The Finns look to keep rolling a day after they made quick work of Austria as they host the surprising Norwegians who held Canada to a two goal victory.
Norway has just a single NHL player on their roster in the form of New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello and were astronomical longshots against the heavily favoured Canadians yesterday but they actually played decently well and kept the Canadians to just three goals. While it was evident the score line was more a product of the Canadian playing poorly than the Norwegians playing well you still have to give them credit for keeping the game within reason and covering the 4.5 goal mark that was set at the beginning of the contest. However, now that the first game is out of the way they have to refocus here for a Finnish team looking to silence their critics despite a four goal victory over the Austrians as many have the Finns as being this tournament’s underachievers.
Finland heads into the tournament without two of the country’s best forwards in the form of Mikko Koivu and Valteri Filpulla but nonetheless are still considered a threat to upend the Canadians for top spot in the pool. Finland got off on the right foot yesterday as they handed Austria an 8-4 defeat but for a team who was supposed to have the tournament’s best goaltenders it is a bit alarming they gave up four to a very underwhelming Austrian side. Finland knows they need to win this contest by a pretty hefty margin if they want to take over the goal differential tie breaker from the Canadians and outscoring the Norwegians by more than two goals definitely seems like a plausible outcome. While I still believe Canada will win the pool and have no difficulty against the Finns when they meet on Sunday I do think Finland will get themselves into a position to win the pool with a strong effort here against Norway.