Sidney Crosby in class by himself at World Cup of Hockey

Canada drew first blood in their World Cup of Hockey final against Team Europe. Should Team Canada walk away from tonight’s encounter with the win, they will claim the victory many believed they were destined for. I thought in the third period we played better and with some goal, some determination in our style of game, so hopefully we can build on that.

Tomas Tatar continue his hot streak, scoring his third goal in the past two games, seven minutes into the second period to bring Team Europe (3-2-0) within a goal heading into the third period.

Canada goaltender Carey Price made 32 saves while Europe’s Jaroslav Halak made 35 in the losing effort.

Shortly after failing to score on a power play, Europe turned the puck over and Bergeron carried it up the middle of the ice. “We got the best seat in the house on the bench, watching them dominate”.

“We’ve picked a couple of simple areas that we think we can improve on that I’m not going to mention here today for obvious reasons”, Krueger said. “And so we’ll fix that and we’ll be better”.

Team Europe looked unsure of how to approach an attack, so their shots were often from way outside, which Price could easily stop.

Steven Stamkos admitted that the frustration was building. There might not be another Team Europe, so players on the current team have decided to make the most of every moment they have here. “We can take confidence in the fact that we can win against Team Canada”, he said. One of the things that makes us strong is that we don’t look too far back or too far forward. “I’m not complaining, I’ve still got a gold medal around my neck, but you hope to play in those games and those opportunities”. His goal in Game 1 was his second of the tournament.

Another Caps player, T.J. Oshie, answered, “It feels great, just throwing the jersey on”.

It was testament to the overwhelming talent disparity between the two teams that they actually grabbed a 2-0 lead after the first. I have also heard that team team finishing with the worst record of the six teams could be relegated to play in the qualifying tournament the next time around. When they needed a goal in the third period, a switch was flipped and they scored.

While Babcock praised the World Cup earlier this week, he also said: “It’s not the Olympics”.

After the end of a normal National Hockey League playoff series or perhaps a nation vs. nation event like the World Championships, players go their different ways but many know they’ll be back together again in a few months or at some time in the future for the next worldwide competition.

The key to victory will be finding a way to shut down Canadian captain Sidney Crosby, who leads all players with nine points after adding to his total with a pair of assists against the Euros in Game One. Canada’s head coach, Mike Babcock, wasn’t happy with his team’s performance, and it’s a good bet that Canada will come with a lot more jump and be a lot less mistake-prone on Thursday.

After making it through the group stages with just a single loss (to the Canadians) and shocking everyone with a win against the second favorite Sweden with an overtime goal in the semi-final, the European team finds themselves in the second of a best-of-three final against Canada.

“You build a résumé over time”, Babcock said.

“They are great players”. We played good last game but it’s Canada. He shot the puck on the left side of the net, got to the carom and circled back to set up Bergeron in front of the net.

“Sid shows up every game there’s no question about that”, Marchand said. “Their best line was their best line and that was the difference”.

Dissatisfaction was widespread like that after a game that pulls Canada to within one win of the World Cup trophy.

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