Canada plays for the second night in a row, but it should have no bearing on the outcome of this game. The Canadians are rolling right now with 13 goals for and only 1 against, the penalty kill is at 100% and they are getting goals from everyone. In the last game, expectations were put on guys like Mark Scheifele and Ryan Strome; they delivered. Scheifele had two goals in the 5-0 win over the Czech Republic and it seems that one of Canada’s biggest strengths when they assemble these teams every year, is that when they need someone to step up, they do.
It’s always been a feather in the cap of Hockey Canada and the coaching staff, as to how quickly these teams come together with such limited preparation time.
Not much of a change in the line-up for Canada, and why would you make any significant change on a team that is on an offensive role and is playing defensively sound. I said yesterday that the outcome of the game shouldn’t come down to special team play, but Canada’s penalty killing was stalwart and while it probably didn’t determine the outcome of the yesterday’s contest, it definitely helped. Canada has a policy that they don’t like to give up more than 4 power plays per game, but yesterday they gave up five, including a 5 on 3 for the Czech’s. Canada controlled the game, but if the Czech’s had capitalized on a few of those chances, we might have been looking at a much closer game.
Jaden Schwartz – Mark Scheifele – Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Huberdeau – Ryan Strome – Mark Stone
Quinton Howden – Freddie Hamilton – Brett Connolly
Brandon Gormley – Dougie Hamilton
Scott Harrington – Ryan Murray
Mark Pysyk – Nathan Beaulieu
Scott Wedgewood played very well in his start against the Czech Republic, earning the shut-out and tallying an assist in his debut. Some say that his long bomb pass up the left side was the offensive spark Canada needed to get going in a game where they were playing somewhat flat. Is there a goalie controversy brewing for Canada? Perhaps, but it will have nothing to do with this game. Canada, in keeping with the equal rotation methodology, will go with Mark Visentin in net tonight.
Thomas Spelling – Patrick Bjorkstrand – Nicklas Jensen (A)
Nicki Kisum – Thomas Søndergaard – Rasmus Bjerrum
Nicolai Meyer – Anders Schultz – Mathias Bau Hansen
Mads Eller – Joachim Linnet – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Patrick Madsen – Emil L. Kristensen
Jannick Christensen (C) – Tobias Hansen
Anders Thode – Mark M. Larsen (A)
Denmark is still looking for their first win of the tournament, and their losing trends should continue today. Mathias Hansen is the team’s top scorer, with 2 goals and Canucks prospect, Nicklas Jensen has two assists. Not a lot to get excited about, but this is one of those teams for Canada, and it will be one of those games as well. Sebastian Feuk has started both previous games for Denmark and will get the nod again against Canada. Feuk has definitely not been the reason for the Danes starting off 0-2 and won’t be at fault when they are 0-3. He is a good skating goalie, but he needs to get stronger and sharpen his reflexes. At 6” 2’ and 172, he’s not small, but there is room to fill out. Building muscle should allow him to move around the net with more agility, given his butterfly style.
Much like Lindsay Lohan, the Danes will probably plea no contest on this one. The game should be over quickly, as it will be less of a test than the Czech’s were. Canada is 1-0 against Denmark, beating them 4-1 in 2006, their only contest head-to-head at the WJC’s.
Today will be a day to sit back and watch Canada lay down an old fashion beat down. Get some refreshments, hang out with your friends and perhaps invent new drinking games for everytime Canada scores or knocks a Dane on his ass.
This will all be for fun, because the next game is all business for Canada. New Years Eve will be the one everyone’s waiting for and is excited to see.