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2017 IIHF World Championships: quarterfinal day preview

Mitch Marner and William Nylander are on the ice at the same time today, so choose your game to watch wisely.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

All three Maple Leafs at Worlds could be in action today, but it seems like only Mitch Marner and William Nylander will take the ice. Miro Aaltonen was the odd man out again in practice for Finland yesterday.

With the preliminary round done, we can look at where everyone finished. Nylander and Marner tied with 10 points each and got them in very similar ways.

The surprise might be that Nylander has no power play goals. He played second unit, but got a lot of time on ice with the man advantage because Sweden’s power play is very bad. Nylander played over on the right side, in the spot usually taken by Auston Matthews for the Leafs.

Miro Aaltonen had a very unproductive set of games, and seemed to be on the roster only so the coach could swap him for Jesse Puljujärvi whenever he wanted to scratch the young player.

Schedule

There are two games at 10:15 a.m. Eastern time today.

USA play Finland in Cologne, while Russia plays the Czech Republic in Paris.

The final pair of games go at 2:15 p.m.

Canada takes on the Germans in their home rink in Cologne, and Sweden plays Switzerland in Paris.

TSN 1 and 3 are carrying the Canada and USA games. The Sweden game is on TSN 2. The Russia game is on TSN 4 and 5, followed by the Canada game.

NBCSN is carrying the USA game.

Who is going to win?

The favourites really should hold: Canada, Russia, USA and Sweden.

Switzerland is the challenger with the best goaltending and Sweden’s power play is the worst of all quarterfinalists, so that might be where an upset could happen.

Normally, the Finns would be a threat to the USA, but this year’s team is in such disarray and has the poorest goaltending of any of these teams, it seems unlikely they are a threat.

Russia - Czech Republic will be the usual grudge match between those two, but Russia should take it in the end.

Canada playing Germany in Leon Draisaitl’s home rink after the Germans’ thrilling final game to get into this quarterfinal will be the game to watch. You have no idea how loud those fans can get until you hear it.

The semifinals are Saturday, and the medal games are on Sunday.