World Cupdates: Captain Anze Kopitar Leads Team Europe into Battle

They’re facing a bunch of children tonight? That doesn’t seem fair.

The day you may or may not have been waiting for is finally here! The World Cup of Hockey is finally here. Sort of. The pre-tournament has begun, and two games are in the books. Finland took down Sweden in overtime, while Russia defeated the Czech Republic.

However, tonight brings us a truly unprecedented matchup: it’s The War of the Continents! North America (actually, a combined under-23 team for the USA and Canada) takes on Europe (actually, a combined team for European countries aside from Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Russia) in the third game of the day, at 5:00 PM on ESPN2. It’s also the first game of the pre-tournament involving players from the Los Angeles Kings.

They’re all on one side today, though. Anze Kopitar will serve as Team Europe’s captain, while Marian Gaborik will potentially serve as his linemate. Will the stakes be as high for Kopitar as they were on Sunday? No. Will it still be fun to watch for all of us? Definitely, especially the team they’re facing will probably provide the most purely exciting games of the World Cup.

As for the rest of the Kings: You’ll see Jonathan Quick starting in goal for the United States against Jake Muzzin, Drew Doughty, and Team Canada tomorrow at 4:00 PM Pacific on ESPNU. The real games start on September 17, but again, watch because it’s hockey and it’s on your television.