Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY SPORTS
Well, that does it. With another commanding win over Team Europe, the Canadians have flexed their muscles again and won the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, sweeping the final series in two games.
I actually wrote this post seven hours before puck drop and scheduled it to publish at the approximate time that the game will end (and, uhh, accidentally published at one point, meaning you might be having some deja vu), so there aren’t any details of what actually happened in tonight’s game in this post yet (check back soon), but based on how the rest of the tournament has gone, I will guess the following has happened:
- Carey Price stopped the vast majority of the pucks that he faced, leaving Habs fans screaming in a corner about how this is their year once again while staring nervously at Michel Therrien.
- The first line scored at least one of the goals, because Sidney Crosby is great and the Bruins duo has both chemistry and an ability to drive play.
- Canada likely outshot their opponents by a lot.
- John Tavares was likely brilliant, but whether or not he got on the scoresheet can probably be decided by a well-aimed coin toss.
- Most of the scoring opportunities likely came off of rebounds, but at least one exciting chance came off a glaring error by a European defenceman which turned into a 2-on-1.
- The crowd wasn’t really into it other than booing Zdeno Chara, until the final seconds, at which point they cheered a little.
Unless this game’s score got drastically out of hand, Sidney Crosby finished the tournament as the leading scorer and trailed only Brad Marchand in goals for. Depending on how Matt Duchene, John Tavares, and Logan Couture did tonight, I wouldn’t be shocked if you could go on NHL.com and find that the top 7 scorers in this tournament are Canadian. Then again, Anze Kopitar and Mats Zuccarello might be there, depending on if they broke Price’s shutout bid late in a period or not.
Joe Thornton and Jay Bouwmeester become the first players in hockey history to win two World Cups of Hockey with the result. As well, Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry, and Mike Babcock join the “Quintuple Gold Club”, which is like the actually recognized Triple Gold Cub (Stanley Cup, Olympics, and World Championships), but for people who like to brag about winning the World Juniors and World Cup as well.
Anyway, this is a victory that seemed like it would feel exciting at the beginning of the tournament, felt really meaningful when the Round Robins brought some intrigue to other nations, and got really meaningless when the knockouts started and we all realized that Canada is simply too far ahead of its competition right now. Surely, the NHL is going to have to go back to the drawing board on making this tournament more competitive, while many other nations will have to sit down and figure out how to foster their own environments of depth and structure.
Hockey isn’t necessarily Canada’s game, and there will be a time where they’re given a run for their money again. But at this point, it’s become business as usual, and when that happens, you get pre-scheduled championship postgames like this.
We’ll be back in a little bit to update this post with thoughts on the game itself. Just as soon as we’re done yelling about the Blue Jays game and the various NHL preseason matchups across the network.