- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy58 mins ago
TORONTO – Team Europe’s players said they relished the opportunity to go further in an international tournament than they’ve ever gone before.
All are made of up of countries that never have played deep in a ‘best-on-best’ event, which made their World Cup semifinal game against Sweden a new experience for them.
They made the most of it in a 3-2 overtime win over the favored Swedes.
Team Europe, which is made up of players not from Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic or Russia have come together quickly in this tournament. This teamwork showed Sunday against the structured Swedes.
“This group hasn’t needed any magic,” coach Ralph Krueger said the day before the game. “There’s a lot of magic just happening naturally.”
Tomas Tatar scored the overtime winner 3:43 into the overtime after the took a feed from Mats Zuccarello in front of Henrik Lundqvist and put the puck past the Swedish netminder. After Tatar scored, the European players mobbed him int he corner and jumped up and down with one another.
They will now face Team Canada in the World Cup best-of-three final series, which starts Tuesday.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Even during training camp, things can get heated as bubble players compete for a roster shot.
At Ottawa Senators camp, defenseman Patrick Sieloff – who was acquired in the offseason for Alex Chiasson – made contact with the head of Clarke MacArthur in a play along the boards.
MacArthur immediately went to the ice clutching his head.
Bobby Ryan, who is not known for being much of a fighter, went directly after Sieloff. The officials struggled to break the two of them up. Minutes later, Chris Neil came over to exchange words with Sieloff.
MacArthur was able to make if off the ice with the help of teammates.
Clarke MacArthur needing help off the ice after a big hit from Patrick Sieloff. pic.twitter.com/O3R4UsZYRu
— Brent Wallace (@tsn_wally) September 25, 2016
Senators GM Pierre Dorian addressed the media at the end of practice.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
Last Season: 48-28-6 (102 points), 2nd in the Pacific, 5th in the West
The Kings started out their season with three straight losses, being outscored 12-2, which made some wonder if 2015-16 would be a further fall from their 2014 Stanley Cup. They quickly got back on track with seven straight wins and were the class of the Pacific Division for most of the year.
General manager Dean Lombardi got to work with a few moves after the New Year. He dealt for center Vincent Lecavalier, which stabilized their lower lines, and added defenseman Luke Schenn in the same trade. The biggest move the Kings made was locking up franchise center Anze Kopitar to an eight-year, $80 million contract on Jan. 16.
Lombardi acquired forward Milan Lucic before the season, and the hulking winger fit perfectly with 20 goals and 55 points.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
TORONTO – The World Cup of Hockey semifinal between Team Europe and Team Sweden features two defensively strong teams.
Throughout the tournament, both groups have prided themselves on their ability to shut down their opponent. Sweden’s only hiccup came against Team North America– the most exciting team in the tournament. Europe’s lone defensive struggle game came against Team Canada, a group that has so far dominated this event.
“I see a one-goal game today. I believe it’s going to be extremely tight. It’s going to come down to the team that really wants it more and can dig down deep,” Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger said. “I think it’s a very evenly matched game and I expect it’s going to come down to the little things. We’re as well prepared as we can be. We want to have fun with this day no matter what, but expect a really, really exciting match. “
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
TORONTO – Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger says when he walks into their locker room, “I don’t see any flags.” Just members of several different nations, playing together in an international hockey tournament for a common goal.
This is, of course, in stark contrast with their opponents in the World Cup of Hockey semifinals on Sunday afternoon, whose locker room is adorned with a large Swedish flag and whose players proudly wear the Tre Kronor, even as they strive for the same goal.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
TORONTO – I’ve still never forgiven Evgeni Nabokov.
Six years before their showdown at the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday night in Toronto, Russia and Canada had a more critical one in Vancouver, at the 2010 Winter Olympics. And, by comparison, the hype for that game made the anticipation for this one tantamount to that for a new Adam Sandler film on Netflix.
For context: Russia had eliminated Canada in the previous Olympics in 2006, in the quarterfinals. They had gotten the better of them at worlds, including an overtime win in Quebec City for the gold medal in 2008. In its quest to win gold on its home ice, Canada also had a chance to vanquish its greatest foe for the first time in the Olympics since 1960 – back when it was the Soviet Union.
So the world was watching. Canada vs. Russia. Crosby vs. Ovechkin. The hosts vs. the uninvited guests. It was going to be awesome.
And then Evgeni Nabokov [expletived] the bed.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
TORONTO – Brad Marchand might not be “Brad Marchand” anymore.
There was a time his name carried an undeniable connotation. He was a pest. He was a injurious sneak. The President of the United States called him a “little ball of hate.” Not so much now, after 37 goals last season with the Boston Bruins and a starring role on Team Canada’s top line at the World Cup of Hockey.
“I think the pest role, the agitator role, has been pushed by the media more than anything,” Marchand said. “If you talk to my coaches, and the way I view it, is trying to be a player more than being that. It’s been that way for a while now. The pest role was what got me in the league, got me here, and now it’s about improving and being a better player.”
Marchand, a left wing, has three goals and two assists in the World Cup of Hockey, scoring twice in Canada’s 5-3 semifinal win over Russia that propelled them to the best-of-three championship round next week. His linemates are Patrice Bergeron, with whom he plays in Boston, and Sidney Crosby, who is leading the tournament with seven points in four games and the best player in the world at this moment.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
TORONTO – Before Team Canada’s World Cup training camp, defenseman Shea Weber said he didn’t know who would be his defense partner
At the Sochi Olympics, Weber was paired with Duncan Keith, who pulled out of this tournament to rehab a knee injury. So Weber went into camp unsure of where he stood and who would play his left side.
The Team Canada coaching staff opted for Marc-Edouard Vlasic – the steady defender with the San Jose Sharks – and the two have turned into a shutdown duo for the powerful Canadians.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy17 hrs ago
TORONTO – After they eliminated his Russian team on Saturday night, Alex Ovechkin was asked how any team in the World Cup of Hockey could hope to defeat the juggernaut that is Team Canada.
“Don’t be afraid to play against them,” he said, “play smart and don’t make mistakes.”
Ovechkin and Team Russia fulfilled that first obligation: They tried going toe-to-toe with Canada, despite their opponents controlling play to the tune of 75 shot attempts in their 5-3 win. The Russians used their speed and skill to hang with Canada, and even gave the host team a scare with two second-period goals for a 2-1 lead.
A brief 2-1 lead: Just like Canada trailed the U.S. for only 89 seconds in their preliminary round win, it only trailed Russia for 72 seconds in their semifinal win on Saturday night. Brad Marchand’s first goal of the game tied the scored at 2-2 with less than three minutes left in the period.
This is where Russia failed that second obligation, according to Ovechkin. After Sidney Crosby forced a turnover by Dmitry Kulikov on Canada’s opening goal, Evgeny Kutznetsov’s inability to clear the zone led to Marchand’s tally for their second.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
TORONTO – For two periods, Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky single-handedly kept his team in the hunt for the World Cup.
But in the third period, Canada skated out and decided — to paraphrase another great Russian athlete — ‘We Must Break You.’
Using an overwhelming offensive barrage, Canada advanced to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey final with a 5-3 victory over Russia on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists, setting up both of linemate Brad Marchand’s two goals.
In total, Canada had 47 shots on goal and 75 shot attempts. Their goalie Carey Price, meanwhile, made 31 saves.
Crosby got the Canadians on the board by absolutely embarrassing Russian defenseman Dmitry Kulikov:
ref cam view of the goal pic.twitter.com/htS8t5hHdU
— Stephanie (@myregularface) September 24, 2016