Pretty much everyone except Team Europe was settled on the fact that Team Canada was going to win the first World Cup of Hockey since 2004.
The question was then: how would they celebrate?
This isn’t the Stanley Cup. Nor is it winning a gold medal at the Olympics, or even winning a gold at the World Champions for that matter. Let’s get real, this is an NHL tournament to make some extra cash; not a major milestone.
But still, they won and DEM BOYZ from Canada got to celebrate their way with polite handshakes, one armed hugs and high fives.
After sustaining a foot injury in the semifinal round, Team Europe forward Marian Gaborik hobbled away from the World Cup of Hockey on crutches.
His injury is bad to the point it will keep him out at least eight weeks for the Los Angeles Kings. It also meant he would miss the final series against Team Canada. Perhaps that left him a bit surley.
Gaborik went from hockey player to hockey-fan-spitting-hawt-taeks Twitter in Game 2 of the final.
Like all puck heads, it starts positive.
It starts to go downhill on a disagreement over a call by the referees.
Just minutes after Team USA let out a big old, wet fart against Team Canada, an American hero took to social media to express his thoughts.
That man is Phil Kessel.
In the immortal words of Mortal Kombat: FINISH HIM.
BOOM! PHILBERT WITH THE WIN.
That is what the kids refer to nowadays as shade.
During the long NHL season, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler trades in his wingers for Zambonis in the web series, Between Two Zambonis; a takeoff on the popular web series Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.
With Kesler at the World Cup of Hockey, he hosted a special feature of Between Two Zambonis interviewing his Team USA teammates, or as Kesler describes them, “A lot of guys that have a better personality than Corey Perry. That’s not hard to do, though.”
As the exhibition and tournament games have rolled on, Team North America has steadily gained more followers. They are a gifted group of kids who were going head to head with their most formidable foe yet in Team Russia.
The Wonder Twins of Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews teamed up for the first goal of the game. It was everything we dreamed of and more.
McDavid gets past Father Time himself, Pavel Dasyuk, along the boards. On the far side, Matthews streaks by a stumbling Alexei Emelin and receives the puck to put it past Sergei Bobrovsky.
Despite being outshot 9 to 11, the Aqua Teen Hockey Force kept Team Russia in check a majority of the first period.
The Swedish national team was dealt a blow before the puck dropped in their first tournament game. They’d be without preeminent No. 1 goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who came down with an illness before the game.
Instead, it was Jacob Markstrom’s net. For 59:33, he had a shutout against the always offensively dangerous Russians. With a little good fortune going the Swedes way, they won the opener 2-1.
The first period between Team Sweden and Team Russia showcased the first real competitive hockey of the tournament; however, the goaltenders held court. Markstrom made eight saves against the Russians, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 10 shots from the Swedes.
In the second period, with the score tied at zero, Patric Hornqvist appeared to have the first goal on his stick. Bobrovsky turned him away with the glove hand.
On the eve of Team Canada’s final exhibition game in the World Cup of Hockey, Nick Kypreos reported the squad would be without one of its dynamic young stars in Tyler Seguin.
There is some confusion about the actual injury to Seguin.
Kypreos said it’s a knee. Craig Custance of ESPN followed up with a tweet of his own stating the injury to Seguin isn’t related to his knee.
The ESPN broadcast later added the beloved ‘lower-body injury’ to Seguin’s status.
What we do know is that Seguin sustained the injury while participating with Team Canada and doesn’t appear – at least, for now – to be related to the Achilles injury Seguin sustained at the end of last season.
The hate between the United States and Canada runs deep, even in meaningless exhibition games during the warmup to the World Cup of Hockey.
Ryan Kesler proudly wears the red, white and blue for Team USA. He shows that these colors do not run … but they do get ejected.
In the second period of the first World Cup exhibition game for both squads, Team Canada defenseman Shea Weber goes back to retrieve the puck along the end boards. He doesn’t appear to touch the puck before Kesler comes barreling in and flattens the much larger (and angrier) Weber against the boards.
Early in the morning hours on the West Coast, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet tweeted out an ominous report on Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings.
LA Kings Insider, Jon Rosen, followed it up with a brief column:
Based on correspondence, Carter suffered a lower-body injury while training. I have a preliminary sense that this isn’t a major injury – one source told LA Kings Insider the injury is “week-to-week” – though in all likelihood he won’t be able to participate at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey … on Team Canada. Carter, who had been skating with teammates and other Los Angeles-based players at Toyota Sports Center recently, was scheduled to travel to Ottawa late this week to take part in Canada’s training camp, which opens with on-ice sessions Monday at Canadian Tire Centre. It’s expected, as Elliotte Friedman noted, that this should be addressed when players report on Sunday; expect some sort of a release at or before that time.
Rosen was pretty much correct.
ESPN got back in the hockey game by purchasing the broadcast right for the World Cup of Hockey this coming September. Much was made about the sports media monolith throwing the full weight of the network behind the coverage.
Based on the viewing schedule for the 12 pre-tournament games, the indication is the full weight of the network will have to wait until the actual tournament starts.
Of the 12 pre-tournament games: one will be broadcasted on ESPN; two on ESPN2; one on ESPNU; and eight on ESPN3. For those not familiar with ESPN3, it is the online streaming wing of the network (i.e. not on regular TV).