They scratched and clawed and pushed and shoved their way through two World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game, it meant absolutely nothing.
When the United States and Canada will meet Tuesday night in preliminary round play, the stakes will be so high as to get the Americans, who face exclusion from the tournament.
“Tuesday is our championship game,” said USA coach John Tortorella. “We knew we had to go through Canada. That game came just before us.”
Americans put themselves in this position uninspiring effort in a 3-0 loss to Team Europe on Saturday in the opener on a two-week tournament. Meanwhile, Canada rolled past the Czech Republic 6-0 and looked every inch the favorite part.
Team Europe 3-2 overtime victory over the Czechs on Monday gave Europe a 2-0 record in Group A and put the US at bay. The loss to Canada by Americans ended the tournament.
“We know we have to win on Tuesday and give ourselves a chance,” said Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane. “Right now we’re not worried something else that is dynamic is what will happen after three games. We’re just focusing on one game.”
“We will come, it’s no secret,” said Tortorella. “It’s the way we were built. (But) we will play the game the right way. It’s not about yapping after the whistle. We have a commercial appearance.
“I do not think there should be any talk. Just play the whistle and play the right way, the way we should play a position to win.”
Added US forward David Backes: “We have a blue-collar team that works hard and has to keep that to have success against them when you get to the track meet, it favors if we get into a grinding game .. and take advantage of our size and physicality, we should be able to tilt the scales in our direction. ”
This could lead to some inconvenience on ice.
“We’ll take care of ourselves. We know what they can do well and what they are trying to do. For us, it’s just knowing that they were going to come really hungry.”
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews
Photos Blackhawks captain.
And eager to get the puck into their top offensive weapons: Kane.
“We need our best players to keep our best players and the other guys fill in and do some other stuff that goes hand in hand with our base of players,” said Tortorella. “This is very important, against probably the best team in this tournament Our guys need to be there not only Kaner .. There are a number of really good players that we have at our club, and we’re out of time it has to happen. (Tuesday) at night. ”
Kane said he is ready to take on the role of Americans go-to guy.
“I did the last game to produce, and it is my job as a team, to produce and act chances (and) try to help put goals on the board,” he said. “That was not done, but you just have to learn from it, draw a line under the past, come into the next game full of confidence and play the way you know you can.”