COLUMBUS — Team USA’s physical 4-2 win against Canada in the first pre-tournament game suggests that concerns about players not being emotional about the World Cup of Hockey have been misplaced.
Even though the game meant nothing in the standings, players from both teams played with playoff-style intensity, which boiled over on several occasions. Late in the first period, Canada’s Sidney Crosby stirred up trouble when he cross-checked USA forward Kyle Palmieri. In the second period, USA center Ryan Kesler received a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct for boarding defenseman Shea Weber. Animosity was present throughout the contest that drew a crowd of 17,791.
The critical news for the Canadians was that goalie Carey Price played all 60 minutes, with no apparent discomfort, in his first start since Nov. 25. A knee injury cost him most of the 2015-16 season and prevented his Montreal Canadiens from making the playoffs
U.S. general manager Dean Lombardi built the roster with the idea that the Americans…