- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 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 Daddy9 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 Daddy10 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 Daddy12 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
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
Restricted free agent defenseman Jacob Trouba will not attend Winnipeg Jets training camp and has requested a trade from the team.
Trouba’s agent Kurt Overhardt released a statement published by Sportsnet saying that this decision was about more than money and that Trouba needs a fresh start elsewhere.
Here is the statement:
“Our client, Jacob Trouba, will not be attending the Winnipeg Jets NHL training camp. Since May, we have been working with the Jets management in an effort to facilitate a trade of Jacob’s rights. Both parties continue to work on this matter.
There has been no negotiation regarding the terms of a contract between our client and the Jets over the course of the last several months. The situation is not about money; it is solely about our client having the opportunity to realize his potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
TORONTO – Contrary to perceptions, Canada occasionally loses international hockey tournaments. Like the 2008 IIHF world championships in Quebec City, when Alex Ovechkin and Russia defeated Jonathan Toews’s Team Canada in overtime.
“Yeah, I remember the celebration. That was not fun to watch. Especially on home ice,” said Toews. “At the same time, it was a good learning experience. I think the guys that were a part of that team were definitely ready for the opportunity in [the Vancouver Olympics]. We came out flying in that tournament. But yeah, you can’t win them all I guess.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
TORONTO – Anze Kopitar hasn’t won over Team Europe’s players as captain with any ‘rah-rah’ type speeches. That’s simply not the way he operates.
Ultimately the big Slovenian has helped the players gel with a hard work ethic and a low-key and humorous ‘no worries’ attitude that has permeated throughout the room. This has provided somewhat of a window into what his leadership style will be like when he returns to the Los Angeles Kings after this tournament where he will assume the role of captain for the first time in his NHL career.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
TORONTO – He’s faced 111 shots and only let six pucks fly by him in three games, including contests against the NHL stars of Canada and the United States. Now, as the backbone of the ragtag World Cup of Hockey squad collectively known as Team Europe, goalie Jaroslav Halak is expecting to face a few dozen more against Sweden.
Only a little earlier than he’s used to.
Sweden and Team Europe faceoff in a single-elimination semifinal, with the winner advancing to the best-of-three World Cup final against either Canada or Russia. Their game on Sunday is at 1 p.m. ET, the earliest start for any game of the two-week tournament.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
TORONTO – The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without goalie Matt Murray, who led them to the Stanley Cup championship last postseason, after he suffered a broken hand during the World Cup of Hockey.
GM Jim Rutherford said Murray, who was playing for the under-23 Team North America, will miss “three to six weeks.”
Murray was pulled from North America’s 4-3 loss against Russia on Sept. 19, playing 27 minutes and 24 seconds, giving up four goals on 19 shots. Initially, coach Todd McLellan said Murray had “jammed his thumb” but was “very capable of playing” in their next game. Murray wasn’t dressed for their game against Sweden to complete pool play on Sept. 21.
After playing 13 games in the regular season for Pittsburgh, Murray was given the crease during the Penguins’ first-round series against the New York Rangers due to an injury to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He won his first three appearances, and ended up with 15-6-0 record in their playoff run to the Stanley Cup championship, posting a 2.08 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy22 hrs ago
TORONTO – The atmospheric differences were stark.
At 8 p.m. on a weekday, the Air Canada Centre in Toronto would come alive for the World Cup of Hockey. Nearly every seat was filled; the ones that weren’t had their tickets lingering on the secondary market at high prices. The fans were loud and engaged. It was everything you’d expect from a tournament featuring NHL stars, held in the center of the hockey universe.
But at 3 p.m. on a weekday, the Air Canada Centre was less than two-thirds capacity, and tickets for games like Sweden vs. Finland could be had for as little as $6 on the secondary market. The atmosphere was sedate. It’s not exactly what you expected from the World Cup of Hockey, although Wednesday’s game between Connor McDavid’s Team North America and Sweden was better attended and much louder.
Was the NHL happy with the turnout for its round-robin games?
“The answer to that is that we sold the tickets exactly right: In strips,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, at a hockey technology summit held during the World Cup.