Game Preview - USA vs. Canada

Hockey returns to Columbus with an international exhibition

Team Canada @ Team USA

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio, USA



...sort of.

After a long, hot summer it is finally time for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Before he took the Columbus job, John Tortorella had already committed to Team USA for this event. As a result, USA Hockey selected Columbus as the host city for their week of pre-tournament practice. That week comes to a close tonight with the first of 3 pre-tournament exhibition games.

There is no love lost between the American and Canadian teams, so there’s a good chance that you will see more intensity than usual for a preseason exhibition.

Projected Lineups

Team Canada

Head Coach: Mike Babcock

Brad Marchand Sidney Crosby Patrice Bergeron
Logan Couture Jonathan Toews Tyler Seguin
John Tavares Ryan Getzlaf Steven Stamkos
Matt Duchene Claude Giroux Joe Thornton/Corey Perry
Jake Muzzin Drew Doughty
Marc-Edouard Vlasic Shea Weber
Alex Pietrangelo Brent Burns/Jay Bouwmeester
Carey Price
Braden Holtby/Corey Crawford

Reaction: Holy mother of God. That forward corps is ridiculous. Any one of those lines could be the first line on a playoff team. Giroux on the fourth line? Tavares and Stamkos on the third line? This team is built to dominate on offense.

Defensively...where are Kris Letang and PK Subban? Those omissions are head-scratchers, with all due respect to the players chosen.

Carey Price will get the start in goal, his first since his injury suffered last season. Holtby and Crawford are expected to play in the rematch on Saturday.

Team USA

Head Coach: John Tortorella

Max Pacioretty Joe Pavelski Patrick Kane
Zach Parise Derek Stepan Blake Wheeler
Justin Abdelkader Ryan Kesler T.J. Oshie
James van Riemsdyk Brandon Dubinsky David Backes/Kyle Palmieri
Ryan Suter Dustin Byfuglien
Ryan McDonagh John Carlson
Jack Johnson Matt Niskanen/Erik Johnson
Jonathan Quick
Ben Bishop/Cory Schneider

Reaction: This roster is not as obviously stacked as Canada's. In some ways, it appears that they tried to construct a more conventional hockey roster. Rather than four lines of stars, you have players like Abdelkader and hometown favorite Dubinsky who are picked to play conventional bottom six roles (but obviously at a much higher talent level). The matchup everyone will be looking for is Dubinsky vs. Crosby.

Jack Johnson was somewhat of a surprise choice for the team. Hopefully he has a strong performance in Nationwide

Jonathan Quick will get the start, but Bishop is expected to get some playing time as well. Bishop and Schneider (and his patriotic pads) will split duties on Saturday.

Stay tuned in the comments for updates and discussion throughout the day. Who here will be going to the game? Look for me in Section 106 and on Twitter.

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