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World Cup of Hockey: Claude Giroux scratched for Canada’s first game

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Good, now you don’t have to pretend to root for Canada.

Hockey: World Cup of Hockey-Team Canada-Practice Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Claude Giroux won’t be on the ice for Team Canada’s opener at the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday afternoon in Toronto, instead sitting in the press box as a healthy scratch for what might be the first time in his professional career.

Canada plays the Czech Republic — and goalie Michal Neuvirth -- at 8 p.m. Saturday night on ESPN News.

Giroux was the extra forward in practice on Friday for the Canadiens, skating behind Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan O’Reilly at the center ice position. There’s no word on if the couple of bangs he took in the pre-tournament games have anything to do with this scratch, but on the bright side of things, you don’t have to pretend like you’re rooting for Canada now.