USA vs Europe: World Cup of Hockey - 9/17/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
USA (0-0-0) vs Europe (0-0-0)
World Cup of Hockey: Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 12:30 pm
United States -625; Europe +450 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN2; Sportsnet
The United States and Team Europe kick off the World Cup of Hockey at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday with the former slated as heavy favourites.
The US kick off their tournament against Team Europe which is comprised of mostly NHL calibre players that don’t have their native countries competing individually and includes those from Slovakia, Germany, Norway, France, Switzerland, and Slovenia among others, and as such the Americans are heavy favourites to get the win in their tournament opener. The USA are loaded up top and possess possibly the best goaltending trio in the tournament and while their blue line has some holes they are a threat to win this entire thing and starting it off right against one of the weaker sides is perfect for them. The US is led by the likes of Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Joe Pavelski, and Zach Parise and do have some big bodies at the back in the form of Dustin Byfuglien and John Carlson but their x-factor for the Americans will be their play in the crease. Whether it is Corey Schneider, Jonathan Quick, or Ben Bishop getting the call it is safe to say the US will have the edge between the pipes, especially in this one.
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Team Europe does have a balance of young and old and certainly aren’t short on talent at the top end of their roster but ultaimtely this is going to be a tournament of depth and will look like a war of attrition at times as all of the teams are quite talented. Europe is led by the likes of Anze Kopitar, Leon Draisatl, Marian Gaborik, and Mats Zuccarello up top and Zdeno Chara and Roman Josi on the blue line but their goaltending is suspect as the tandem of Thomas Greiss, Philipp Grubauer, and Jaroslav Halak leaves a lot to be desired and could be their down fall in close games. This game is interesting at the European side isn’t as bad as this line indicates but I don’t see them getting the victory as the US is deeper and has more team speed plus a huge edge in the crease. However, I think Europe can keep this one close and getting a goal and a half in the opener at +140 is a great spot to be in.