For my next World Cup of Hockey Betting Preview, I’ll be covering the first Semi-Final of the tournament between Canada and Russia.
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Road to the semis
Canada strolled through the Round-Robin stage winning all three of their games convincingly. As for the Russians they needed to beat Finland to secure their place for Sunday’s game. They did so in emphatic style (3-0).
The Canadians have been widely regarded as the favourites for this competition and have done little wrong to negate this notion. At times their play has been out of this world as teams have been reverting to a more defensive system to avoid a hammering. Team Canada has outscored its opponents by 14-3.
Russia have improved as the tournament has progressed, having lost 2-1 to Sweden in their opening game. As mentioned in my preview to the tournament, Russia’s offense is integral to their chances of winning. This was the key to their 4-3 nail-biting win over North America, as they scored 4 goals on 4 straight shots and also showed resilience and determination to come from behind. Russia are still waiting on the status of crafty veteran Pavel Datsyuk. Who sat out the game v Finland.
Russia v Canada is one of the premier fixtures in hockey as they are the most successful nations in the game. This will not be as straightforward as many are predicting. We’re talking about Russia here! Notoriously known for being one of the most unpredictable teams in the game.
Jonathan Toews (Canada) – ‘Captain Serious’ means business! The Chicago Blackhawks captain leads the tournament in goals (3) and points (4) – in a five-way tie. The Winnipeg native is looking to add to his outstanding international resumḕ.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (Canada) – The San Jose Sharks defenseman is finally getting the recognition he deserves. He is one of the best defensive defenseman in the game but has also chipped in with two assists in the tournament so far. The Russians will need to be on form if they’re to get the better of Vlasic and co
Evgeni Malkin (Russia) – Malkin scored his first goal in the tournament against Finland in the last game. He’ll be looking to add more silverware as he won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in June.
Sergei Bobrovsky (Russia) – If the Russians are going to cause one of the upsets of the tournament they’ll need a big game from Bobrovsky. He sure is capable of producing and he’ll be buoyed having shutout the Finns in his last game.
I think this will be closer than many think, however I can only see Canada coming out on top with a two goal margin. Unlike the other semi-final, I’m expecting goals here. Therefore,I’m going for over 5.5 goals with both teams full of offensive firepower.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 5.5 goals at 1.85 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.