After Friday’s Team Canada practice, just one day before the 2016 World Cup of Hockey opens, coach Mike Babcock revealed the lineup for Saturday’s opener.
As expected, Carey Price will start in net for Team Canada. The surprise in net is that Corey Crawford, who has never suited up for his country, will serve as the team’s backup while 2016 Vezina Trophy-winner Braden Holtby will be watching the game from the press box.
Additionally, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux will be a healthy scratch in what Babcock called a “coach’s decision.” In his place, Buffalo’s Ryan O’Reilly will center Team Canada’s fourth line with Joe Thornton and Matt Duchene. O’Reilly just joined the team this week, replacing the injured Tyler Seguin.
On defense, there was some concern early in the day because Shea Weber did not participate in practice, but it was labeled a maintenance day for the newly acquired Canadien. Babcock said after practice that Weber will be in the lineup Saturday, making Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin the odd man out.
Team Canada opens the World Cup Saturday at 7pm ET against Team Czech Republic.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.