Canada cruised by Slovakia with an 8-0 win yesterday and will look to keep the good times rolling against a vulnerable German squad tonight.
Coming off a dominant 7-0 win against the Slovaks, there’s not much to say about Canada’s roster heading into this game. Expect them to stick with the same lines as yesterday and continue to build themselves up ahead of games against Finland and the United States as well as the elimination round. Canada’s expected lines are:
Max Domi-Sam Reinhart-Anthony Duclair
Nick Ritchie-Connor MacDavid-Curtiz Lazar
Nick Paul-Nick Petan-Robby Fabbri
Lawson Crouse-Frederik Gauthier-Jake Virtanen
Darnell Nurse-Shea Theodore
Josh Morrissey-Madison Bowey
Samuel Morin-Joe Hicketts
The most notable German junior isn’t even on the team. Top Oilers prospect Leon Draisaitl has struggled in his rookie NHL season this year with just 7 points in 34 games. The decision by Edmonton not to loan Draisaitl to Germany for the World Juniors was met with controversy, and despite not being on the team, there are lots of rumors circling around that Draisaitl could be sent back to the Western Hockey League in the next couple of weeks.
Draisaitl aside, there isn’t much to write about when it comes to this German team. They’re coming off a tournament last year where they narrowly avoided relegation, finishing 9th out of 10 teams and posting a 1-0-0-3 record with a -17 goal differential in 4 preliminary round games. Germany is also the only team in this year’s tournament that doesn’t have any NHL-drafted players.
It’s not all bad, though. Defenseman Janik Moser was Germany’s player of the game when the Germans faced Canada last year, and is the first Ohio State Buckeye to play in the World Juniors since 2008. Another German blueliner, David Trinkberger, is considered a good two-way defenseman that could be a late-round NHL draft pick this summer. And forward Markus Eisenschmid was the 57th-ranked European skater by Central Scouting last year and could be drafted this summer, too. With 18 points in 16 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers, he’s Germany’s only player currently in the CHL. 8 of Germany’s players play in North America.
There hasn’t been any official confirmation on which goalies will start for either team yet today, but a safe assumption might be Eric Comrie for Canada since Canada is playing their second game in as many nights and Kevin Reich for Germany, who has a .933 save percentage for the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers thus far this season.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Canada had no goals from their second line or their defense last night. Both looked good, but they’ll look to get on the board against a meager German team.
- Will Germany have a more favourable score against Canada than Slovakia did? I’d argue Slovakia has a better roster than Germany, but the Germans only lost to Canada 7-2 in last year’s prelim match-up.
- He didn’t have to do a lot yesterday, but Zachary Fucale stopped all 12 shots he faced. Eric Comrie will want to put in a similar performance to keep himself in the running for Canada’s #1 goalie spot moving forward.