Kazakhstan vs Canada Hockey: match details, live stream, game preview 28/05/21

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HOCKEYCANADA

The IIHF Men’s World Championship is starting to shake up as the preliminary round of the tournament nears its end this weekend. All teams have just three games left to find themselves in the top four of their group and earn a spot in the playoffs. That’s just enough action left for most teams to still have a chance to qualify if they win out. Italy (0-4) is the only team eliminated from contention already as they are still winless.

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Canada (1-0-0-3) finds themselves teetering on the edge of falling out of a potential playoff run as well. Their game on Friday morning against Kazakhstan (1-2-0-1) is essential to win or go home, though of course they still have to finish out their schedule in Latvia. It’s been a historically bad showing at the Worlds for the Canadians, on the cusp of missing the quarterfinal in the event for the first time ever. To keep their hopes alive, they’ll have to get past a Kazakhstan team that has come through when they’ve needed to through three of their four games.

Viewing Information

CompetitionIIHF Men's World Championship
OpponentsCanada vs Kazakhstan
Date & TimeMay 28, 2021
VenueArena Riga
Live StreamPremiumTV

If they can get out of Friday with a victory, win the rest of their slate, and get a bit of help with some key outcomes of other games, there’s an outside chance Canada can work their way to the quarterfinal.

IIHF 202: Canada vs Kazakhstan Storyline

Canada

Should that happen, they’d have to be the hottest team entering the playoffs, and should intimidate whoever the top seed of Group A is. That’s a dream at this point, however, as there’s still a lot to overcome.

Canada’s offense finally showed up against Norway after being almost non-existent before then. Four of their six goals in the tournament came in that victory, and they still lead all teams with the worst shots-on-goal percentage despite having the most shot attempts. Kazakhstan has allowed the third-fewest goals, with just eight opponent shots finding the net. If the offense is here to stay for the Canadians, it will be a welcome sight. Their struggles on defense are a liability, nearly costing them their victory against Norway. The win didn’t present any answers to their woes, but it at least kept them alive for another day to possibly figure it out.

Kazakhstan

For the majority of the tournament, Kazakhstan had done just enough to get by in their victories, with their first two wins coming by a shootout in overtime. Their victory on Wednesday over Germany, however, was a different story, though a bit similar at the same time. Kazakhstan scored first but quickly allowed Germany to get out to a 2-1 lead entering the final frame. As has been their style in Riga, Latvia, the Kazakhs showed up when they needed to, scoring two goals in the third period while preventing another German response. It was impressive to see.

CompetitionIIHF Men's World Championship
OpponentsCanada vs Kazakhstan
Date & TimeMay 28, 2021
VenueArena Riga
Live StreamPremiumTV

Kazakhstan entered the tournament above only Italy in the initial power rankings. They’ve since climbed as high as No. 5 in the release of the second rankings and currently sit at No. 6. Surely they know that they’re playing at a higher level than maybe even they expected. How long can it last? The question is similar to what is being asked about the Canadians regarding their struggles so far. Could this be the game where power balance begins its slide to normal? Has Canada officially been woken up? Kazakhstan has the chance to put them to sleep for good while tightening their grip on a playoff spot. This is just as important for the Kazakhs as it is for the Canadians.

WATCH IIHF 2021 LIVE Canada vs Kazakhstan Game

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