TORONTO -- Midway through his team's shocking run in the World Cup of Hockey, Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger made a comment in passing that has helped explain how his team has advanced as far as it has.
But in Krueger’s mind, experience is a skill. Smart hockey is a skill. Leadership is a skill. They’re all skills that can be developed, all skills that can make you a better hockey player and team. All of these are skills that Team Europe has in abundance.
Frans Nielsen, who has been great in this tournament, put it this way: “I don’t think we’ve been one of the best teams in the tournament, but we’ve been one of the smartest.”
Make no mistake, Europe is a massive underdog heading into the World Cup finals that start Tuesday.