The top two teams in Group B at the 2018 IIHF World Championships meet in an important matchup on Tuesday, as the United States takes on Finland inside the Jyske Bank Boxen.
Note this information is for those who are in the United States
Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Start Time: 6:15 a.m. ET (12:15 p.m. local)
TV Channel: NHL Network (there will also be a replay of the game at 8 p.m. ET)
Live Stream: DirecTV Now. While there are four different channel packages, the NHL Network is included in the “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” bundles. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the game live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
The United States was seen as a decent contender heading into these World Championships, but it’s hard to imagine many people were quite expecting this level of play from the Americans.
After beginning the tournament with a shootout win over tournament co-favorites Canada, Team USA has continued to roll through the competition. At 4-2-0, they are one of just two teams in the tournament without a loss of any kind (Sweden being the other), and they have a plus-27 goal differential, which is the best in the tournament.
Patrick Kane leads everyone with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists), but there have been big contributions from all over the place, with six other players (Cam Atkinson, Dylan Larkin, Alex Debrincat, Johnny Gaudreau, Charlie McAvoy, Chris Kreider) tallying at least seven points through six games. And on the other end of the ice, Keith Kinkaid is fourth in the tournament with 116 saves, while his 94.31 save percentage is second.
Finland, meanwhile, is just three points behind the United States with a chance to grab a top spot in the group with a big win. The Fins lost to Denmark and lost in overtime to Germany, but they also put together one of the most impressive performances of the tournament when they took down Canada, 5-1, on Saturday.
“They moved the puck around pretty quick and made some good plays,” Bo Horvat of Canada said after that one. “They worked hard and closed a lot of gaps on us. Their power play was very good, and their goaltending was sensational.”
Finland has allowed just nine goals all tournament, which is third best, and it will be intriguing to see how that defense holds up against the United States’ red-hot attack, which has scored more goals than everyone.
Both of these teams are ultimately headed to the quarterfinals no matter what happens on Tuesday, but grabbing the top spot in the group will provide an easier road to the finals. Moreover, both will be looking to make one last statement before heading to the knockout round.
All-in-all, it should be an entertaining battle.