Good morning, sportsfans! Game one of the WCH Final is in the books, and...wow, this tournament has been dull since Team NA got eliminated. Give Europe credit, they played extremely well, and Canada turned in a lackadaisical, sloppy performance for the first two periods. The home side won anyway, because the first line is still dynamite and even half-assed Canada is good, but the game was a dud.
Leafs camp proceeds apace; the next preseason game is tomorrow night, in St. Catharines, against a group of men purporting to be the Buffalo Sabres. I really, really want the season to start.
El Seldo: Maple Leafs Cut 23 From Camp No one surprising yet; this was a bunch of kids going back to junior and minor-leaguers heading back to the minors. Adam Brooks is still at camp, FYI.
50MC: Why Your Team Sucks - Anaheim Ducks More like Anaheim sucks! Because...get it because...okay fine.
WCH & NHL
Today's Slapshot: Sweden's Passive Play Their Ultimate World Cup Downfall The writer suggests Sweden took its foot off the gas with a one-goal lead and paid the price.
TSN: The NHL's Buyer Beware Scott Cullen over at TSN looks at some candidates for regression. Shooting percentage is fickle in its favour.
Flames And Brian Elliott Looking At An Extension Is there any goalie who does better work and gets less credit for it than Brian Elliott? Maybe he'll flop and I'll eat my words, but he sure looks like a smart acquisition for the Flames to me.
Defending Big D: Dallas Stars Best/Worse Case - The Defence The big D defenders over at DBD debate the dubious Dallas defence.
Buffalo Sabres T25U25 #7: Zegmus Girgensons Other sites are still doing their T25U25s. Everyone's favourite Latvian checks in at #7.
Minnesota Wild T25U25 #9: Mike Reilly Minnesota has a neat young offensive defenceman, but while his name is spelled normally, he's not on par with our Morgan.
New Jersy Devils T25U25 #5-1 You get three guesses who they picked #1, and the first two don't count.
In whimsical news: I think we can agree the highlights of the WCH tournament have been the gimmick teams, between the electricity of Team NA and the surprising success of Team Europe. A friend of mine (@7lifesupport) and I took a stab at constructing a 23 and under team for Europe and Russia. Here's what we came up with:
F. Forsberg -- Barkov -- Kucherov
Landeskog -- Hertl -- Ehlers
Burakovsky -- Draisaitl -- Nichushkin
Teravainen -- V. Rask -- Rieder
ex. Namestnikov/W. Nylander
H. Lindholm -- Ristolainen
Maata -- Larsson
Provorov -- Klefbom
I don't think they'd quite match Team NA, but it'd be a lot of fun to see 'em try. If you want, suggest lineup adjustments or even more gimmicky teams in the comments.