September 30, 2016

Canada Wins 2016 World Cup of Hockey

It wasn't pretty. And despite the last minute heroics, it likely won't go down in history as one of the all time great moments in hockey history. But juggernaut Team Canada was able to keep their win streak alive and win the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The heavily favored Canadians were frustrated all night with the impressive-though-boring suffocating defensive efforts of Team Europe. The Europeans held a 1-0 lead late into the game. Patrice Bergeron finally got Canada on the board with less than three minutes to play. Then Brad Marchand scored a shorthanded goal to win it with just 43 seconds left in the game.

In this era of international parity, Canada's absolute dominance since 2010 has to give the Crosby/Toews/Babcock era serious consideration as the greatest international team of all time.

From the NHL's Morning Skate press release:

* Team Canada captured its sixth victory in the World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup, adding to its championships in 1976, 1984, 1987, 1991 and 2004. It also finished the tournament with a perfect 6-0-0 record; the only other time Team Canada won all of its games at such an event was the most recent iteration, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey (also 6-0-0).
* Marchand recorded his tournament-leading fifth goal of the World Cup of Hockey 2016, while Bergeron – Marchand’s NHL teammate with the Boston Bruins – added his fourth, second among all players. Their fellow Bruins teammate Zdeno Chara provided the lone goal for Team Europe.
* The line of Sidney Crosby (3-7—10), Marchand (5-3—8) and Bergeron (4-3—7) combined for 12-13—25 in the tournament and finished the World Cup of Hockey 2016 ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in overall scoring.
Team Canada extended its winning streak to 16 games since losing to Team USA in its final preliminary contest of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver (also includes 2014 Olympic Winter Games and World Cup of Hockey 2016).
* Team Canada has outscored its opponents 62-20 during that span (24-8 in World Cup of Hockey 2016), averaging 3.88 goals per game versus 1.25 against.
* Team Canada also has outshot its opponents 638-420 during that period (249-183 in World Cup of Hockey 2016), an average of 39.9 per game versus 26.3 against.
* Seven players have played in all three tournaments for Team Canada during this undefeated stretch: Patrice BergeronSidney CrosbyDrew DoughtyRyan Getzlaf,Corey PerryJonathan Toews and Shea Weber.
Team Canada captain Sidney Crosby (0-1—1) was named tournament MVP after leading the World Cup of Hockey 2016 with seven assists, 10 points and a +8 rating in six games.

* Crosby improved to a perfect 25-0-0 in his last 25 outings with Team Canada dating to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, leading four groups to championships in that span (also as captain at 2014 Olympic Winter Games and 2015 World Championship). He has totaled 10-16—26, as well as three game-winning goals (and a gold-medal goal), in those 25 appearances:
Sidney Crosby, Last 25 GP for Team Canada
2010 Olympic Winter Games (Final 4 GP): 2-0—2
2014 Olympic Winter Games (6 GP): 1-2—3
2015 World Championship (9 GP): 4-7—11
World Cup of Hockey 2016 (6 GP): 3-7—10
* The World Cup of Hockey 2016 coronation continues a 17-month stretch for Crosby that also has seen him win the 2015 World Championship and 2015-16 Stanley Cup (with the Pittsburgh Penguins). He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP during Pittsburgh’s run to the Stanley Cup in Ju

Also of interest:

Canada's Corey Perry joins Canada's Scott Niedermayer as the only players in hockey history to have won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, World Championship, World Junior Championship, Memorial Cup and Canada/World Cup title.

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