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Wednesday's FTB: The End of the Beginning

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WCH news, NHL predictions, NSA spies. Er, I mean, nothing.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The final three WCH pre-tournament games go today, beginning with the Czechs taking on Team North America at 3:30 PM, and continuing with Sweden-Europe at 7:00 PM and Canada-Russia at 7:30 PM.  We'll have a full preview later this morning, as well nafio's WHW links and a piece from Lord Captain Commander Wheeler.

ICYMI

Species: WCH Recap - Team USA Defeats Team Finland 3-2 The Finns didn't come ready to play and couldn't make the comeback.

Elseldo: The 1996 World Cup of Hockey Seldo reviews the NHL Network doc on the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, where Team USA shocked Team Canada.  The American "beat-'em-in-the-alley" strategy is not a new one.

50 MC: Why Your Team Sucks - Carolina Hurricanes Carolina are the ultimate just-part-of-the-furniture team for me.  They don't stand out in my mind at all for the past five years.

Links

MLHS: The Toronto Maple Leafs' Penalty Kill MLHS looks at how the Leafs' surprisingly effective PK worked.  We might miss Michael Grabner more than you expect, y'know.

Today's Slapshot: Three Quality NHL Players That May Not Impress Next Season Zdeno Chara's really slowing down, which makes me feel old.  I remember when he was the most dominant defender in hockey.  Sunrise, sunset.

DGB: Ranking Team North Americas Throughout The Years DGB made Team North Americas for previous Canada and World Cups.  This is the most popular gimmick the NHL has introduced since 3 on 3 OT.

Fear the Fin: The Case for Russia Look, we tried capitalism, and it hasn't worked.  Let's collectivize the means of production and see what happens.

Habs Eyes On The Prize: Team USA Preview I think USA is nearing the point of being underrated.  Their forward group is still very deep and they're likely to get good goaltending.  The fifth-or-sixth-best team can still win a short tournament.

Blueshirt Banter: NHL 17 Review If they can't lower the rankings because it'll hurt the players' feelings, can they at least give me the option to bell curve them over a wider stretch?  It drives me nuts that everyone in the goddamn league is between 80 and 86.

Locker Room Hero: How Good Can Matthews And Co. Be? I wrote something like this for tomorrow, and of course now someone beats me to it.  But it's a quality look at how we might expect the Leafs to improve next season as their percentages get better.

Sabres T25U25 #15: Rasmus Asplund Man, Asplund is a really neat-looking pick at 33rd OA.  Please work out, Yegor Korshkov.  I need it.

Jets T25U25 #21: Jansen Harkins Remember back when we were ranking Rinat Valiev 21st?  We were so young and innocent then.

Devils T25U25 #15-11: The Artists Formerly Known As In Lou We Trust do their T25 rankings in bunches.  Note: I played a Be A GM mode as the Devils in NHL 13, and I can report Scott Wedgewood is never going to get better.  Sorry, Devils fans.

As always, feel free to add your own links.