World Cup of Hockey 2016 Predictions

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This weekend the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will begin, bringing with it the biggest superstars in the National Hockey League.  Starting September 17th, 8 teams will vie for the championship in a tournament not played since 2004.  Let’s take a guess at how each nation will finish, and who will take home the 3rd edition of the World Cup of Hockey.

by Bryan Vickroy

Let’s break down each round of play, with predictions on how the tournament will go, and who will advance onward through the tournament.

zach parise team usa

Group A

This group is a bit top heavy with Canada on its own plane recently, the United States a step below, and then Team Europe and the Czech Republic another notch below.  Canada is almost assured to make it out of the round, and could very likely sweep all three round robin games they play. 

Between the other three teams, the US should fare well enough to squeeze into the next round.  If they hang with, or beat Canada, the Americans could have the confidence to take the group.  Team Europe has some good players, but the worst goaltending of all teams involved, and won’t likely be in contention to advance. 

The Czechs have looked good in the tournament warm-ups, but haven’t been able to find anyone who believes they will succeed in this tournament.  Missing talent leads to a team who unfortunately won’t make it to the knockout stage.

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Group B

If this were the actual World Cup, Group B would very likely get the nickname “The Group of Death.”  Three of these nations have no love for one another, and the other consists of the best of the best of the last few NHL Entry Drafts. 

While Team North America doesn’t have a lot of experience, they have a lot of talent and energy, and no pressure in a group steeped in historical hatred.  Natural talent shines and leads Team NA to a shocking group victory. 

Finland has possibly the biggest upgrade of any team with Patrick Laine, and that should be enough to push them through the group stage.  Sweden will be right on their heels, but can’t manage to advance, despite being in every game.  Finally, Russia has the talent, but can’t seem to put it all together recently.  Another disappointing results leads to Russia at the bottom of the table.

Team Canada Hockey

Semifinals

A dream scenario for the NHL and their marketing department, the semifinals features all three teams based in North America, and has most of the biggest stars in the tournament still alive.

A crossover match up between Canada and Finland should be very tight and thrilling, and is a very likely candidate for overtime.  In the end, Canada should be too strong and too deep to outlast the Finns and advance to the championship game.

In the other semifinal match, Team USA get a very unfavorable match up with Team North America.  The speed and skill of the young kids, and their ability to cope with so many games in such few days compared to the elder American team, leads to a surprise win by Team North America.

Canadian hockey girls

Championship Round

The championship round is a best of 3 series, meaning one loss isn’t the end.  However, Canada shouldn’t need all three games to finish the job.  Team North America hangs around in each game, but just doesn’t have the finishing ability that the Canadians do.  Sidney Crosby shows that he is still the king of Canada, despite the push by the next Next Gretzkey: Connor McDavid.

Team Canada celebrates a championship at home on the eve of the NHL season, and leaves an entire nation, most likely world, salivating for the return of real hockey.  Winter, and the NHL season, is coming.

2016 World Cup of Hockey Champions: Canada

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