Each team has played 2 games, so perhaps it's a good time to look at the current standings after the first weekend of action:
Italy's OT win over Denmark makes things interesting right now for the bottom part of the Stockholm pool, but there are still five games to play and a lot can change. Latvia defeating Germany was another result of interest from yesterday, and France did me a solid by easily defeating Kazakhstan, justifying my faith in them as a team. Switzerland has an early lead right now but when the two teams you play are sitting currently in 7th and 8th, it shows the standings as they currently sit aren't really to be trusted just yet. There are eight days left in the preliminary round to change things up, but even now we're seeing a lot of the expected teams in the top half.
Here is today's action:
|Game||Team 1||Team 2||City||CEST Start||EST Start|
|17||France||Canada||Helsinki||3:15 PM||9:15 AM|
|18||Czech Rep.||Norway||Stockholm||4:15 PM||10:15 AM|
|19||United States||Slovakia||Helsinki||7:15 PM||1:15 PM|
|20||Denmark||Sweden||Stockholm||8:15 PM||2:15 PM|
Canada's got the early game, and I don't expect too much difficulty in this one, despite this being a French team that is amongst the strongest we've seen from that nation. The team will welcome Kyle Quincey, who arrives in time to replace Marc-Edouard Vlasic who is done for the tournament. Similarly, I have a hard time seeing Norway being able to counterpunch effectively enough to overtake the Czechs, but yesterday saw 19 year old goaltender Lars Volden do a heck of a job against the Russians. Combine that goaltending with a good PP and the Czechs can't take them too lightly. The game of the day features the undefeated USA against a desperate Slovakian team. This is a huge swing game in the standings for both sides, but much moreso for Slovakia, who could use the boost heading into the easier part of their schedule (Kazakhstan, Belarus, Switzerland, and France) and set them up well for a playoff run. Denmark will get Jannik Hansen back from suspension and will be looking to rebound from a poor showing against Italy with a big game against their much more formidable neighbours and host nation, Sweden.
Join us after the jump and throughout the day for updates, commentary, and the like.