Team Canada and Team Europe square off in the first game of the best of three World Cup finals on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Canada head into the final series with Europe riding high after a semi-final victory against Russia and will be the odds on favourite not only to win this game, but to win the series in convincing fashion and likely in the minimum two games. Canada has been ridiculous in this tournament and have crushed their opponents on a nightly basis and with Europe head coach Raplh Kreuger stating it will take a miracle for someone to beat Canada in this tournament it sounds like his team has already conceded. The Canadians will likely stick with Carey Price in goal despite Corey Crawford getting the win against Europe in the 4-1 round robin victory and the rest of the lineup will remain intact as they will run four solid lines and look to keep the Europeans in check with their tenacious blue line. Jonathan Toews paced the Canadians in their previous matchup with Europe and he will be out for more as Canada can move to within a single victory of clinching the gold medal.
Europe meanwhile are ecstatic being where they are as they have secured a medal at a tournament where nobody gave them a shot and even forcing a game three in this series would be a massive achievement for this group of rag tags whose individual countries were not deemed competitive enough to play on their own. Europe started the tournament with a big win over the United States and pulled off another magic trick against Sweden in the semi-final thanks to two goals from Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar that included the game winner in overtime. Europe though will be without Marian Gaborik who will be out eight weeks with an injury sustained at this tournament and that will be a loss for the Europeans who are already short on offensive depth and while his presence may not have made a different to put a dent in the Canadian wall I think for morale and big game experience he will be missed. This series seems like a formality as Canada cruised by Europe in the round robin with their third string goaltender in and in front of the ACC crowd I think Canada gets off on the right foot in a blowout.