Hands up who saw that coming? Team Europe stormed into the final of the World Cup of Hockey last night with an OT victory over Team Sweden. Not even an assist for each Sedin could stop Team Europe's improbable march to greatness. With a coach who has been out of the hockey world entirely for two years, and a team of eight different nationalities, you just could not have predicted a Canada - Europe final. Well done to all involved for making this incredible story unfold.
Now, what's happening around the league?
- It feels like a long time ago now, but Team Canada secured a final spot with a comfortable 5-3 victory over Team Russia. I don't want to incur the wrath of the Nucks Misconduct faithful, but that Brad Marchand can play. Who knew? Game recap in case anyone didn't follow the game. [Sportsnet]
- So...Team Europe. A collection of misfits, 3rd liners and old has-beens. Yet they've made it past some of the best players in the world to face off against a team that has already beaten them in this tournament, Team Canada. Recap of their 3-2 OT win over Team Sweden can be found here. [WCoH]
- ACTUAL NHL ACTION: Pre-season games appeared to start last night, unless I've already missed some. The St Louis Blues beat the Columbus Blue Jackets in intra-squad games, 7-3 and 5-0. I guess Columbus needs their coach back. [NHL]
- For those of you who forgot he existed until you read this sentence, please read this story about poor Markus Granlund. He really is the forgotten man of the roster. [Province]
- This is a great read on Erik Gudbranson. I never knew that he and Ben Hutton had a history - but this is a pairing I am almost salivating over seeing this season. Oh, and analytics schmanalytics. [Sportsnet]
- LEAGUE BIAS ALERT: Rookies to pick in your fantasy teams this season is the latest NHL.com listing - and while Thatcher Demko is on the 'reserve' list, it just screams of 'Azzy always moans, let's put a Canuck on there regardless of whether he's expected to play an NHL game or not'. Two words for you, NHL.com: Anton Rodin. [NHL]
- I never liked Bobby Ryan much. Until now. Ryan's take on going after Senators rookie Patrick Sieloff at camp, after Sieloff gave Clarke MacArthur his latest concussion. Two thoughts here: one, I hope MacArthur returns to the game in future (although you have to doubt that right now), and second, good on Bobby Ryan for showing camp hopefuls that if you blindside hit a veteran with known concussion history during scrimmage, you can expect the full wrath of those vets deemed not good enough to represent their countries at the World Cup. [The Score]
- Jacob Trouba has requested a trade, apparently wanting more ice time. He already gets 22mins, and his team mate Matthieu Perreault has already asked how much more time he wants...time to get rid, Jets. [Hockey Writers]
- Phenom goalie Matt Murray is going to miss around 6 weeks. Luckily for Pittsburgh they have a great goalie waiting in the wings: Marc-Andre Fleury. [Pittsburgh Post Gazette]
- For those of you who like your minor league hockey, Las Vegas is trying to determine their options for a minor team affiliate. If it ends up being Abbotsford, I'll scream. [Las Vegas Review Journal]
- Just a reminder to NHL teams: Kris Russell still doesn't have a team. No link here, just wanted to share that thought.
Question of the day: Who wins the World Cup of Hockey, Canada or Europe? And 2-0 or 2-1?