The World Cup (Of Hockey) is like 8 months away, but that doesn't mean it's too soon to start drooling over the talent we're going to see.You ever stop to think about all the possible line combinations at the World Cup of Hockey and realize this tournament is gonna kick ass?— Jordie (@BarstoolJordie) January 19, 2016
Team Czech Republic
Allow Me To Be A Flyers Fan For A Second:
Jake Voracek - David Krejci - Jaromir Jagr
Jakub Kindl - Radko Gudas
No, seriously. Voracek is likely going to be one of the top-line wingers, and somehow Gudas is probably going to find himself being their top-pairing defenseman. Neuvirth, of course, has been stellar and will probably split time with Ondrej Pavelec and Petr Mrazek. But unless those three combine for a shutout every night, this Czech team won't be accomplishing much.
Team North America/God Damn Millennials
Top Six: Sean Couturier, Max Domi, Johnny Gaudreau, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Brandon Saad
Top Pair: Seth Jones, Aaron Ekblad
Potential #FutureFlyer That Might Make The Roster: Travis Konecny
I'd peg this team in the bottom tier with the Czech Republic and Finland just because their defense and goalies lack depth (wait let's change that to "severely lack depth").
But a line of Coots (big, physical, defensive) with Saad (as big and physical as you can get on this team) and a player like MacKinnon (not quite as big or physical, but he can burn) could cause havoc and compete with the big guns.
Speaking of those big guns, let's cut right to the biggest.
Pick Four Of These To Center Lines: Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews, Jamie Benn, Claude Giroux, Ryan Johansen, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Getzlaf, John Tavares
..what the fuck man.
Fill The Rest Of That Group In On The Wings, Along With These Guys: Tyler Seguin, Corey Perry, Rick Nash, Taylor Hall, Logan Couture
And just in case scoring a million goals won't get it done every game, look who they have on defense.
Right Handed D-Men: Shea Weber, Drew Doughty, PK Subban, Alex Pietrangelo, Brent Burns
Left Handed D-Men: Duncan Keith, Mark Giordano, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Jake Muzzin
Goalies: Carey Price, Braden Holtby
No big deal, just (1) the six best centers in the East (2) two of the three best centers in the West and (3) four of the six best defensemen in the world (4) two of the three best goalies in the world. Is that good?
Centers: David Backes, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Kesler, Tyler Johnson, Derek Stepan
Top Six Wingers: Patrick Kane, Max Pacioretty, Phil Kessel, Zach Parise
Defensemen: Justin Faulk, John Carlson, Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Suter, Kevin Shattenkirk, Cam Fowler, Dustin Byfuglien
Good Luck Trying To Be European Against These Five Guys: TJ Oshie, Backes, Kyle Okposo, Suter, Byfuglien
Top Nine Centers: Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Backstrom, Henrik Sedin
Top Nine Wingers: Filip Forsberg, Gustav Nyquist, Daniel Sedin, Gabriel Landeskog, Alexander Steen, Loui Eriksson
Top Four Defensemen: Erik Karlsson, Victor Hedman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Anton Stralman
Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist