By Kim Dunning
The Canadian team for the World Cup of Hockey is by far the most favored team going into the tournament.
It should be obvious that Canada is usually always the favored in tournaments, especially with a majority of the National Hockey League players coming from Canada. This year’s World Cup will be held in Toronto, Canada, so they will be the home ice advantage team as well.
A breakdown of Canada’s teams will show that their 3rd line is better than most NHL teams first lines. Their 3rd and 4th line depth will aid them in keeping fresh players on the ice, especially during the long change period. Defensively they are stacked with players like Drew Doughty and Brent Burns, Canada’s defense has helped their respective NHL teams go deep into the playoffs. Even their 5th or 6th defenseman could play a pivotal role in their success. Couple this with their all-star players like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Towes, Steve Stamkos and others on offense, this team has the potential to be unstoppable.
If you look deeper into Canada’s roster, they have two to three skilled players at each position. That kind of dominance will be hard to beat. Canada has always done well in hockey tournaments and are currently the defending World Cup of Hockey Champions. They are also the defending Olympic Hockey Champions.
Canada will play in the tournament against Team USA, Team Czech Republic and Team Europe. Team USA is a younger team stacked with talent such as T.J. Oshie and Zach Parise. It won’t be an easy road for Canada to get through the preliminary rounds against the US but the final two teams do move forward into the semi-finals.
What Canada needs to watch out for in such a short tournament is a hot goalie and every goalie in this tourney will have the capability to do just that. On the other side of things, a bad goaltender could spell disaster, even for a heavily favored team, as we see in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Canada will be fun to watch in the tournament and their depth will amaze a lot of people when the sticks hit the ice. They can purely dominate any line they face against and are already heavily favored in the betting odds to win it all. Even though Canada is the clear favorite on paper, they don’t make ice out of paper.
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