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Reasons for Optimism

Team Europe looks to build on good things from opener

Going to have to slow down Team Canada's top line with Sidney Crosby

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

Team Canada can complete a perfect ride through the World Cup of Hockey 2016 by defeating Team Europe in Game 2 of the best-of-3 final at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, CBC, TVA, TVA Sports).

Team Canada made it five wins in as many tries in the tournament by defeating Team Europe 3-1 in Game 1 on Tuesday. Another victory will give Team Canada a perfect 6-0-0 record in the eight-team tournament.

Here are the reasons for optimism for Team Canada and Team Europe:

 

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Reasons for Optimism

Team Canada looks to stay dominant in World Cup final

Goalie Jaroslav Halak gives Team Europe hope of upset

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

Team Canada and Team Europe will play the opener of their best-of-3 final series of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Team Canada dominated most of the game in its 4-1 win against Team Europe in the final game of the preliminary round for each team last Wednesday.

Team Canada found another gear in its semifinal game against Team Russia on Saturday, scoring three times in the third period for a 5-3 victory. One day later, Team Europe defeated Team Sweden 3-2 when Tomas Tatar scored at 3:43 of overtime.

Here are the reasons for optimism for Team Europe and Team Canada:

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Reasons for Optimism

Team Sweden not taking semifinal lightly

After loss to Team Europe in pretournament finale, players have learned their lesson

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

Team Sweden won't be taking anything for granted when it plays Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey 2016 semifinal at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Sunday (1 p.m. ET; ESPN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Team Europe struggled in its first two pretournament games, but put it all together in the third one, a 6-2 win against Team Sweden. Team Europe then defeated the Team USA and Team Czech Republic to earn a spot in the semifinals before losing 4-1 to Team Canada in its final preliminary-round game on Wednesday to finish second in Group A.

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Reasons for Optimism

Team Russia in position to upset in semifinal

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky could help end Canada's 13-game win streak at World Cup

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

One of the great rivalries in international sports resumes when Team Russia and Team Canada play in the first semifinal game of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, CBC, TVA, TVA Sports).

The game is being played exactly 46 years after Canada began its comeback in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. The 3-2 victory at Moscow in Game 6 was the first of three straight wins for Canada, which took the series 4-3-1.

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Reasons for Optimism

Chances have been there for Team Finland

Despite lack of success at World Cup, prime scoring opportunities expected against Team Russia

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

It's win or go home from the World Cup of Hockey 2016 for Team Russia, which needs to defeat Team Finland at Air Canada Centre on Thursday (3 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, TVA Sports) to qualify for the semifinals.

Team Russia rebounded from a 2-1 loss to Team Sweden in its opener by holding off Team North America 4-3 on Monday. A win against Team Finland would give Team Russia and Team North America identical 2-1-0 records, but Team Russia would advance because it holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. 

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Reasons for Optimism

Team Europe aiming to sweep preliminary round

Playing with house money against Team Canada after back-to-back wins

NHL.com @NHL

First place in Group A at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 will be decided at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday when Team Europe and Team Canada play their final preliminary-round game (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports).

Each team has won its first two games to clinch a berth in the semifinals. Team Canada has outscored Team Czech Republic and Team USA by a combined score of 10-2. Team Europe opened the tournament by surprising Team USA 3-0, then defeated Team Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime.

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Reasons for Optimism

Team North America to 'swing the bat' after loss

Young players to use speed against formidable Team Sweden defense

NHL.com @NHL

Team Sweden can complete a perfect ride through Group B and assure itself of a trip to the semifinals at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 by defeating Team North America at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday (3 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, TVA Sports).

Team Sweden will be playing on back-to-back days after defeating Team Finland 2-0 on Tuesday to improve to 2-0-0. Team North America is 1-1-0 after losing 4-3 to Team Russia on Monday.

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Reasons for Optimism

Team USA relying on Jonathan Quick, fresh legs

Would be eliminated from World Cup with loss; Team Canada doesn't have to change game plan

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Team USA looks to keep its hopes of a World Cup of Hockey 2016 semifinal berth alive and would be eliminated with a loss of any kind to Team Canada when they play at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, TVA Sports).

Team USA is seeking its first goal of the tournament after a 3-0 loss to Team Europe on Saturday. Team Canada is coming off a 6-0 win against Team Czech Republic on Saturday.

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Reasons for Optimism

Team Finland hoping slower pace leads to success

Presence of Victor Hedman, perhaps Henrik Lundqvist provides boost for Team Sweden

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Team Finland will look to keep its World Cup of Hockey 2016 hopes alive against rival Team Sweden in preliminary-round play. The two teams meet at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday (3 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, TVA Sports).

Team Finland was dominated by Team North America on Sunday, outshot 43-25 and outchanced 87-40 in a 4-1 loss. Team Sweden held on to defeat Team Russia 2-1 on Sunday.

Here are the reasons for optimism for Team Finland and Team Sweden:

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Reasons for Optimism

Team North America looks to remain undefeated

Goes for second win in preliminary-round play; Team Russia counting on loaded offense

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Team Russia will attempt to win its first preliminary-round game after a tough loss on Sunday, and Team North America looks for its second convincing win at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. They play each other at Air Canada Centre on Monday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports).

Team Russia lost to Team Sweden, 2-1, after Alex Ovechkin's tying goal late in the third period was disallowed because he batted the puck with his hand into the net. Team North America didn't allow a goal to Team Finland until the final six minutes in an impressive 4-1 win.

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