You said you didn’t give a f*ck about hockey….
While most people were very wary about how this ‘cash grab’ of shinny would go, I would suggest after the pre-tournament games we saw yesterday, we are in for a treat.
Things could not have gone any better for the NHL, and the NHLPA. Games early in the day (Eastern Standard Time) had speed and intensity. While the evening game, had Team North America skating so fast that it reminded me of the Fox Puck Tracker days!
In St. Petersburg, Russia it was the host team that defeated the Czechs 4-3. Nobody really cares about the score, most were busy watching Leafs Prospect Nikita Zaitsev and how he would play. While I must admit not watching the game, the reports were positive on his physical edge and ability to cover the ice well. We shall keep an eye on how he develops as the tournament progresses and becomes even more heated.
— Adamski (@HollowayA12) September 8, 2016
Back on this side of the pond last night, Team North America (aka the Young Guns) took on Team Europe (aka the Geriatrics). This was not even close from the drop of the puck. Speed, Speed, and more speed PLUS some solid goaltending from Matt Murray.
The game felt like one of those nights where you step on the ice and realize you are standing in the middle of a merry-go-round. You cannot keep up, you have no space, and the other team is making it look easy. That is exactly what happened to Team Europe.
Nathan MacKinnon was the best player on the ice last evening, but Auston Matthews made several nice plays to create scoring chances and getting a few of his own but failing to capitalize. Considering that Matthews played out of his normal position, to say he kept up with the pace would be an understatement. Only if Auston scored the game winner, could Leafs fans be more happy with that performance.
Auston Matthews is too good: pic.twitter.com/zEYos8zUI1
— Brett Markowitz (@brett_0) September 9, 2016
Fellow ‘Young Gun’ and Leafer, Morgan Rielly also played a solid game. Top pairing minutes along side Aaron Ekblad show exactly how Coach McLellan thinks of our future blueline star. Simple, effective plays by Rielly will be his calling card but remember, he wasn’t known for his true defensive side of the game in Junior, and I believe that is continuing to grow in an impressive manner.
#Leafs game stats
13:13 TOI / :45 PP TOI
19 Shifts / :41avg.
20:55 TOI / 1:39 S/H TOI
25 Shifts / :50avg
— Mitston Marntthews® (@oak_leafs) September 9, 2016
Let us not look too deeply into the results from last night, as we always do. Let us look forward to even more hockey in the future.
Winter is coming my friends.