Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are practicing with their respective countrymen and both have been given their first lines to center for the tournament that starts later this month.
Canada lines: Marchand-Crosby-Bergeron, Tavares-Getzlaf-Stamkos, Couture-Toews-Seguin, Duchene-Giroux-Thornton. Perry rotating through— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) September 5, 2016
Pretty balanced team of superstars right there.
How's this for Team Canada's PP1?— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 5, 2016
Crosby, Stamkos, Tavares, Getzlaf, Doughty.
Yeah, that's a pretty good power play right there.
Whether he knew he would be playing with them at the time or not, Crosby's getting his wish and starting with 2 of the 3 names he mentioned.
At this particular moment, the Team Canada captain is pondering the question we’ve just posed to him: Which player on the roster might you like to be linemates with? It doesn’t take long for him to respond.
"I haven’t played with Stammer before," he said. "That would be an interesting combination. His shot, he doesn’t need a lot of time to release it. He’s a right-handed shot. He’s one guy."
But Crosby isn’t finished.
"Obviously I’ve played with (Patrice) Bergeron in a number of tournaments," he continued. "And it would be cool with Brad Marchard, With him being from the same area (of Nova Scotia), I’ve skated a lot with him in the summer. I’m happy to see him on the team. It’ll be fun.
Seeing Steven Stamkos and Crosby on a line would be very intriguing. Luckily for the rest of the world that, for now at least, it's not going to be that way.
Russia's also getting going as well with their first practices.
Team Russia lines: Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Kucherov; Tarasenko-Malkin-Kulemin; Namestnikov-Anisimov-Panarin.— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) September 5, 2016
Evgeni Malkin and Vladimir Tarasenko together? Yes, please, I would like to watch that.
Also, it looks like Olli Maatta is playing on Finland's top pair with Rasmus Ristolainen. (Though normally in tournaments like this, pairs and lines play fairly balanced and even amount of time).
For Sweden, it looks like Patric Hornqvist is going to be playing on what I assume would be their top line with the Capitals Nicklas Backstrom and Caps draftee-and-tradee Filip Forsberg. Carl Hagelin is practicing with Marcus Kruger and Richard Rakell.
For Team North America, Matt Murray has come into camp as their #1 goalie according to their GM Peter Chiarelli, and should be playing in the majority of their games, assuming all goes well.
Getting closer to time to drop the puck! Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center will host 2 "pre-tournament" games on Wednesday September 14th (first Murray and Team NA vs. the Czechs, and then the main event of Crosby vs. Malkin).