Ahhhh predications. Some of us love them, some of us hate them, but nonetheless we have them for you on who we think will win the 2021 World Championships!
Anne Tokarski - Finland
Finland will be looking to avenge their controversial shootout loss to the United States in the 2019 gold medal game (on home soil!), and I think they have the willpower and the talent to come back even stronger. They’ll have to go through two leaders on the world stage in the U.S. and Canada, while also working to stay ahead of the ROC and Switzerland in group play...but anything can happen when you’ve got a chip on your collective metaphorical shoulders. And while the Finns will be without Noora Räty, they have a trio of extremely solid goaltenders and a defensive corps that could genuinely put them into contention for their first title.
Mike Murphy - Canada
This is a Worlds tournament unlike any other and that is why I think the host nation could have the best chance of emerging victorious from the chaos of the delay, quarantine, and the long wait since Espoo. I have big questions about Canada’s blue line — especially against the elite forwards on Team USA and Finland — but I think they have the best goaltending in the tournament. Canada also has a healthy and determined Marie-Philip Poulin. I may not know who to bet on, but I don’t think I want to bet against Pou and her crew. Canada really has something to prove. This is their chance to do that.
Holly Morrison - Switzerland
When you think about the powerhouses of women’s hockey, Switzerland isn’t generally a one of the teams that comes to mind. The Swiss team has Alina Müller who can always be relied upon to do Alina Müller things. It’s also looking like they’ll go with a first line of Staenz, Müller, Stalder. Those three are tough to contain on their own, put them together and it could end up being a bad time for defenders in Calgary. If I’m being honest though, the reason I’m picking Switzerland is because I’m pretty sure this tournament is going to go one of two ways; it’s going to be a clean sweep for one of the teams you’d expect, or, it’s going to get weird. I’m putting my money on weird and Switzerland winning is the kind of weird that’s just plausible enough to realistically happen.
Michelle Jay - Canada
I wanted to say everyone because let’s be real, the fact that we finally got international hockey have 800 odds days without it is the biggest win here. But I really should make an actual prediction. I’m going with Canada mostly because Marie-Philip Poulin will be hellbent on winning and carry the team. As a fellow BU alum, I’m extremely okay with her going off. Plus, it’s their home tournament, and with everything it's taken to get to this tournament I feel like they’re going to have a fire under their skates. Hot take here, that kind of contradicts what I just wrote: Canada’s either going to do really well or flame out, all or nothing, eh?
Gabriella Fundaro - Canada
I’m going with the tournament hosts. It’s been a long wait for the next Women’s World Championship for everyone, but I’m betting it’s been extra long for Team Canada; they’ve got to be extra eager to end their drought and win gold. I think Canada has the edge over their Group A counterparts up front. Their forward group is made up of veteran players who have shown they can play their best hockey at the national team level. We won’t get to see the Canadians’ blue line at full strength this tournament due to a couple of injuries, but this is a big opportunity for that group to show they can handle the Finnish and American attacks, in particular. If they can do that successfully, I think it puts Canada over the edge for a gold medal.
You’ve read our opinions, now we want yours! Vote in our poll until 1:59 p.m. eastern on Friday, just before puck drops on the first game, and let us know why in the comments.
Who will in 2021 Worlds?