2016 World Cup of Hockey Report (Day 1)

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One of the big mysteries in the World Cup of Hockey was solved on the first day of the tournament.

That mystery was one-half of the most interesting teams in the tournament this year as Europe and North America have everyone wondering what might happen.

These two teams came out of necessity in a way as there was certainly no other team with enough NHL talent to justify their inclusion into the World Cup.

With the six main countries taking spots the NHL needed two more to fill out the groups but out of all of the other teams, there wasn’t much talent that would make them competitive.

It has been seen every year in the World Championships as the teams like France, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Italy are not very competitive.

Most of the time they are simply in the tournament to try to avoid relegation rather than to try to win the tournament.

The NHL didn’t want this as they wanted a competitive tournament where every team had a good chance.

The way they did that was to create a Team Europe and Team North America and load both up with NHL talent.

Team North America is the best players from USA and Canada that are under the age of 23, which includes some of the most hyped players in the NHL.

They are a young team with little experience but with so much talent that some were wondering how far they could go in the tournament.

Throughout the pre-tournament, they impressed challenging some of the top teams and showing the critics that they might be able to challenge in the World.

Team Europe was made up of the best players from throughout the European teams that weren’t included in the big six teams.

That includes constant international competitors like Slovakia and Germany while also including smaller teams like Slovenia, France, Norway, Latvia, and many more.

Throughout the pre-tournament, the Europeans were not really talked about too much as they went under the radar.

In fact, they ended up being the most criticised team of the two new teams that were created.

Some believed that the NHL was setting them up for failure in putting together a team where almost nobody had played together before and many spoke different languages, although most likely spoke English anyway.

The team was an amalgamation of the others and for so many, that was enough to ignore them.

Both North America and Europe came into the tournament as mysteries with no history to lean on and no idea of how they might gel together in order to compete in the World Cup.

Could they come together and challenge the already established teams or would they fall apart and become jokes in the World Cup?hockey-sidebar

Europe got the first chance to show what these two teams could be when they faced the Americans in the opening game of the tournament.

They were big underdogs in the game as many had the USA as one of the best teams with motivation to prove that they truly were one of the top teams after poor performances in big tournaments.

That wasn’t the case the Americans didn’t show up while the Europeans did in a big way.

Europe won the game 3-0 in a dominant performance that to many, was and will be the biggest upset in the tournament.

That shouldn’t be the case though as the Europeans are a collection of great players.

Their only downfall was going to be how they came together after years of playing against each other in international hockey.

If they could find a way to come together they could challenge the best teams and the Americans had yet to show that they were ready to turn things around and get back to being one of the best in the world.

The Europeans showed everyone that they were ready to compete and in such a short competition they have the inside track on a playoff spot.

Czech Republic did not look good against Canada which means a game between Europe and Canada could determine the first place spot in Group A.

If Europe can get things done they will surprise everyone even if they are a European all-star team.

Now the test will come for the North Americans who many people thought would be the better of the two.

If they can come out and beat Finland the tournament may look very different from what most thought in only two days of play.

The biggest mystery of the tournament has partially been solved and for the World Cup, it could mean plenty of excitement in the next week.


Day 1:
Europe 3-0 USA
– Jaroslav Halak was not supposed to start but an injury shoved him into the top spot and he made good on the chance with 35 saves against the Americans who got nothing by him in the loss which started their tournament terribly

Canada 6-0 Czech Republic
– The Canadians were just as good as everyone seemed to think they were as Carey Price stood up big and the deep offence went to work putting up six goals in the first game and launching themselves into first place

Day 2:
Sweden vs. Russia (Sunday, September 18th; 3:00 pm ET)
– Every game is big in the World Cup and this first one could make a big difference in the fight for the playoffs as the loser has a long way to go as both teams look to avoid a key loss in their opening game

North America vs. Finland (Sunday, September 18th; 8:00 pm ET)
– Nobody really knows if North America is going to show up like some think they can and they will get a test in another young team who has been a great country for hockey over the last few years with both looking to show youth can win

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