Kukla's Korner Hockey
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from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The World Cup of Hockey trophy, whatever the heck they call that monstrosity of an award that goes to the winner of the event, will be in the Air Canada Centre Thursday night as Canada tries to lock down its third consecutive best-on-best championship when it faces Team Europe.
There's no question that the air has gone out of this tournament somewhat in recent days -- especially after Team Europe upended heavily favored Sweden in the semifinals, giving Canada what most believed would be an easy path to a tournament title in the best-of-three finals.
Of course, Team Europe had other plans and played a near-perfect game in the opening title of the finals on Tuesday night before ultimately falling 3-1. Europe head coach Ralph Krueger and his players were defiant in the wake of the loss, insisting that they took no moral victories from essentially playing Canada to a standstill before losing because of a couple of defensive breakdowns.
Home Team in Caps
TEAM CANADA 3, Team Europe 1
TOP LINE PROPELS TEAM CANADA TO VICTORY IN GAME 1 OF FINAL
The line of Sidney Crosby (0-2—2), Brad Marchand (1-1—2) and Patrice Bergeron (1-1—2) combined for 2-4—6 to lift Team Canada past Team Europe in the opening game of the best-of-three World Cup of Hockey 2016 final.
* Team Canada improved to 5-0-0 in the World Cup of Hockey 2016, outscoring opponents 22-7 in that span. That includes a +10 margin in the first period (11-1).
* The line of Crosby (3-6—9), Marchand (4-3—7) and Bergeron (3-3—6) has combined for 10-12—22 in five games during the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Those players are the top three scorers in the tournament.
* Crosby also leads the World Cup of Hockey 2016 in assists and plus/minus (+8).
Team Europe against Team Canada in the first game of a best of three series.
Puck drops just after 8:00pm ET on ESPN, CBC and TVAS.
Discuss the game if so inclined.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Also notable is that Babcock clearly feels that the next World Cup should be made up of teams representing their countries and not include the 23-and-under North American team or the team he's facing in the finals, Team Europe. I happen to agree with him. I think a traditional field is the way to go, with a European qualifying event the year before the next World Cup to determine the final few teams in the field. If the NHL doesn't go to South Korea, I think there will be even more onus on having an Olympic-like, traditional field for the next World Cup.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Tuesday that no decisions had been made, either way, yet in terms of which teams would take part in the next World Cup.
"We haven't evaluated [that] yet. When we debrief with the Players' Association we'll focus on the format of future World Cups,'' Bettman told ESPN.com. "(But) I don't think anybody can suggest that this tournament wasn't more exciting because of the Team Europe and Team North America concepts. There's no doubt that those two teams were more competitive than the seventh and eighth countries would have been.''
By Tim Dolan,
It all comes down to this; World Cup of Hockey host Canada will play Team Europe in a Best-of-Three format to determine the World Cup of Hockey Champion. Team Canada, a team that needed a big effort in the second and third periods against Russia, prevailed with a 5-3 victory in the semifinals. Brad Marchand scored two goals for the Canadian side, while Sidney Crosby added a goal and two assists. Team Canada’s opponent in the Finals, Team Europe, shocked Sweden, 3-2, in overtime. Tomas Tatar netted the game-winner in the extra period to emerge victorious. He was assisted by Mats Zuccarello and Anze Kopitar. Entering the Final series, fans should expect a home-ice advantage for the Canadian side, with all three games set to drop the puck in Toronto. Let’s take a look at how each contest is faring on the secondary ticket market, using information provided by TicketIQ.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
With only days remaining in the World Cup of Hockey, National Hockey League players remain divided over how to split the event proceeds, with some players rejecting the idea of sharing money with those who didn’t play in the two-week tournament.
In the days leading up to the event, National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) staff travelled to World Cup team training camps and discussed the prospect of splitting the NHLPA’s share of the profits, two people familiar with the matter told TSN.
While the accounting on the World Cup probably won’t be finished for several months – meaning the NHLPA doesn’t yet know exactly how much money there will be to split between its members – NHLPA staff and players discussed the concept of 50 per cent of the union’s share of profits being split between players in the World Cup, with the other 50 per cent being split by NHL players not in the event.
As reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie, some players have bristled over how the World Cup proceeds should be split. An NHLPA spokesman declined to comment.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
If Team Europe is ‘Cinderella’ as their World Cup fairy-tale run is being called, Canada is the Big Bad Wolf.
As they prepare to meet each other in the first game of their best-of-three final Tuesday, don’t expect a happy ending.
Yet even if the Euro pucksters are swept, which became a greater possibility when Marian Gaborik pulled out of the tournament Monday with a leg injury, it has been a pretty good story.
Almost a year to the day since Franz Reidl stood at the ACC with no team or hierarchy and said how great it would be for 200 million non-traditional hockey fans in Europe if his unknowns made some noise, they’ve now made it past the U.S., Czech Republic and Sweden.
“At the beginning, the belief was not there,” team president Reidl agreed. “It was all about (coming here), maybe having a couple of good games and c’est la vie. So now the impact is great. I’m receiving messages from small (hockey) countries; Georgia, Portugal, Mexico. The smaller nations have this hope that somebody can do with a united group what we did.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org