Canada and Europe face off in the second leg of their best of three series with the Canadians looking to claim the World Cup of Hockey gold medal with a win on Thursday night.
Team Canada can clinch the gold medal with a big outing at the Air Canada Centre on Thursday night and are the odds on favourites to make quick qork of their European counterparts here who gave a strong outing in the series opener. Canada raced out to a quick 2-0 lead before the European answered and even after Canada pulled ahead 3-1 the European pushed to the final horn sounded in what was a pretty impressive outing for them and a rather sluggish outing for Canada. However, that is terrible news here if you’re a fan of the European side as they still couldn’t beat Canada in their worst showing of the tournament and now with a chance to wrap things up I think this one can get out of hand in a hurry. Canada has so many weapons in all three phases of the game and should have no issues grinding down the European defense and while Jaroslav Halak has played well in the European goal I think he will be in for a tough evening here.
Europe were big time underdogs coming into the tournament in their opener against the Americans and in every subsequent game following for reasons unbeknownst to me as they have a pretty deep roster and a balance of youth and leadership to boot. However, they are once again massive underdogs here against Canada in game two and this time I think it is justified as Europe will have issues containing a Canadian side that is bound to break out offensively in a very big way. Europe does have some skill at the back end and a goaltender who can be one of the bets in the world when he is hot, and add in a strong, physical forward group and you have the makings of a good team that has been competitive all tournament long. The problem here is they face the same makeup they have but on a scale that is tenfold as Canada is bruising, talented, and can beat you in a number of different ways and in this one I don’t think it will be close. Canada cruises and puts this one out of reach by the mid way point of the second period.