World Junior Championships preview: Four Lightning prospects in Canada vs Switzerland

Canada plays in the quarter-finals this afteroon, and the Lightning could have a huge impact.

The round robin portion of the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships (WJC) is over. Team Canada and its four Tampa Bay Lightning prospects finished first in group A. Today Canada plays Switzerland in the quarter-finals, a team that they have never lost to at the WJC. If (when) they beat the Swiss, Canada will play either the Czech Republic or Finland in the semi-finals.

So, how have the Lightning prospects been?

Taylor Raddysh is in a five-way tie for first in scoring for Canada, with two goals and two assists. He’s getting a lot of highlight time with his goals and set ups:

Boris Katchouk is one of those players that Raddysh is tied with, and also has two goals and two points, but no one wanted to gif him.

Brett Howden has two goals for Canada in the tournament so far, both against Denmark and was named player of the game for Canada after that performance.

Cal Foote is playing a defensive game for Canada, he’s had one assist and zero shots on net. The defense is working for Canada as they’ve let in just six goals in the tournament so far.

How can I watch the game today?

You can watch today’s game at 4:00PM on TSN and stream it on TSN GO in Canada and the NHL Network in the US.

Why is the arena so empty?

*breathes in* Well, the average ticket package is $1,116 US, and $1,400 CDN [ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! — Acha]. USA Hockey put the tournament in Buffalo because it was a solid money maker in 2011 with all the Canadians coming across the border, since it’s just a two hour drive from Toronto.

However weather has gotten in the way with blizzards and car accidents clogging up the highways in and out of Buffalo and creating delays at the Canada/US border. Combine that with event fatigue - the World Juniors were in the Buffalo/Toronto stretch in 2011, 2015, and 2017 before this tournament, as well as the World Cup of Hockey in 2016. Also, as much as I love junior hockey, it’s rarely worth more than the average $25 ticket you’ll pay to watch a CHL game, and Hockey Canada and USA Hockey see this tournament as a money maker more than a development program /end rant

Sorry for asking

It will be just as bad next year in Vancouver.

So, will Canada play the US again?

The only way these two meet again is in the finals. Canada will have to beat the Swiss today and then either Finland or the Czech Republic.

Tonight at 8PM the United States plays Russia in their quarter-final game, and then they’ll have to beat either Sweden or Slovakia to make the finals.