Game Preview - USA vs. Canada
Hockey returns to Columbus with an international exhibition
Team Canada @ Team USA
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio, USA
TV: ESPNU, 7:00 PM EDT
HOCKEY’S BACK! IT’S REALLY BACK!
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.
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|
|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.
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|
|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.