So, let’s all take a moment to mourn Team USA, who was officially eliminated last night by Team Canada with a 4-2 loss.
*moment of silence*
So anyway, back to games played by talented teams with competent coaches.
Today’s afternoon game (2:00, ESPN) pits the scary good Team North America against the also very good Team Sweden, two of the tournament’s undefeated squads. Yesterday, Sweden shut out Team Finland 2-0 behind a stellar 36 save performance from Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist missed Sweden’s first game due to a bout of the flu, but judging from how well he played yesterday, he seems to be over it.
Team North America lost to Russia Monday night by a score of 4-3, but it wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. Defensive lapses in the second period exposed the team’s weak spot, but considering Russia nearly let them come back in the game, I wouldn’t consider defense the strength of either squad. Sweden might have their hands full with Connor McDavid et al. It’s amazing that this team was created to compensate for the jammed packed roster of Canada (and, in theory, Team USA if someone would’ve put together an actual roster) keeping this level of talent out of the WCoH.
What’s also amazing is that Team Europe, the oldest average team at the tournament, also cobbled together a roster that has them sporting a perfect 2-0-0 record thus far. At 7:00 on ESPN2, their perfect record might be ended by Team Canada, who basically is the favorite for the tournament at this point. Between the roster and the coaching staff, it’d take an act of God for them to not continue being the tournament’s token steamroller of a team.