Five Montreal Canadiens players have been officially confirmed as representatives for their respective nations at the IIHF World Championships. Defender PK Subban will be joining Team Canada while Forward Max Pacioretty has impressed Team USA enough to get a call up. This tournament is particularly important to Canada who will be trying to improve their world ranking for a better draw at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Canada currently sits 4th in the IIHF World Rankings. After winning the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Canada has had a difficult time at the World Championships with two quarterfinal appearances. The Canadian lineup is staked with plenty of the best Canadians who are no currently involved in the NHL playoffs. John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Corey Perry and Jeff Skinner are all confirmed members of the Canadian lineup. The Canadian team is also hoping that Rocket Richard trophy winner Steven Stamkos, who had 60 goals to his name this season, will join the team after a precautionary MRI to his left shoulder.
Subban finished the season with 7 goals and 29 assists for 36 points in 81 games, 7 goals and 2 points less than his rookie season. However, Subban’s defensive game has improved and it is reflected in the +9 rating he finished the season with compared to the -8 from his rookie campaign.
As for Pacioretty his 33 goals, 32 assists and 65 points are all career highs. The Canadiens’ forward had a breakout season this year, one year after a vicious hit from Zdeno Chara sidelined him for the majority of last season. Pacioretty’s line with Desharnais and Cole was one of the best in the league during the later half of the season. The United States are currently ranked 6th in the IIHF and will also be looking to improve their rank with a solid result in this tournament.
Also joining their respective teams are Tomas Plekanec (Czech Republic), Lars
Eller (Denmark), and Alexei Emelin (Russia). Plekanec will be suiting up
for his home country for the 6th time in this tournament. He tied for
second in tournament scoring at least year’s event. Eller missed last
year’s tourney with the injury that kept him out of Montreal’s lineup at the
start of the season, it will be his 3rd time suiting up for the Danes.
This will be the 3rd straight appearance for Emelin who still could be joined by
fellow countryman Andrei Markov. Markov hasn’t been invited yet but the
Russians have yet to finalize their roster.
Several Habs have also confirmed they won’t be participating. Carey
Price, Raphael Diaz, and Yannick Weber have injuries that will stop them from
going while Erik Cole, Peter Budaj, and Tomas Kaberle have all declined