It wasn’t perfect (see: penalty kill, lack thereof), but there was a lot to like about the 6-4 tournament opening win for Team Canada over the US on Boxing Day. The power play was absolutely lethal, and they did an outstanding job of keeping a pretty talented USA squad at bay in 5v5 play.
Another big test today as they meet a Russian team that’s gonna be more than a little pissed off after dropping their first game to the host Czech Republic team on Thursday. The big challenge for the Russians today is can they do anything to neutralize Alexis Lafrenierre? The consensus #1 pick in the upcoming NHL entry draft put on a performance Thursday against the Americans, with a 1 goal, 3 assist performance, including the game winner and a couple big hits that woke up the Canadian team after falling behind 2-0 in the 1st period.
Nico Daws will get the start again today for Canada, while Amir Miftakhov gets the nods for the Russians, and unless they’ve figured out what was going wrong on the PK the other day, both teams will do well to try and avoid taking penalties against each other. The Russians essentially lost after getting burned by the Czech PP,
Courtesy tsn.ca here’s what lines Canada should roll today:
Lines at Friday’s practice:
Power-play units at Friday’s practice:
Lafreniere - Veleno - Hayton
Byram - Lavoie - Foote
Also at 10 am, Canada takes on host Davos at the Spengler Cup in Switzerland. The Canadian team won their opening match Thursday with a 4-1 win over HC Ocelari Trinic. Kevin Clark notched a hat trick, and they also got a goal from Kris Versteeg. That game can be seen on TSN2.