Jason Brough

Team Europe's Marion Gaborik scores on United States' goalie Jonathan Quick during the first period of a World Cup of Hockey game, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
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After shocking the Americans, Team Europe is hungry for more

For Team Europe, a win this afternoon over the Czech Republic would practically assure it a spot in the World Cup semifinals.

Practically, because it wouldn’t guarantee anything. Even with a win, there’s still a slight chance that a team could fail to advance from the group with a 2-1-0 record, and Team Europe has to play the Canadians on Wednesday.

But after shocking the Americans, 3-0, on Saturday, a Team Europe win today, combined with a Team USA loss to the Canadians tomorrow, and coach Ralph Krueger’s squad would be officially through.

“We’ve come here to play nine periods, and like everybody else, we want to play next weekend,” Krueger said Saturday. “That was from the get-go the reason for us to be here. We didn’t see ourselves as just a sideshow, ever.”

Many had counted them out after they struggled to keep up with Team North America in exhibition play. The Europeans looked old and slow against the kids, and maybe even a bit disinterested. Of course, as the Finns found out last night, keeping up with the kids is one tough assignment.

“Well, if you look at our exhibition games,” said Slovak goalie Jaroslav Halak, “obviously the first two games, they didn’t go as planned, and we all knew we had to get better and in what areas we had to improve. Playing Sweden the last exhibition game, it was a good test for us, and I think for the most part we did a good job. We stayed as a unit of five, and I think the key is staying most of the time, out of the box.”

The challenge for Team Europe against the Czechs will be to avoid a letdown.

“We didn’t just come here to have one nice game,” said Krueger. “We came here to compete and be around next weekend. So now we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The Czechs, meanwhile, will be playing for their tournament lives, after getting blown out, 6-0, by the Canadians on Saturday. They’ll look to recreate the enthusiasm and confidence of the first 10 minutes against the favorites, while forgetting what happened in the last 50.

“I believe we were ready to play,” said coach Vinny Prospal. “But after the first goal, it almost seems like we stopped playing and started making bad plays, and they filled our net.”

Jordan Subban has ‘a great opportunity’ to prove himself to Canucks

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The Vancouver Canucks scored the second-fewest goals in the NHL last season, in part because they got so little offensive push from their blue line.

So it’s no surprise that Jordan Subban has become a popular topic in Vancouver as training camp approaches. The 21-year-old defenseman had 36 points (11G, 25A) in 67 games for AHL Utica last season, his first year as a professional. It’s not out of the question that he makes his NHL debut at some point in 2016-17.

“He had a real good year last year, offensively,” Canucks president Trevor Linden said Friday on TSN 1040. “I think he’s understanding where he has to be on the defensive side of things, and just that consistency. I think bringing that consistent work level to practice, his professional habits, he took a big step last year. He’s a committed kid. He’s a hard worker. He’s a great kid.”

Linden balked when asked about Subban’s chances of getting the call up to the Canucks this season. The knock on P.K.’s younger brother has always been his size. He’s listed at just 5-9 and 178 pounds.

“When you’re undersized, you need to figure out how to defend,” said Linden. “He’s got a great opportunity to show well here in training camp, and we’ll see where he is.”

The Canucks are expected to give NHL returnee Philip Larsen the first crack at running their power play, but if he fails to get results, Subban could be a right-shot option.

Related: P.K. Subban thinks brother Jordan will be ‘the best of all of us’

Report: Horcoff to join Red Wings in player-development role

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After 1,008 games in the NHL, Shawn Horcoff appears headed for retirement. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the 37-year-old will join the Detroit Red Wings in a player-development role.

Horcoff, a Michigan State product who makes his home today in Michigan, was drafted 99th overall in 1998 by the Edmonton Oilers. He was a big part of Edmonton’s surprise run to the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, scoring seven goals and 12 assists in 24 playoff games.

Horcoff would finish his career with stints in Dallas and Anaheim. His last season in the NHL was marred by a 20-game suspension for violating terms of the league’s performance-enhancing substances program.

“While recovering from an injury I suffered this past fall, I tried a treatment that I believed would help speed up the healing process,” Horcoff said in a statement. “Although I was unaware that this treatment was not permitted under NHL rules, that is no excuse whatsoever.”

Per the Edmonton Sun, Horcoff said in August that he’d “only be interested in moving my family if it was one of five or six teams. I have an 11-year-old boy (Will) and a nine-year-old girl (Jade) in school. They’re just starting their school year. I’ve kind of set a Sept. 1 deadline … if I don’t get anything, I’ll tell my agent to look at other things.”

No doubt about it: Quick will be the starter for Team USA

U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick stretches before an exhibition hockey game against Finland, part of the World Cup of Hockey, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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Jonathan Quick went into the World Cup exhibition schedule as the favorite to start for Team USA, and he did nothing to cast any doubt.

In two pre-tournament appearances, Quick stopped 62 of the 65 shots he faced (.954). He was especially brilliant in beating Team Canada last Friday in Columbus, turning aside 29 of 30 shots.

Head coach John Tortorella confirmed today that Quick, a two-time Stanley Cup winner for the Los Angeles Kings, will be in goal when the Americans begin group play tomorrow against Team Europe. Ben Bishop is expected to back up, after Cory Schneider struggled in his only exhibition appearance.

The way things went in pre-tournament action, if Team USA has any chance of winning the World Cup, Quick could be the key.

“I mean, he can outright steal a game that swings the whole tournament,” said defenseman Matt Niskanen, per NHL.com. “It’s completely a real possibility that he not only makes all the easy saves and makes it look easy, but there’s going to be a couple doozies in there that could swing momentum. He has that ability for sure.”

Lundqvist reflects on last season, with all the shots and ‘great chances’ he faced

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers pauses following a first period goal by Conor Sheary #43 of the Pittsburgh Penguins which put the Rangers in a 3-0 hole in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 21, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The way Henrik Lundqvist sees it, he can’t be too critical of himself. Even though he struggled down the stretch last season, and even though he really struggled in the playoffs, he still had a good year, all things considered.

“I think that yes, last year was a little bit up and down, but when I looked back on the whole season it wasn’t too bad, not with the amount of shots I saw and not with the number of great chances I faced,” Lundqvist told the New York Post yesterday.

He added, “In a way, it was a fun year because I did see a lot of action and more close-in shots, so as a goalie, you challenge yourself more.”

Lundqvist went 35-21-7 with a .920 save percentage last season. While his remarks do not reflect very well on his teammates, they weren’t inaccurate, as no goalie in the NHL faced more shots (1,944) than he did.

And as The Post notes:

According to CorsicaHockey.com, Lundqvist faced the greatest number of high-danger chances in the league by a substantial margin. That was the result of the Blueshirts’ chaotic play in their own end pretty much from start to finish. Though there are discrepancies among several stat-oriented websites calculating Lundqvist’s high-danger save percentage, he ranked between second and fifth in all of them.

Related: AV concedes the Rangers had a ‘puck-moving’ problem