Canada gets back on the ice after an underwhelming yet thorough defeat of Norway to open the tournament when they take on Austria on Friday.
Team Canada are the defending Olympic champions and have on paper without question the strongest team in the tournament but much like their co-favourites it was Canada who had the least impressive victory to open the tournament. There are a ton of knocks on North American players and the large ice surface but the United States had no issues in waxing the Slovaks so clearly something awry for the red and white that they will try to rectify on Friday. It’s not as if Canada played poorly or that the result was ever in question it is simply the fact that they were expected to put up near double digits in goals against a team that has but one NHL talent and is a massive underdog in this tournament. Canada will go with Roberto Luongo in this one and Canadiens blue liner and reigning Norris Trophy winner PK Subban will suit up after both watched from the bench and press box yesterday. Canada is still loaded with talent all over the ice and after a disappointing effort offensively against Norway and goal differential playing a factor I can see this getting ugly for Austria.
The Austrians qualified for this tournament without the services of Thomas Vanek so they must have some talent but they looked a bit overwhelmed against Finland to start the tournament despite scoring four goals. It is no secret he success of the Austrian team will go through the current New York Islanders forward but to be honest I think their four goal effort against the Finns will be the top mark they will get all tournament long unless they make a statement against the Norwegians to end their tournament but I don’t see them finding much success here. While the Finns and Canadians are considered on even terms until they face off on Sunday I can’t see how the Canadians don’t score a similar or more impressive victory here and while I am a bit hesitant as the 4.5 goals is a huge mark to accomplish I just don’t see how it goes any other way here. I think Canada rolls and tries to validate their goal differential against Norway in the process with a huge outing here.