The WJC is heading for day three today. First let’s get caught up on the first two days of action.
Results so far
There have been two close games so far. The very first game that saw the Czechs beat the Russians 5-4 was just like every other Czech - Russian international match — the Czechs came to play, and the Russians were content to slowly ease into the tournament, rolling four lines and not working too hard. Don’t read too much into it. As always, the largely unknown Russians are the sleepers of this tournament.
The other close match was also fairly predictable. Belarus, who have nothing but familiarity with each other and a tight system played Switzerland to a close loss 3-2. Belarus and Denmark will be fighting to stave off relegation, however, unless something weird happens.
Canada did not quite overwhelm Finland in their 4-2 game on Tuesday, rather, the Finns failed to play any sort of tight defence and conceded two zones to Canada. The question for Leafs fans with Finland is will they decide to name Eemeli Räsänen to the team or not? They are currently running with one open roster spot and they have not named their last player. Räsänen would be very much the extra man if they did add him and would likely only play if other players are hurt or ill.
The other three games so far were blowouts: Sweden 6-1 over Belarus, USA 9-0 over the very ineffectual Denmark, and Canada 6-0 over Slovakia. Joseph Woll got the shutout for the USA, and Timothy Liljegren played a good, but not great, game for Sweden.
Finland opens the action today against Denmark at noon. We’ll update you on roster news as we have it, but this should be an easy win for Finland.
Russia plays Switzerland at 2 p.m.
Sweden faces a tough challenge from the Czechs at 4 p.m, and if you want to watch a close game, this might be your best bet today.
USA plays Slovakia in the evening slot at 8 p.m. Ordinarily, it would be unlikely for Woll to start again, but the USA-CAN game is tomorrow afternoon, so the USA has some decisions to make now on who starts that game which could affect today’s choice.
Canada has the day off, but gets in their outdoor practice today. All games are on TSN 1, with the exception of Russia-Switzerland, which is on TSN 3.
This tournament looks like it’s heading for a Canada-USA final right now, but there’s a lot of hockey before the gold medal game and anything really can happen.
Still no Eemeli Räsänen on the roster for Finland, so it’s not looking good for him playing this year.
Joseph Woll is set to start tonight vs Slovakia, so that mean the USA is using Oettinger vs Canada tomorrow. All Woll can do is pitch another shutout and wait for his chance in the medal round, I guess. Let’s hope he does.