2016 IIHF World Championship Report (Day 6)

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In North America, hockey fans are getting ready for the third round of the NHL playoffs and for the World Championships that means some big news.

Every year the World Championships bring together the best players not in the playoffs to play for their countries.

The timing of the tournament leads to an interesting period though as the rosters put together before the tournament aren’t necessarily final.

Many countries leave a few spots on the roster open in case they see some reinforcements headed to the tournament.

That is because the second round of the playoffs is usually finished in the middle of the World Championships meaning four teams with plenty of talent are no longer playing.

Some of the players on the losing teams decide to continue playing hockey and move on to the World Championship to fill the roster spots left.

For some teams, it can be a saving grace as they get the superstars that they have been lacking throughout the tournament.

For other teams, it is just reloading and providing some extra depth to an already good lineup.

In Day 6 the time was finally here to see some of the bigger names begin to make the decision to head to the tournament after leaving.

The Germans will get a big reinforcement when New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss makes the trip to Russia.

There is little doubt that he will be the starter heading forward for a German team that has had mixed results.

The inclusion of Greiss could be the boost they need to make a run at a playoff spot as a goaltender can make the difference in the World Championships.

Perhaps the happiest group will be the home fans though as a Washington Capitals loss led to the return of three big players for Russia.

Defenceman Dimitri Orlov along with two of the best forwards in the NHL Yevgeni Kuznetsov and Alexander Ovechkin will all be joining their country.

These three have an especially big role in every Russian team they play on and with the motivation of losing in the playoffs, they are sure to play hard for their team.

Many believed that the Capitals were the Stanley Cup champions after winning the President’s Trophy and looking like they had finally put things together.

They were eliminated by the rival Penguins and now all three head to the World Championship with a chip on their shoulder.

The Russians haven’t really been too convincing yet in the tournament as they have struggled against some teams that simply aren’t as good as them.

With these reinforcements, they might reach another gear which will put the entire tournament on notice for the home team.hockey-sidebar

These reinforcements are sure to help their teams out but they will likely not be the last players to make the trip to Russia.

With the last few games of the second round of the NHL playoffs coming up this week there will be two more teams eliminated.

That could provide any number of teams a few extra stars for their push towards the playoffs and a medal.

The debate becomes whether or not these players will make a big enough impact to overcome a potential chemistry issue.

Throwing new players into the mix at the last minute might upset a mix of good players that play well together.

Of course, this concern is more of a worry for the top teams than the teams just fighting to try to stay in the top division.

The teams with a deep roster might not necessarily need the extra help and adding more players could upset the chemistry built between the players.

It is one of the toughest aspects to build to begin with and throwing a wrench into it when things are going well might change the tournament.

That is the decision that they will try to work out this week as the tournament enters its second half and the NHL playoffs close out a round providing reinforcements for teams.

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Day 6:
Switzerland 5-4 Latvia
– After struggling through the start of the tournament the Swiss are back on track with their second win in a row as the Latvians had their momentum taken away despite another great performance from their goaltender

Belarus 4-2 Slovakia
– The Slovaks were looking like a sure playoff team at the start of the tournament but have not been playing at the same level as they fell to the Belarusians when they allowed all of Belarus’s four goals in the third period to take the loss

Sweden 7-3 Kazakhstan
– Sweden continues to assert themselves at the top of Group A with an easy win over Kazakhstan who continues to fall back off the pace after a good start to their tournament with their playoff hopes in doubt

Finland 3-0 Hungary
– It wasn’t as dominant as many thought it would be but the Finns took another win in the race for Group B beating the Hungarians and keeping Hungary without a win in the tournament this year

Day 7:
Czech Republic vs. Norway (Thursday, May 12th; 9:15 am ET)
– The Czechs have proven to be a team to watch this year and they will try to continue that as they take on the Norwegians who are in the heart of the playoff battle and would love to get at least a point in this game

USA vs. France (Thursday, May 12th; 9:15 am ET)
– The Americans get back at it again in a difficult position facing the possibility of missing the playoffs but a win against the French could be a big help as France currently sits in the playoff spot that the Americans want

Russia vs. Denmark (Thursday, May 12th; 1:15 pm ET)
– The Russians are armed with some reinforcements and they will look to make their impact on the game as they take on Denmark looking to get things going on their final stretch in front of a home crowd

Canada vs. Germany (Thursday, May 12th; 1:15 pm ET)
– The Germans will see the first game with their new goaltender but he has his work cut out for him against the Canadians who haven’t slowed down from last year and continue to win as they pursue another gold medal

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