2017 IIHF World Championship Report (Day 5)

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Reinforcements are on the way as the annual process of countries getting a host of new players is just on the horizon.

It is almost a tradition in the World Championships at this point as the NHL continues to pare down their teams in the playoffs.

The second round of the NHL playoffs is just about over with a few teams headed to the final games of the round and teams on the edge of elimination.

As NHL teams begin to end their seasons, full rosters of the top players in the world are all of a sudden available to play hockey.

With these players now able to come through and potentially head to the World Championships everyone waits patiently to hear answers.

Teams with some of their best players currently in the playoffs wait to see if they get an extra boost.

Fans wait to see if their favourite players will decide to make the trip to Europe to play for their countries.

Media looks for the best stories about the biggest names headed to play for their countries.

It is far from a guarantee that the best players do make the trip but the debate about them rages on as teams are eliminated.

As much as the IIHF is separated from the NHL with their tournament clearly not in the best time they are still very connected.

Every NHL playoff series could change everything in the tournament or could work to keep everything the same.

Depending on who wins and who loses in the NHL a team could see their best players stay in the league as they compete for the Stanley Cup or head to the World Championship.

Two teams, in particular, will play close attention to one series in the NHL as Russia and Canada will be watching Washington and Pittsburgh fight it out in a Game 7.

If Washington is eliminated in that game the Russians could be preparing for some serious reinforcements in this year’s tournament.

The Capitals have a collection of the some of the best Russians in the world including Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Both have had a long tradition of playing for their country and with a pattern of Washington being eliminated they tend to find their way to Europe for the World Championship.

In Pittsburgh, the feeling is slightly more Canadian with the Canadian captain Sidney Crosby leading the team.

If the Penguins are eliminated it isn’t likely that Crosby finds his way to Paris after his concussion issues these playoffs but there are other possibilities.

Marc-Andre Fleury is having a great playoffs and he might just want to continue that run in Paris with team Canada.hockey-sidebar

Both teams have already seen either side of the coin this year as the elimination of the St. Louis Blues brought questions for both teams.

Vladimir Tarasenko couldn’t make the World Championship tournament after an injury in this year’s playoff.

Meanwhile, his teammate Colton Parayko is coming off of a breakout year in St. Louis and will continue that as he will join team Canada in the World Championship.

As the second round of the playoffs begins to close out there will more teams than just Canada and Russia that will be looking for some reinforcements.

The decision can be tough for players as they have already gone through an entire NHL season and for the ones making their decision they have gone through the playoffs as well.

That is a lot of tough hockey being played throughout the season and for some players headed to the World Championships is just too much.

There have already been players who have made that decision as American star Auston Matthews decided to skip the World Championship after his rookie year.

He simply had played a lot of hockey in that year and from the Draft until the final playoff game he was in the spotlight.

He wanted a break from the grind for a bit and nobody can blame him or any other player for making that decision.

They also could head to the World Championship and get seriously injured putting their careers in jeopardy.

Then again for some players the draw to play for their country is too great and their love of hockey and need to finish unfinished business, at least getting some championship, draws them to the tournament.

More will come as the NHL continues to close out their season with the end of the second round coming and reinforcements on their way.

day-5

Day 5:
Latvia 2-1 Italy
– It is looking to be a great year for the Latvians as they remained undefeated so far with a win over Italy that has helped them get that much closer to a playoff spot at the end of the group stage

Norway 5-1 Slovenia
– Slovenia was looking to prove something in this year’s tournament but so far they have struggled to make that impression as they took another loss this time at the hands of the Norwegians

Denmark 4-3 Slovakia (SO)
– Slovakia is often a team right on the edge of making the playoffs but they cannot seem to get things together as they continue to struggle to find wins taking a loss to Denmark but staying alive with one point

France 4-3 Switzerland (SO)
– The rivalry between these two countries isn’t usually taken out on the ice but this year it was and both teams fought until the end when the French continued a great tournament with a shootout win

Day 6:
USA vs. Italy (Wednesday, May 10th; 10:15 am ET)
– The Americans may have stumbled out of the blocks but they are finding their way back and they will take on the Italians looking to add to their win total against a team just trying to stay out of relegation

Switzerland vs. Belarus (Wednesday, May 10th; 10:15 am ET)
– After suffering a tough loss to the French in their last game the Swiss are hoping to get back on track against the Belarusians who are struggling to stay out of relegation this year without a win so far

Slovakia vs. Germany (Wednesday, May 10th; 2:15 pm ET)
– Germany has had a bit of a rocky tournament in their home country and they are trying to get more consistency with a win over the Slovakians who have not had their best tournament this year

Finland vs. Slovenia (Wednesday, May 10th; 2:15 pm ET)
– It has been a rough go for the Finns so far this year as they are playing far below expectations and are now just fighting to stay in the playoff hunt as they hope to take a win over Slovenia, a team that they should beat

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