2016 World Cup of Hockey: Playoff Preview

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The World Cup is that much closer to determining a champion as the first World Cup in over a decade looks to determine the best in the world.

The World Cup has been different than any other tournament in the world as the NHL has put together great teams.

Every team in the tournament was essentially an all-star team with the best NHL players filling out almost every spot.

There were few teams without a roster full of NHL players and for international hockey that is a big thing.

There are countless tournaments where the best players truly don’t get to play for their countries.

It is a big deal for a lot of the best players in the world as they all have a loyalty to the country where they learned and fell in love with the game.

Players love to play for their countries and they get very little out of playing for their countries.

After all, the NHL isn’t some amateur league that pays pennies for players to play the game.

These players are getting millions of dollars to step onto the ice every night for their team.

There is little that a national program can do to match that incentive and so every player simply plays because it is an honour to play for your country.

Many players have said that the ability to put that crest on is one of the greatest moments of their careers.

Taking home a championship with their country is an even bigger highlight as they can say they beat the best in the world.

They don’t often get the chance though and the future might see them get even less of a chance to play for their countries.

There are two tournaments that let these NHL players play as the World Championships and the Olympics are the only major international tournaments.

The problem with the World Championships is that the best players are playing in the NHL playoffs when it is going on.

The Olympics are only every four years and with the negotiations between the governing bodies involved only get worse the likelihood that the NHL takes time off for the Olympics, I slim to none.

Both of those tournaments may be big but they are also not the best times for NHL players to make their way to the international game.

The NHL stepped in to provide a chance with the World Cup and the NHL players are loving it so far.

They have taken to this tournament and many might use it as a great way to warm-up for the upcoming season.

As they made their way through the round robin and for some teams it was a bit of a walk in the park.

That time is over though as only the best teams remain and all are just getting into the groove of playing at a high level.hockey-sidebar

They will all be playing their best hockey as they look for the chance to win the first World Cup in over a decade.

The clear favourites are the Canadians who have yet to lose in the tournament making easy work of every team they have faced.

They will take on the Russians in another chapter of the best rivalry in international hockey.

The Russians stumbled out of the gate to start the tournament but found their way at the end of the round robin.

They will look to continue that in the semi-finals and take out their biggest rival.

On the other side, the unexpected appearance of Team Europe has many people wondering just how good they are.

They weren’t expected to be good but they earned the second spot in their group and have looked like a team to watch.

They take on the Swedes who have quietly been one of the better teams in the tournament this year.

They have been steady throughout and despite an overtime loss against North America they have had a great tournament.

They will look to take their spot in the finals and ensure that a made-up team does not win the title.

When the dust settles in the semi-finals it seems as though the Swedes and Canadians will come out on top.

They have just been too consistent to bet against this tournament and although they won’t walk through their opponents they will still take the win.

They will face off against each other in the final best-of-three series which should show some great hockey.

The Canadians seem as though they are just too deep and too good to be beat this time around and they won’t as they will take two wins to sweep the series and take home the World Cup.

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