So it has come down to this, Canada versus Russia in semi final one at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
A renewal of a rivalry that traces back to the 1972 Summit Series. A long history of on ice confrontation. 1972, the 76 Super Series, the shocker of the 81 Canada Cup (8-1 loss for Canada), the 84 & 87 Canada Cups, the list is endless and the rivalry forged on ice is eternal. Over 40 years of epic battles and epic moments. While the level of mutual hate and disdain may have eased since the Cold War these two hockey giants still provide highly entertaining fast paced hard hitting hockey that only serves to fuel fan interest.
Canada finished up at 3-0 in Group A of the round robin. Never seriously challenged the Canadians rolled into the semi finals with ease. Russia, second in Group B lost but a single game in round robin play. A big win against upstart Team North America followed by a solid win over Finland sealed Russias’ trip to the semis.
7:00pm est (4:00pm pst ) is puck drop at the ACC in Toronto.
Canada will return Carey Price to the goal and will most likely reinsert Shea Weber and Ryan Getzlaf to the lineup which puts Jake Muzzin and Claude Girioux back in the stands after one game appearances. The same strategy employed by Canada throughout the tournament will continue. Short shifts, speed and skill with an occassional thundering hit thrown in. Forecheck, backcheck and count on Carey Price to make the big stops as needed.
Russia will try to counter with speed and skill of their own. Malkin and Ovechkin among others will provide plenty of flash to the lineup. Segei Bobvrosky is the key for Russia.”Bob” will need to match Price save for save for the Russians to succeed.
This game should have a very high temp, tons of scoring chances and keep us all on the edge of our seats. I see this one being close. A tough battle like a 10 round heavyweight fight. Determining factor in the game is the Canadian heart and resolve not to lose. Canada will find a way to win this game. Our best players find the way to battle a path to the finals. Forcing their will on the Russians, Canada pulls away in the third period to win the semi final 7-4.
This should be a great game for fans so get your cold beverages ready, pop the popcorn, order in your pizza and wings, buckle up and enjoy the show everyone. Let’s do this one more time. Go Canada!!!
- Patrice Bergeron 2. Sidney Crosby 3. Steven Stamkos
That how I see it, from the bleacher seats.