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2023 WJC Day 3 RECAP: Canada assures us there’s nothing to worry about, and Slovakia reminds the US that they’re still mortal.

Germany can’t hang with Canada, and USA’s nearly scheduled loss to Slovakia goes off without a hitch.

Hey, you’re not supposed to know the camera’s here, kid!
IIHF Images

Oh boy.

Game 1: USA gets exactly what they deserve for listless play and poor goaltending. Slovakia upends the States 6-3

Play stupid games...

Game Notes:

  • The USA got caught both rosy cheeked and without drawers yesterday. Every negative quality of their game, plenty of coasting, over-aggressive and loosey-goosey defense, and frankly questionable goaltending, was on display even as they controlled the SOG game for much of it. They even got off their signature “try to pull it all together in the third” heroics and what did it get them but two extra dumb goals dropped on them. The Americans earned their L tonight in all the ways they usually do, and I don’t anticipate them learning much from this unless they work hard for it.
  • But hey, Slovakia’s still walking around with boatloads of skill right now. Dvorsky can wire a puck from anywhere on the ice, Mesar has a real fun shot, and every last one of ‘em can move like the wind. I especially loved their outlet passes tonight; they identified the US’ weakness in transition, and it paid off big time.
  • Switzerland may not be as individually skilled, but they sure proved over the last two games that they can beat you as a team. Better bring your a-game, USA.

Game 2: Canada’s long national nightmare of worrying about two scoring chances comes to an end as they brutalize Germany 11-2

Alright we get it, you’re good.

Game Notes:

  • Nikita Quopp didn’t play in this game, and boy can’t you tell; Germany got completely pummelled last night: 52-16 were the shots and it never felt even slightly close. They did get some goals, which is nice, but sometimes talent gaps are just too much.
  • Man this Connor Bedard kid might be something, huh. 7 point night for the projected first overall pick of 2023; he was all over the dang ice and Germany simply had no answer.
  • Keep your chin up, Deutschland. Your scheduled win over Austria is coming, and then it’ll all be over.

Games Today:

Latvia vs. Finland, 11am

Should I watch it?: I get the feeling Latvia is going to play the “work real hard but still lose” game again, so maybe skip this one. It’s a a genuine shame! I love how Latvia plays! But talent advantages still matter in this tournament.

Sweden vs. Czechia, 1:30pm

Should I watch it?: We’ve had Ryder in our comments seriously doubting Sweden’s play and coaching so far this tourney, and I can’t say I disagree completely; they’re talented...but they make some baffling choices with personnel. Czechia meanwhile has absolutely obliterated pretty much everyone they’ve played this year, which includes Canada, so yeah, I think this a must-watch to see if Sweden are truly fraudulent or just hilariously inconsistent.

USA vs. Switzerland, 4pm

Should I watch it?: SPEAKING OF TEAMS TRYING VERY HARD NOT TO BE SEEN AS FRAUDS, the States’ rough goaltending and C+ efforts in the first 40 minutes in games has led to them being 1-1-0 and trailing Switzerland, who work their tails off and even worse; have the kind of defensive structure to really give the Red, White and Blue serious fits. I personally, would love to see if this becomes another upset. I don’t think it will, but I think it’ll be much closer than people think it will be.

Canada vs. Austria, 6pm

Under no circumstances are you to watch what Canada does to Austria.