With the World Cup of Hockey less than three weeks away, it is officially time to start covering and getting excited for the beginning of this “best-on-best” tournament. In what will be the first of three articles posted every Wednesday before the tournament begins on September 17th, this first article will cover line projections for each country.

Maybe the most mysterious team in this tournament, Team Europe has exceptional skill on its roster. The only question about this team is whether its players from different countries from across Europe can come together quickly enough to make a run through the tournament.

 

Goaltenders:

Jaroslav Halak

Frederik Anderson

Thomas Greiss

With three goalies that are all solid but not exceptional, Team Europe may go through their training camp and decide their goalie based on who is playing the best. Halak is the starter over Greiss for the New York Islanders when healthy, but when Halak went down, Greiss was brilliant in the playoffs. Anderson has all the qualities of a #1 goalie. This position is entirely a toss up.

 

Defense:

Roman Josi – Andrej Sekera

Zdeno Chara – Dennis Seidenberg

Christian Ehroff – Mark Streit

Extra: Luca Sbisa

It would have been very easy to put these pairings together by countrymen, so instead these pairings were put together by what made the most hockey sense, which was difficult because they are all left-handed defensemen. Josi is a top three defenseman in the world, and Seidenberg and Chara play together on the Boston Bruins. This team is heavy on veterans so it will be interesting to see if they have the legs necessary to do well in the tournament.

 

Forwards:

Thomas Vanek – Anze Kopitar – Marian Gaborik

Tomas Tatar – Leon Draisaitl – Marian Hossa

Mikkel Boedker – Frans Nielsen – Mats Zucarello

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Nino Niederreiter – Jannik Hansen

Extra: Tobias Rieder

By my account there are only three true centers on this roster so that made the construction of the lines difficult. What made things more difficult was deciding on the players that would play on the first line with Kopitar. If Europe Coach Ralph Krueger goes with the best players, than Hossa will join Kopitar. Regardless of the final line combinations, Team Europe will almost certainly do a lot of mix and matching throughout the tournament.

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NHL Department Head , Armchair All-Americans, LLC
My name is Trevor Goldstein and I am the most typical kid in the world. I was born and raised in the Bay Area. Now I go to The Ohio State University where I am majoring in Sports Industry. I love my Buckeyes, but I also love my Niners, Sharks, Giants, and Warriors. I spend my free time watching sports as well as my studying time watching sports. I even spend some valuable sleeping time watching sports as West Coast teams don’t start playing their home games until 10:30 ET. I can have a conversation about all 122 major sports teams with knowledgeable fans from each of those teams. I can do the same for college sports . I love the Olympics. Steph Curry is my favorite athlete. I’m still a Tiger Woods fan and believer. During the Sochi Olympics, I woke up at 4:30 each gameday morning to watch USA hockey. The best sports moment ever was the 1980 US Men’s Hockey Team (I’ve seen Miracle probably more than 50 times). The best of my lifetime was the swimming events in the Beijing Olympics with Michael Phelps. Ian Darke is a great commentator. Oh, and I won Band Nerd Award during my senior year in high school. Okay, maybe I’m not all that typical but sports are my life and writing about them will only allow me to further procrastinate doing my boring homework.
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NHL Department Head , Armchair All-Americans, LLC
My name is Trevor Goldstein and I am the most typical kid in the world. I was born and raised in the Bay Area. Now I go to The Ohio State University where I am majoring in Sports Industry. I love my Buckeyes, but I also love my Niners, Sharks, Giants, and Warriors. I spend my free time watching sports as well as my studying time watching sports. I even spend some valuable sleeping time watching sports as West Coast teams don’t start playing their home games until 10:30 ET. I can have a conversation about all 122 major sports teams with knowledgeable fans from each of those teams. I can do the same for college sports . I love the Olympics. Steph Curry is my favorite athlete. I’m still a Tiger Woods fan and believer. During the Sochi Olympics, I woke up at 4:30 each gameday morning to watch USA hockey. The best sports moment ever was the 1980 US Men’s Hockey Team (I’ve seen Miracle probably more than 50 times). The best of my lifetime was the swimming events in the Beijing Olympics with Michael Phelps. Ian Darke is a great commentator. Oh, and I won Band Nerd Award during my senior year in high school. Okay, maybe I’m not all that typical but sports are my life and writing about them will only allow me to further procrastinate doing my boring homework.
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