Today marks the opening day of the World Cup of Hockey tournament, after exhibition matches were completed earlier this week.
At 2:30, Team Europe (average age: 74) squares off against Team USA. Former Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak should be starting for Team Europe, who had a flat showing in the exhibition games. Team USA, who surprised Canada with a 4-2 win in their first exhibition matchup only to go on and lose the next matchup. Of course, the narrative for Team USA this tournament is somewhere between “brawn beats brains” and “this is finally really honestly going to be our time to beat Canada!” With a roster constructed like that, they’ll probably beat Team Europe today on the strength of Jonathan Quick. Beating Canada’s another bag of worms. Former Blues T.J. Oshie and David Backes will feature heavily for Team USA.
The game is available on ESPN2.
The second game of the day is Team Canada vs. Team Czech Republic. The latter features current Blue Dmitrij Jaskin and current whatever Vladimir Sobotka. Team Canada, of course, have an absurd line-up and are the favorites to win the tournament. They’ll have Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester on defense, working in a little pre-preseason practice.
Team Canada vs. Team Czech Republic will air tonight at 7:00 on ESPNews.