Today is the day.
It all starts in Edmonton on Boxing Day and rolls right through till January 5th when a gold medal winning nation will be crowned at Rogers Place.
If you want an in depth preview covering Austria’s fourth line, this isn’t for you. This is as simple as it gets. Who to watch, what to watch for and who wins.
So let’s start with the players…
The three forwards you need to lock your eyes on during this tournament are Canada‘s Kent Johnson who is just as skilled as Trevor Zegras, Russia’s Matvei Michkov who looks to have a Kovalchuk-like offensive upside and Sweden’s William Eklund who started the season in San Jose.
The three defenceman you need to lock your eyes on during this tournament are Jake Sanderson from the States, who is NHL ready, along with Canada‘s Owen Power who could be Buffalo’s best defenceman right now and then Russia’s Shakir Mukhamadullin who has a pretty good role model behind the bench in Sergei Zubov.
The three goalies you need to lock your eyes on during this tournament are Swedish sensation Jesper Wallstedt because you know he wants to prove he dropped in the NHL draft, Russia’s Yaroslav Askarov has a chance to prove he’s not just a flashy statistic product of SKA St. Petersburg and I guess now Dylan Garand for Canada as he has the first chance to sit in the saddle and should be able to cruise through the round robin stage until New Years Eve where he’ll really get tested by Finland.
Best games to watch…
Dec.26 – Russia vs Sweden (early heavyweight tilt in Red Deer)
Dec.27 – Germany vs Czechia (upset watch)
Dec. 28 – Canada vs Austria (bet the over)
Dec. 29 – Sweden vs USA (fraud watch)
Dec.30 – Slovakia vs Switzerland (Battle to avoid relegation)
Dec.31 – Canada vs Finland (best two teams in the tournament?)
I guess if I have to break it all down, here’s how it goes: Canada wins Group A, USA wins Group B. Russia loses out in the quarterfinals to Finland. Canada beats Sweden and Finland sneaks past USA in the semifinals. Canada tops Finland for gold, while USA claims bronze.
There’s my predictions.
Enjoy the tournament!
Photo Credit : Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images