The first world championship ever held in this country officially kicks off Friday and features an afternoon game between Canada and Slovenia at the Metro Centre (3:30 p.m. ET).
“We’ve got to make sure that we’re humble in our approach,” said captain Shane Doan.
The Slovenian team features just one NHLer in Anze Kopitar and was beaten 8-0 the last time it played Canada in a world championship game.
Slovenia is a hockey minnow when compared to some of the heavyweights at this world championship. The team’s media guide says that slightly more than 100 adults play hockey in a country with just seven arenas.
“If we can keep it down to maybe five goals that would be good,” said Kopitar.
“Don’t believe him,” said assistant coach Mike Johnston. “He’s the type of player that may say that but he’s going to go out tomorrow and he’s going to try and dominate the game.
Seven of the top 21 NHL scorers will wear one of the impressive new Canadian jerseys in the coming weeks. That group doesn’t even include Nash, the MVP of last year’s tournament.
My prediction is Russia V Canada with Russia winning it all. I know I’m going against the grain on this, but I feel that Russia will play with less pressure while the Canadians will play with alot of it considering it’s in their home country.
Surprise team: Denmark
Underachievers: Czech Republic
Keep an eye on: USA – They feature alot of young firepower and speed.
You can get all your info at the main IIHF site or from TSN under Hockey Canada. Both links to the sites are to the right of this post >