the deepest team and they have the most star power. Their fourth line is better than most team’s first lines. Their injury replacements are star players (except for one…). Actually, pretty much everyone on the team is a star player. They have the last two Vezina winners in net. They have the best coach in the league *eyes emoji*. They have Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron playing on the same line. There’s not much they don’t have and that’s why they’ll probably win the World Cup of Hockey.

Ryan Hobart

The team that will win the World Cup of Hockey is Finland. Patrik Laine will be the tournament MVP, further establishing his dominance over Auston Matthews in international play. Laine will then go on to never be better than Matthews in games that actually matter.

Adam Laskaris

I’ve never been a big fan of betting on the underdog for one sole reason: they’re the underdog. More often than not, the favourite comes out on top. Sure, odds don’t exactly play out the same way our best projection models would in hockey on a regular basis. 

But by every reasonable projection, Team Canada is still the favourite. 

It’s more fun to watch Team North America as well, just about every hockey team I’ve ever watched, but I do think there’s still a more-well rounded side in Canada. Sure, Sweden’s defence might hold up well, and sure, Finland’s been a consistent medallist on the world stage, but, despite their downfalls, Canada remains the most well-rounded team. 

It’s not impossible they’ll lose, but it’s also not looking increasingly likely. 

  • LukeDaDrifter

    The Toronto Maple Leafs rookie tournament for 2016 starts Friday,
    September 16 in London Ontario. The Leafs rookies will be playing
    against prospect and rookie lineups from the Ottawa Senators, Montréal
    Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins over the course of the weekend.

    The big name
    is the London Knights’ own Mitch Marner.

    Beyond the obvious star, the Leafs chose an interesting mix of
    Marlies signings, draft picks and a couple of free agents they’re
    looking at to make up the roster. They have two goaltenders, 10
    defenders and 22 forwards, and some of them stretch the definition of
    rookie to the breaking point.

  • Stan Smith

    I would have to think Canada has to be favored. Having said that the semi-final being a one game match a lucky bounce or a hot goalie and anything can happen. I think team North America will be fun to watch but by now I’m sure everyone’s game plan is going to be too play them rough. I’m worried about one of the young guns getting hurt before the NHL season even starts.

  • Tommy Cat

    Canada. North American has skill, speed, and piss and vinegar (can I say piss here? I’m from Leafs Hub and the rules there are much more relaxed). But experience actually does matter. Oh and Canada’s coaching is way better!