Twenty years from now, if and when it commemorated the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, will be for this game.
It will keep in mind the typically staid NHL going off message and inventing the two teams, including one from 23-and-under players from Canada and the United States, playing against national teams – considered the idea ridiculous, mostly when it was announced a year ago.
Until they started playing.
Team North America could be done at the World Cup. Even though Finland banged goal and lost to Russia. Although Wednesday night, that added to the extension thriller, accumulating breaks and end-to-end rushes and Dekese to Sweden – defensive power – in a 4-3 victory.
Americans dreaded second-best hockey players in the world from the opening faceoff, with the aim of Auston Matthews 30 seconds penalty Johnny Gaudreau shot 26 seconds later and Vincent Trocheck 2-0 goal just 39 seconds after that.
It was a minute and a half of hockey, which terrified, among others, Erik Karlsson, winner of two of the last five Norris Trophies.
“It will be a disaster,” said Karlsson, after application (in English) expletive to explain the mood on the bench in these opening minutes. “It’s hard [to modify]. They slapped us right away. We had two options – either we fold and let them win, or we’ll start over.”
“It could be more, certainly in the beginning,” said the Swede deficit, which had the two goals exclusively through Nonpareil play of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who faced 49 shots colleague Filip Forsberg many of them point- blank.
It turned out to play hockey world will speak for the rest of the action and probably for years.
At the end is the greatest shame format of this World Cup, it is cut short by Team North America too soon. Since they won in overtime lifted and Sweden defeated point, the NHL Young Guns be removed if Russia beats Finland in its final round-robin game on Thursday.
Finns are never pushovers, but they are winless and already out of action with little play. We’ll get a chance to watch this version of the 23-and-under team to play another game are slim.
Team North America brilliance – capped by Nathan MacKinnon is notable winners, with six different Jukes puck alone in front of Lundqvist – may be short, but also pushed to the forefront of debate about what hockey is and what can happen,
North America, however, the face of what this game and this league might evolve into. Connor McDavid was rocketing down the ice, passing the puck to himself under a giant wingspan Victor Hedman, then almost found a hole in the armor Lundqvist. Gaudreau was an incredible penchant for explosive trap unsuspecting veteran defenders and get into itself with its beautiful hands.
It was the way Matthews can control the puck, even from his knees, as if it is attached to a string, wheeling in and out of legs and sticks until it’s back on his blade ready for a shot.
It was poetry, as far as the sport is growing to be.
There were no head shots or Gooner. There were no punches thrown or cheap shots in the corners. It was not hockey related revenue – although all those black-and-orange North America hats and sweaters in the rink probably generated quite a bit of it – or collective agreements.
“We do not have to worry about a cap with a team in North America,” said coach Todd McLellan.
In some ways, yes, this team was Fantasyland, make-believe marketing from someone in the corner of the office, which now deserves a raise. But also embodies much of what many hockey fans always wanted to see, which is the promotion of skills above all else.
Historically, it has not enough – at the NHL, or even a smaller hockey – which is why smaller players like Gaudreau not always been able to shine.
Maybe now – NHL realized what he has, and coaches see you win and have fun with four lines, all of which are dangerous – they will attempt to CEOs around the league.
One can hope.
“As coaches, we took the reins off them,” said McLellan, who admitted standing on the bench and alternately shouting “no” and “go”, as the game seesawed back and forth in overtime. “You could say it. We had a lot of work as employees to try to hold them accountable for certain parts of the game, too … but we continue to play towards identity, and it is the speed returns to loose pucks, as well. but they are fun to watch. They’re fun to coach. ”
“I think we’ve definitely turned some heads and opened the eyes of all, what the future is like the NHL,” McDavid said. “We’re definitely excited.”
We should all be.