Tonight’s game between Team USA and Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey was billed as a potentially epic battle that - if all went according to plan - would set up an even MOAR epic battle between the clubs in the semifinals.
Yeah, well, it didn’t work out that way. So now, Islanders teammates will move on to the semis, all looking for a spot in the best-of-three championship series.
Team Canada - featuring John Tavares - and Team Europe - with Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss not to mention, like, 15 other guys who were Islanders at one time - are each 2-0 in the preliminary round with one game to go. The four points are enough to qualify for the semifinals, with groupmates the Czech Republic (0-1-1) and Team USA (0-2-0) already eliminated from contention.
On Tuesday night, Canada overpowered the United States 4-2 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score might indicate. The first two periods-plus were essentially dominated by Canada, with Tavares scoring an unbelievable highlight reel goal to create an insurmountable three goal lead.
The heady, quick Team Europe has surprised the tournament by not laying down and being the cannon fodder they were predicted to be. Halak’s got one shutout and a 3-2 overtime win on his record, while Greiss has been a healthy scratch. Washington’s Philipp Grubauer has been Halak’s back-up.
Europe will play Canada on Wednesday night in the final preliminary round game for each team. Team USA will play a meaningless game against the Czechs on Thursday. Looks like Jack Capuano, who is an assistant coach for Team USA, will be back in time for Islanders training camp after all. I can read the comments already...
As for the future of Team USA, ain’t nobody coming back from this burn. Goddamn!
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it.— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016