2016 World Cup of Hockey Report (Day 5)

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Day 5 of the World Cup of Hockey gave plenty of clarity to what was coming in the final few days.

In group B the Swedes clinched a spot in the playoffs despite losing the game in one of the most thrilling matches of the tournament so far.

The North Americans took the OT win and stayed alive in the tournament as they wait for the final day to figure out if they get a spot in the playoffs if they do they will play Canada for a chance at the title.

The Group will wait for Day 6 as their fate comes down to the final day of the round robin to determine their best teams.

Group A has had a slightly different path though as the group was figured out pretty quickly with Europe surprising many with just how good they were and the Canadians meeting all expectations.

Both teams flew to the top and on Day 5 they figured out where they would sit heading into the playoffs.

The Canadians took the win and the top spot in the group while Europe will sit in second place and take on Sweden in the semi-finals.

What has been impressive but certainly not surprising has been the performance of the Canadians in this tournament.

Most of all because they seem to figure out how to put things together every single time they put that leaf on their chest.

It is not as though the Canadians have won every tournament no matter what the year but the Canadians are consistently great.

For decades it was because they were one of the few teams to actually produce top-level talent that played in the best league in the world.

That has changed in a big way over the last few years as the rest of the world is beginning to catch up.

For Canadians, it has been the storyline for years that eventually the dominance of the Canadians in producing the best talent will come to an end.

Last year was the first year that Canadians didn’t outnumber the rest of the world in the NHL and for many, it was a sign of things to come.

The message from many is that Canada will not have long before their time as the nation of hockey will come to an end and that they will eventually fall in line with the rest of the world.

The best Canadian players seem to have taken that personally as they have come to play in every tournament and have shown just how dominant they can be.hockey-sidebar

The World Cup of Hockey was a chance to show that they are far from being just another team in the international game.

They came into the tournament as the clear favourites to win the whole thing in the return of the World Cup for the first time in more than a decade.

To put even more pressure on the Canadians they were hosting the first World Cup in one of the biggest hockey markets in the world, Toronto.

The Canadian fans had a front row seat to watch and see if the Canadians could come through in another tournament.

Anything short of the title is a failure for Canadian hockey no matter what tournament is being played.

That is the standard that Canadians have to play to every time they enter and international tournament.

So far the Canadians have made good on their expectations as they went undefeated in the round robin and now will enter the playoffs as the only undefeated team.

They still have a ways to go before they can officially take the World Cup as there are very good teams left to end the streak of the Canadians.

It is something interesting when looking at other teams around them as there are teams that just simply crumble under pressure or can’t get together as a team.

Yet the Canadians are usually under more pressure than any other team and they have the same amount of time to practice and find a rhythm.

Yet more often than not they find a way to win and come through on the lofty expectations they hold every time they play.

With only a few more games until a champion is crowned the Canadians are still expected to win it all and if the round robin is any indication they are sure to meet those expectations.

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Day 5:
North America 4-3 Sweden (OT)
– The North Americans needed the win in this game if they wanted a chance at the playoffs and they almost fell short taking the Swedes to overtime and in the best five minutes of hockey so far in the tournament Nathan MacKinnon kept their hopes alive

Canada 4-1 Europe
– The Europeans have surprised people all tournament but they were going to truly figure out where they stood against the Canadians and they got a little bit of a wake-up call as the Canadians easily got by Team Europe

Day 6:
Finland vs. Russia (Thursday, September 22nd; 3:00 pm ET)
– The Finns are not having a good tournament as they have yet to win a game and now they try to save some face against a good Russian team who will need these two points if they want to make the playoffs

USA vs. Czech Republic (Thursday, September 22nd; 8:00 pm ET)
– Unfortunately for the tournament, the last game of the round robin will mean absolutely nothing as both the Czechs and the Americans are playing purely for pride trying to get their first win of the tournament

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