World Juniors 2014: Canada vs Switzerland pre-tournament game thread

Bruce Bennett

After a wake up call in the form of a loss to Sweden where Canada had no business being in the game, a weaker opponent offers a chance to get back in top form before the tournament begins.

Yesterday's game was ugly. It was ugly on a level that's been rare for Team Canada in the World Juniors for a really long time. They've lose games, and they have a long run now without a gold medal, but they have rarely ever been dominated.

Not to make excuses, but let's face it, Team Sweden is much stronger this year than Team Canada. They're older, bigger, stronger, and faster. Maybe not more skilled, but Canada's skilled guys aren't on the same level as the Swedes yet.

Against Switzerland, there is no such qualifier. They are a team that Canada should defeat and do so in a big way. We know that the Swiss play a very strong defensive system, often backed by a goaltender who plays out of his mind, but Canada needs a confidence boost before the tournament begins, and they have to take advantage.

After winning player of the game for Canada essentially by default, Jake Patterson is likely to watch this game from the bench, as assumed starter and Canadiens prospect Zachary Fucale will be tending the net.

The hops is that fellow Habs prospect Charles Hudon will also get increased ice time, though it's unlikely that Brent Sutter will reunite the magical QMJHL all-star line of Hudon, Jonathan Drouin, and Anthony Mantha, even though the top line failed to click against the Swedes.

The game begins at 11am EST on TSN.

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