World Cup of Hockey 2016 Preview: Team Europe

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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 17 in Toronto, eight teams will vie for the championship in a tournament not played since 2004.  Let’s take a look at the chances for Team Europe.

by Bryan Vickroy

One of the more mysterious teams of the tournament, this festival of nations doesn’t have the chemistry or national pride of the rest of the field, but they do have the same high end talent.  Few expect much of this team, especially with Canada in their group, but Jaroslav Halak can catch fire and carry a team, and the top line has combined to win a Stanley Cup in LA.  No country means no pressure, and in such a short tournament, anything can happen.

WCOH History

1996 WCOH:  N/A

2004 WCOH:  N/A

Potential Lines

Left Wing                                                Center                                          Right Wing
Marian Gaborik (LA)                           Anze Kopitar (LA)                      Mats Zuccarello (NYR)
Mikkel Boedker (COL)                        Frans Nielsen (DET)                  Marian Hossa (CHI)
Thomas Vanek (MIN)                         Leon Draisaitl (EDM)                Nino Niederreiter (MIN)
Tomas Tatar (MIN)                             Jannik Hansen (VAN)                Tobias Rieder (ARI)
                                                                                                                         Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (PHI)
Left Defenseman                                    Right Defenseman
Roman Josi (NSH)                                 Mark Streit (PHI)
Zdeno Chara (BOS)                                Andrej Sekera (EDM)
Christian Ehrhoff (CHI)                        Dennis Seidenberg (BOS)
Luca Sbisa (VAN)
Goalies
Jaroslav Halak (NYI)
Thomas Greiss (NYI)
Philipp Grubauer (WSH

Marian Hossa

Best Case Scenario

If the team can be tight on the defensive end, the talent up front will provide goals when given the chance.  An upset along the way could get Team Europe into the semifinals, and even further.

Worst Case Scenario

A lack of chemistry and talent leads to some non competitive games.  Relying on the Islanders for goaltending backfires, and gain no points in the round robin play. Europe plunges into the dark depths of the bottom of the group.

Team MVP:  Jaroslav Halak

Breakout Star:  Nino Niederreiter

Leading Scorer:  Anze Kopitar

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