Russia vs North America: World Cup of Hockey - 9/19/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Russia (0-1-0) vs North America (1-0-0)
World Cup of Hockey: Monday, September 19, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Russia -180; North America +140; O/U: 6 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN2; Sportsnet
Russia and North America meet up in the marquee show down on Monday night as both teams play in a back to back after different end results yesterday.
Russia will look to bounce back after an underwhelming 2-1 loss to Sweden on Sunday as they take on the upstart, young North American side that features some of the best under 23 players in the NHL and are coming off a 4-1 win last night against Finland. Russia is built on the strength of their offense led by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Vladimir Tarasenko but it was their defense and goaltending that played well yesterday and if they’re going to get a victory against North America here they are going to have to find a way to generate some offense as that is their opponent’s strength for sure. Russia looked sluggish in the attacking zone but certainly have the horses to put the puck in the end and they know that a loss here will put them in a really tough position and they could miss advancing through to the knockout stage.
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North America have been the darlings leading up to this World Cup as they possess a number of electric youngsters that play key roles on their respective NHL clubs and they didn’t disappoint in their tournament opener with a 4-1 win against Finland. They get a huge test on Monday though in a back to back as they take on a Russian side that will be incredibly frustrated with how they played yesterday but if there is any team outside of the powerhouse Canadians that can handle the adversity of playing in a back to back it is the fresh legs of the North American group. This is a tough one to call as North America is just as talented and in fact are much deeper on the blue line than the Russians but they are big time underdogs here and present some great value. I really like this North American group but fear they could be in for a let down after yesterday’s win so I am going to side with the total as I think both teams will light up the scoreboard in what should be a shootout.