Toronto Mike

Canada 6, Russia 3

Canada Hockey

Canada hasn't lost a world junior opener since 1998.  I was thinking about that streak when it was 3-3 in the third period, and wondering just how good a team we have this year.

As you've likely heard, there are no stars on this team.  There is nobody like Lindros or Crosby or Stamkos or Tavares.  I went back to the Canada ~ Russia final I live-blogged six years ago, and the following names jump out at me: Ryan Getzlaf, Jeff Carter, Corey Perry, Dion Phaneuf, some guy named Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron... there are no players like that on this team.  That team, the best junior team I've ever seen, outscored their opponents 41-7 and never trailed.

So... we're going to have to win this tournament in true Canadian fashion.  We're going to outwork our opponents, grind them down and play with heart.  It worked yesterday, with goals from Marcus Foligno, Ryan Ellis, Erik Gudbranson, Ryan Johansen, Brayden Schenn and Curtis Hamilton, but will it work against the superior Swedish and American teams?

Never bet against Canada in this tournament.

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