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World Cup of Hockey

by Julie Robenhymer / http://www.truesince82.com

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey starts Saturday and, in case you haven't been paying attention, there are three New Jersey Devils representing Team USA - Cory Schneider, Kyle Palmieri and head coach John Hynes. They split their first two pre-tournament games with Canada (a 4-2 win in Columbus on Friday and a 5-2 loss in Ottawa) and, tonight, USA will play Finland at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC in their final pre-tournament game.  
 

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey starts Saturday and, in case you haven't been paying attention, there are three New Jersey Devils representing Team USA - Cory Schneider, Kyle Palmieri and head coach John Hynes. They split their first two pre-tournament games with Canada (a 4-2 win in Columbus on Friday and a 5-2 loss in Ottawa) and, tonight, USA will play Finland at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC in their final pre-tournament game.  
 
Stars & Schneids 
We all know Cory's flag inspired goalie pads are off-the-charts awesome, but where did the idea come from? 
 
"We had some fun with the guitar pads for the All Star Game [in Nashville] and I knew Vaughn was getting a little more creative with what they could do. So, I asked them if there was any chance we could do something like this and I told them the ideas I had in my head. They came back with a sketch and it was a pretty good picture of what I wanted," Schneider said. "They put a lot of attention into the details - the color placement for the stripes and there are 25 stars on each pad - and made sure every thing looked just right and I think it came out really well.
 
He continued: "It's a once in a, maybe, lifetime opportunity and I thought, what the heck, just go for it and do something creative."
 
Coaching for the Coach
When Hynes was the head coach of Team USA at the world championship, he appreciated the insight from the other coaches on his staff. As an assistant coach for this tournament, it's no different. 
 
"You have so many other coaches here - four head coaches in the NHL and Phil Housley [who is an assistant coach with Nashville] - so there are a lot of different ideas here. When we talk about how we're going to do things, we're not looking for one to be right. We're looking for the best way to get the most out of this particular group of players. So I have the chance here to see how different guys do things, how they run their practices or how they present to the team," Hynes explained. "It's like a coaching symposium for me every day here. We're learning from each other and confirming some of the things we believe. It's been great and I've learned a lot." 
 
Palmieri Answers the Call
When Ryan Callahan had to withdraw from the World Cup due to injury, Team USA needed a replacement and they called Kyle. 
 
"I was on my way back from John Moore's wedding when I got the call. I was just on a two hour drive home and had some time on my hands so I answered it. It was a Sunday afternoon and figured it wasn't a telemarketer," Palmieri said with a laugh of the unfamiliar number that popped up on his phone. "I was surprised to here Coach Tortarella's voice, that's for sure. But it was great. I didn't expect it. When they announced the rest of the team [in May], I just put it out of my mind and started preparing for training camp with the Devils. Now, I moved things up a bit so I could be ready to play here. I've been excited ever since."
 
You can watch USA face off against Finland (who also split their first two pre-tournament games with Sweden) tonight on ESPN at 7pm ET.

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