Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Early World Cup Experiences Mixed

By Gail Kauchak
Sep 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Team USA forward Patrick Kane (88) against Team Canada during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Nationwide Arena. Team USA won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Team USA forward Patrick Kane (88) against Team Canada during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Nationwide Arena. Team USA won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 14, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Team North America forward Johnny Gaudreau (13) and forward Auston Matthews (34) celebrate a goal by Matthews against the Team Czech Republic during the third period in a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at CONSOL Energy Center. Team Czech Republic won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Team North America vs. Team Finland

Now I’m guessing most of you chose to watch the Green Bay Packers play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football instead of this game (not a bad call).  If you did go that route, you missed quite the showing by Team North America.

Its players  pummeled Team Finland 4-1 (the final score is a bit misleading).  This upstart group is quickly becoming a squad to be reckoned with.

It is the youngest team in the tournament (no player is older than 23 years of age).  But the players make up for their inexperience with speed and skill.  It is a fun team to watch, and it will be interesting to see how far it can go.

Poor Team Finland.  And poor Ville Pokka.  He was the final Chicago Blackhawks player to represent his country this weekend.  He finished the night with an unimpressive 0 points, and 13:22 minutes of ice time.  I only mention him out of obligation in this post, as nobody really cares.

Next: World Cup Of Hockey Predictions

Later today and Tuesday, all eight teams will have different opponents as the tournament carries on.  If you can only choose one, the matchup to watch will be Team Canada against Team USA on Tuesday night (7 p.m. Central time on ESPN).

Canada is the team to beat, and the United States will be looking for revenge after their shutout loss to Team Europe.  And it will be interesting to see how Kane bounces back.

Never a dull moment, my friends!  Who needs football anyway?!

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