It might have just been a tune-up game for Team Canada, but that didn't stop Anthony Duclair from doing what he does best. You know, when his coach actually decides to play him.
In a 6-0 domination over Switzerland, Duclair had three assists. Let's take a look at some of the recaps to see just how good Duclair was. Our friends over at Habs Eyes On The Prize had a recap of the game, with a few glowing highlights of Duclair:
The Swiss were getting away with some borderline stuff as well, with Noah Rod lining up Anthony Duclair for a hit 20 feet away from the puck. Rod made himself a marked man the rest of the game, and his actions completely backfired on the score clock, as Duclair seemed to take it up another notch after the hit.
When Canada finally got a powerplay of their own, Duclair picked up a loose puck on the boards after McDavid wired a shot off the post, and fended off a Swiss checker as Max Domi came off the bench and took Duclair's pass, wiring one in to make it 2-0 Canada.
13 seconds lated, Duclair found Domi in front of the net for another goal, though Domi said he didn't touch the puck, and Duclair just bounced it in.
The top line of Duclair, Domi and Sam Reinhart dominated the entire game, combining for seven points. TSN had some nice quotes from Domi and head coach Benoit Groulx about Duclair:
"It's pretty easy to play with those two guys," said Domi of his linemates. "Reinhart and Duclair are two great hockey players. It's fun to be a part of that line and get the opportunity, but it comes with hard work too, and I work really hard away from the puck."
"Before camp opened, we wanted to see if those guys can have chemistry together, and obviously I think they do," said head coach Benoit Groulx. "They seem to have a lot of fun playing together. They're a good mix - two guys (Domi and Duclair) with speed and skills on the wing, and Sam in the middle who controls the game. They're a good line for us."
I know it's strange talking about Canada doing good things and being happy about it, but there's no way you can't be rooting for Duclair. And with Pavel Buchnevich suiting up for Russia and Brandon Halverson tending the pipes for Team USA, it's going to be a fun tournament for Rangers fans.
So before the real competition starts, let's take a moment to enjoy Duclair doing Duclair things. Then it's back to rooting for Team USA.