If you have not been thoroughly entertained Wednesday’s exhibition of speed, skill and fearless attacking team North America used to topple a strong team in Sweden, we can not be friends.
Each of Wayne Gretzky on the toughest hockey columnists acknowledged that this team of young guns, initially described as a gimmick, turned the World Cup of Hockey in world-class entertainment.
“Great hockey. The best game I’ve seen in a long time and one of the few games where the purpose was to put the puck into the net the other guys,” said Hall of Famer Bob Clarke. “You should not to try to check the other team to death … Who wants to watch that?”
However, Finland has not been able to do for young bucks fixed by defeating the Russians, so we have to leave this World Cup of Hockey satisfied with what the youth gave injections to what could be a ho-hum international events
Team North America has created a stir.
There is a high probability format, which introduced the team in North America and Team Europe to the world is a one-off. Nothing has been decided, and several talks between the NHL and the NHLPA and the participating associations will have to take place, but it feels like my colleague Pierre Lebrun said Tuesday at a sports complex in Insider Trading.
No doubt the league and the PA found lightning in a bottle. Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews Jack Eichel, Johnny Gaudreau, etc., are special players. While it is easy to predict 23-and-under crops that could join forces in 2020 would be talented, it is unlikely that he would be able to recover the magic we saw in Toronto. And if there are a few countries other than the US-born players considered elite, the US team will probably lobby for their help. More on that in a minute.
Glory to the organizers of the World Cup for risks and includes a collection of players and coaches who are willing to fully display offensive skill set of these young men. But the game is played in this case, as an incredibly exciting as it was, is gone. There is no room for risk taking in the NHL and as Team Canada coach Mike Babcock told the media on Wednesday, winning is the only thing that matters.
“I love watching this team, because there’s a ton of skill. I like to win more, though. I just want to win. That’s what our players came. They came to win.”
Canadian fans will cheer wildly when it happens. Just do not perched on the edge of their seats in anticipation of several breakaways, odd-man rushes and chances.