Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
TORONTO – When we first meet Wolverine in the original “X-Men” film, he’s working as a cage-fighter in Laughlin City, Alberta. Rubes from the crowd step into the ring, thinking they’re tough and talented enough to take him down, and blissfully unaware that he’s actually a mutant: Indestructible metal grafted onto his bones, the instincts of a predator, the power to heal instantly from any wound.
Basically, he’s unbeatable.
For the last two weeks, the World Cup of Hockey was that ring and Team Canada bared its adamantium claws. Seven teams wanted the chance to enter the ring, on a fool’s errand. The Canadians were the ones left standing, with hardly a scratch from their battles, bub.
The World Cup of Hockey was the World Cup of Canada, and not just because it was staged in Toronto as a made-for-Canada television event. There were eight teams in the tournament. Only one of them, Canada, was trying to win the World Cup, a.k.a. an exploded military artillery shell encased in acrylic. The other seven were vying for a more impressive prize: a win over Canada.
This is a team that defeats its opponents before the puck drops.
Thing is, Krueger actually called it.
But I digress.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 7 hrs ago
In this edition of Marek Vs. Wyshynski, the boys are talking about:
– Live from the ACC, the World Cup of Hockey’s legacy now that it’s over.
– What to make of Team Canada and Team USA going forward.
– Our favorite things from the World Cup, and its future.
– RFAs and training camp.
– Johnny Gaudreau.
– The Jacob Trouba controversy in Winnipeg.
– Reader mail
– News and notes from around the NHL.
The Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast is hosted by Jeff Marek of Sportsnet and Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports, breaking down the NHL on a (somewhat) daily basis with their particular brand of whimsy and with guest voices from around the hockey world. MvsW streams live while its being recorded: LISTEN HERE! [And if that doesn’t work, try here.]
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 14 hrs ago
TORONTO – Carey Price sat at the podium with plastic eye protectors strapped around his head, ones that kept the spray of Canadian champagne (i.e. bottles of Molson) from his eyes in his team’s championship locker room celebration.
“Team-issued,” said Price.
Canada had won the World Cup of Hockey in thrilling fashion, completing the tournament 6-0 and dispatching Team Europe in a two-game sweep in the final round.
But that’s the thing about beer goggles: They make it all look better that it actually is.
Outside of the last three minutes of the game, Canada was outplayed, out-hustled and outperformed by Team Europe. At best they looked disjointed, at worst they looked like a stubborn opponent was controlling them.
“They were playing a really stingy game, denying the middle, not letting us play with the speed that we wanted to play. It was working to their advantage,” said center Patrice Bergeron, whose power-play goal late in the third tied the game and sparked the Canadian rally that would win it.
“They played tight, they played structured, and they played fast. They made it difficult, that’s for sure,” said Price.
Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger echoed the sentiments.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago
TORONTO – Brad Marchand’s short-handed goal with 44 seconds remaining in Game 2 of the World Cup of Hockey final gave Canada the tournament championship, the result of a stunning third-period rally against Team Europe on Thursday night.
The host team finished the tournament 6-0, overcoming the toughest opponent they faced and the tightest game they played in the two-week NHL event.
Carey Price made 32 saves. Sidney Crosby was named tournament MVP, as its leading scorer.
In Game 1 of the World Cup of Hockey final, Canada showed how it could win ugly. In Game 2, they nearly showed they could lose that way, too, playing a disjointed and sloppy game.
Until the last three minutes, that is.
With Europe leading 1-0, captain Anze Kopitar was called for holding 16:25, a questionable call. After building pressure in the Europe zone, defenseman Brent Burns fired a shot from the blue line that center Patrice Bergeron deflected home from the slot for his fourth goal of the tournament.
Patrice Bergeron ties the game pic.twitter.com/UBxLactfzA
Canada had never trailed in the third period in any of their games.
Europe outshot Canada 12-8.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 19 hrs ago
Hockey on-ice officials deserve hazard pay for the amount of abuse they take during scrums, battles and fights.
Take for example Pyotr Alyoshin, 39-year-old linesman.
In a game between Sibir and Metallurg on Thursday, Evgeny Timkin earned a slashing penalty for the latter team. Sibir’s Yuri Sergiyenko decided to let him know this wasn’t cool, so he engaged in a scuffle with him.
Timkin threw a gloved punch at him … and walloped Alyoshin.
Take a gander:
Here’s the GIF:
— KHL_English (@khl_eng) September 29, 2016
Alyoshin slouched for a moment but didn’t seem too affected by a gloved bunch to the face. Which is why they’re pros.
Metallurg won the game, 3-0. Timkin was given two minutes for slashing and, we’re guessing, the admiration of his teammates.
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
Where were you when New Jersey Devils fans saw their franchise shaken to its foundations?
Lou Lamoriello, ruler of all he surveyed since 1987 with the Devils, left the team for the Toronto Maple Leafs in July 2015, two months after stepping aside as general manager in favor of Ray Shero. (And, obviously, stepping down as one-third of their coaching staff.) “Lou Lamoriello created and defined what it meant to be a New Jersey Devil,” said owner Josh Harris, in an understatement.
But it was time for something new, something different. Shero hired John Hynes from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, becoming the youngest coach in the NHL at 40 and generally being like a little pitbull in look and comportment.
But the story of the season for the Devils was Cory Schneider, who was 27-25-6 with a .924 save percentage and a 2.15 goals-against average. And probably should have been the starter for Team USA in the World Cup, but that’s another blog post…
2015-16 Season, In One Picture
Did They Get Better, Worse, Or Are They About The Same?
Um, yeah, better.
Five Most Fascinating Players
1 – Taylor Hall
2 – Pavel Zacha
3 – Michael Cammalleri
4 – Damon Severson
TORONTO – That Sidney Crosby needed the World Cup of Hockey as a referendum on his success, his abilities, his acumen, his work ethic or his status as the best hockey player on Earth always seemed a little peculiar to me.
This exhibition tournament featuring two made-up teams was held a scant three months after Crosby won the most grueling tournament in professional sports, hoisting both the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of his team, with four points in the six-game Final against the San Jose Sharks.
That victory, and Crosby’s performance in leading his team there, came after a regular season in which there were a number of questions about whether he had plateaued or, worse, was in decline. Then Mike Johnston bungled his way out of a job; Mike Sullivan was promoted; the Penguins played an aggressive offensive style; Crosby found his smile and, eventually, his second Stanley Cup.
Q. VALIDATE SIDNEY CROSBY’S GREATNESS FOR US!?
A. YES HE IS THAT AMAZING THANKS FOR ASKING!
Or, more specifically:
So how does he do it?
TORONTO – The NHL has announced that the World Cup of Hockey viewing party scheduled for Thursday night has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Game 2 of the World Cup of Hockey Final between Canada and Team Europe is scheduled for 8 p.m., as Canada has the opportunity to win the World Cup.
The NHL held a World Cup of Hockey viewing party during Game 1. The photo above is from that viewing party on Tuesday night.
Standing room only. Lots of it. Maple Leaf square. pic.twitter.com/M0Lh2oj4aS
— Joe Warmington (@joe_warmington) September 28, 2016
— ahmed hagar (@ahmhagar) September 28, 2016
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Brett Hull was a sensational choice for ESPN as an analyst, as his passion for Team USA brought gravitas to his off-the-cuff comments. Plus, his lingering bitterness over the program’s management came in handy when they crashed and burned at the World Cup of Hockey.
Hull appeared on TSN 1050 in Canada on Wednesday, and explained what he believed went wrong (transcript via Chris Nichols):
“The philosophy was picked, and they picked it to beat Canada,” continued Hull. “You can’t blame them. That was their theory. That’s what they wanted to do. They did it and it was terribly wrong. It went terribly wrong like the Titanic. But they made their bed. They picked those guys.
“But I still think they could have put a better system in, or – I don’t know if you guys noticed, or thought the same thing I did, but they seemed like a very unhappy group. When you’re unhappy in a tournament like this, you have no legs. You have no energy. I don’t know if you guys noticed that, but they looked like they were skating in quicksand. Everybody. And there were some good skaters on that team.”
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 2 days ago
TORONTO – Mike Babcock, head coach of Team Canada and the Toronto Maple Leafs, is a delight in a press conference, managing to be insightful one moment and then cantankerous the next and then insightfully cantankerous after that.
Like, for example, these three answers during his media availability on the eve of Game 2 of the World Cup of Hockey final, with Canada leading Team Europe 1-0 in their best-of-three. Babcock talked about his success as a coach in the NHL and internationally, and how he approaches Thursday night’s game.
Q. What defines you as a coach? What’s your secret?
BABCOCK: “It’s called ‘good players.’ I finished dead last in the National Hockey League last year, over an 82-game period. Worst coach in hockey. So let’s not get carried away here. It’s been a good month.”