The semifinal matchup between Canada and the United States is one that will grab the attention of the hockey world, but all eyes might be on Chicago Blackhawks teammates who will square off against each other.
Team Canada center Jonathan Toews says Canada-U.S. is now the preeminent rivalry and as Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune shares, he says it’s not exactly a peaceful battle between the two.
“It has become even a bigger rivalry than Canada-Russia. There’s a lot of animosity, a lot of feelings like there’s something to prove between both teams,” said Toews. “It’s for the chance to go and play for a gold medal. It doesn’t get any better than that, playing for your country and going against the United States. There are millions of kids that grow up dreaming of this.”
Toews’ comments come after there was a very minor dust-up of opinions from Team USA’s Patrick Kane who gushed about the play of Phil Kessel.
As Tim Wharnsby at CBC Sports shares, Toews had a bit of fun with that statement himself.
Toews added with a smile, “He’s all right, [but] that Kessel guy is even better.”
All the talk goes away at Noon ET on NBCSN when the two sides square off for a spot in the gold medal game.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: