Team Canada is the overwhelming favourite to win the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and rightfully so.
Canada has won the last two Olympic Men’s hockey tournaments and 4 of the past 5 best-on-best international tournaments dating back to the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and including the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Add in the fact that Canada absolutely dominated at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi winning the gold medal game 3-0 and outscoring opponents 17-3 over 6 games. It was an absolute clinic and with that tournament having taken place only two years earlier, this edition of Team Canada is made up of largely the same core of players.
The online sportsbooks have Canada listed at odds of 2.00 to win the World Cup of Hockey. That means that Canada is being given about a 50% chance of winning the tournament. If you’re interested in betting on the tourney check out this guide to betting on the World Cup of Hockey.
Will They Win?
Why Will They Win?
First of all let’s look at their group. They’re in group A with Team USA, the Czech Republic and Team Europe.
The Czechs and Team Europe are widely considered to be the weakest two teams heading into the tournament (according to the World Cup of Hockey futures odds). For this reason I don’t think there is much of a threat of Team Canada not advancing out of the group stage. Group B is a much more difficult group containing Sweden, Finland, Russia and North America.
The most crucial game of the tournament for Team Canada’s chances will be the semi-finals. They will be playing one of those very game teams from group B and we all know that anyone can win a single elimination game at this level. That said, Canada will be the favourite in this game.
The reason I like Canada at more than 50% to win this tournament is because the finals is played as a best 2 of 3. This significantly helps the better team. The longer the series, the more likely the better team will win and even though this is just a best two of three that makes a huge difference for a team like Canada that will be big favourites against no matter who they play in the finals.
Team Canada doesn’t look as finely tuned as they were in Sochi just yet, but on paper they are by far the best team in this tournament and the fact that they have a very manageable group and the finals is played best two of three that really makes the semi-finals the only spot I can really see this team be eliminated from the tourney.
Here’s hoping I’m right and Canada can make it three in a row for best-on-best international competitions.