TORONTO – NHL got almost everything they had hoped for so far at the World Championship in ice hockey.
When holding the first World Cup since 2004, the league and the players wanted hockey festival that demonstrated their best players. Two losses and an early exit from the United States is not what anyone wants for concern, but the 23-and-under team North America put on a show and caught the attention of fans, coaches and players from the tournament.
Team North America and the United States are outside Canada and Russia meeting in one semifinal tonight and Sweden, and Team Europe in the second on Sunday afternoon. Quality Olympic Games has been a high level and should only get better with at least four and possibly five games left.
“The local winners were the fans,” said North coach Todd McLellan America. “I watched some really good hockey in September, and it does not happen too often.”
NHL was criticized initially for the North American and European all-star team, but the youngsters’ speed, skill and scoring the winning so many people in the course of goods bearing the “ON” logo was almost completely sold out Air Canada Centre. Europe won over the people by winning, beating on the US and the Czech Republic to advance.
Double Olympic champion Canada has rolled out, going 3-0 and outscoring opponents 14-3 along the way and Sweden leaned heavily on goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. North American games against Russia and Sweden were two of the most exciting end-to-end international games in recent history.
Commissioner Gary Bettman is proud of how the NHL and NHLPA “revived World Cup in the fashion world.”
“It was great. It’s exactly what we expected,” said Bettman. “We wanted to feel and be a great event. We predicted that the competition would be better than any international tournament to date, it will have big action feel.”
The World Cup has reached the status of major events in Toronto, with mostly full arena and the buzz around town. The same can not be said about the American TV like ESPN reported that about 770,000 people watched Canada defeated Team USA on Tuesday night, the most watched match so far.
Executive vice president for programming and scheduling Burke Magnus called a disappointing showing Americans “lost opportunity.”
“That’s the beauty of live sports,” Magnus said by phone Thursday. “That’s what makes a sort of improvised nature of what we do a lot of fun. Of course, we are counting on them to get out of pool play, but were unable to do it. But it’s the best players in the world.”
Canada looks like it still has the best collection of players in the world, even without North American Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon, who organized a magic show on ice. Even the grizzled old-school basic hockey people should appreciate how McDavid, Mackinnon, 2016 top pick Auston Matthews & Co. He played.
McDavid said North America “definitely turned.” Canada coach Mike Babcock called him “a great way to showcase the NHL ‘future.
“The North American children were homerun for the NHL,” said Babcock. “This team is the North American arm pump in hockey. It’s fantastic.”
Here are some other things that we learned in round-robin play at the World Cup of Hockey:
US can not score
In two games before being removed, the USA has recorded a total of one goal. Even Patrick Kane, Joe Pavelski and Zach Parise on the roster, the Americans failed to generate chances and general manager Dean Lombardi and coach John Tortorella had to answer why they chose the size and physicality at the expense of multiple skills.
“From the staff right on through, (we) did not get my job,” said Tortorella. “It is important to recognize that and we have to take medication.”
3 and oh Canada
Sidney Crosby led the Canadians looked so good in his first match, the US Hockey Hall of Fame Mike Modano tweeted cancel the remainder of the tournament and give them the trophy. Goalie Carey Price is on, and Canada seems unstoppable as usual.
“We feel that we can improve,” said Crosby, who has won 22 consecutive games with Canada. “I think it’s only about a consistency in every area, just make sure that we are sharp, that we play, we need to do.”
How Swede it is
Lundqvist stopped 81 of 85 shots in two games and is the main reason for Sweden can win. Ten years after he led the Swedes to the gold in the 2006 Olympics, “King”, has one last crack at another international title.
“He was our MVP,” said forward Carl Hagelin. “I did not expect anything from this guy.”
The mighty continent
Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, Austria and France all likelihood, it would be three and out in this tournament, but with players from these eight countries, Team Europe has shown that it can hang with the big boys. It’s the World Cup in Cinderella in the Final Four after creating his own insanity of September, and coach Ralph Krueger beamed about the European ‘underdog spirit. ”
From Russia with goals
Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and the Russians used a quick strike offense set rivalry showdown with Canada. Winning the Canadian ice would go a long way toward moving past failures home ice in Sochi.
“It will be like Russia if we play the Olympics,” said Ovechkin. “Everyone is crazy. The atmosphere will be incredible.”