Everything Else

We come to the end of our World Cup preview with the team that’s probably going to be the most heavily watched and the most confusing. There’s no question that Team North America is going to be the most entertaining team, at both ends. Just like a good curry. But a lot of us won’t be able to shake the feeling that this team quite simply shouldn’t exist. And seeing as how, as Feather pointed out, the US’s second and third line in on this team, it’s kind of infuriating.

The reasoning behind this team, if you squint really hard, is to market the game’s younger stars. But if you hold that theory up to any kind of light it falls apart in a hurry. One, Gaudreau, Saad, Matthews, Eichel, Larkin, Jones and Trouba would just as easily be marketed on Team USA, the team with the audience that the NHL is really trying to get to pay attention to this fucking thing and this fucking sport. Is that audience more likely to do that when they can wave the flag a bit and root for their home nation or when they look up to the bar TV and see a bunch of guys dressed as if they’re straight out of Tron? I’ll give you a minute to decide.

Everything Else

A day later than I had planned due to some planning snafus getting out of Montreal. Though I maintain Quebec is a weird vortex that just changes the date on your flight without you knowing so you can never leave (yes, I am Kat Stratford maintaining that boy kicked himself in the balls).

First off, let me say that I really wanted to like the World Cup. In my mind, it really did have a chance to be better than the Olympics, and if the league is willing to have it regularly for a while (correctly) it still could be with a built up reputation. This is for a couple reasons.

One, some of the reasons I am the hockey fan I am is the ’87 and ’91 Canada Cups. Ok, I barely remember ’87 but I do remember that even at six-years-old seeing Gretzky and Lemieux on the same line was a really cool thing. It was like seeing Jupiter and Saturn combine. I saw one of the of the warm-up games in ’91 at the Stadium between the US and Canada that featured a Roenick penalty shot on Belfour (saved) and the first sighting of the unholy monster that was Eric Lindros and Chris Chelios bouncing off of him like a superball. The US taking the first World Cup in ’96, with a completely loaded roster that is still kind of hard to fathom, is a cherished memory for a lot of us this age. This tournament, in whatever form, has certainly shone bright at points.