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Those Young, Swedish Defensemen

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Duncan Keith and Shea Weber may have something to say about this, but will there be a more dynamic defense pairing to watch in this tournament than Oliver Ekman-Larsson with Erik Karlsson?

Oh my.

The two young Swedish star blueliners were a treat to watch play together Wednesday when Sweden beat the Czech Republic 4-2 to kick off the Olympic tourney. Both defensemen are magicians with the puck, and watching them take turns with it against the Czechs was mesmerizing.

Are there any concerns defensively with having both offensive-minded blueliners together? Not that I could see Wednesday night.

more plus Scott Burnside on the game too...

Below, Swedish coach Par Marts in a Q & A post-game...

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sochi+olympics, team+sweden



Not sure what game Pierre was watching that he didn’t see defensive issues with Ekman-Larsson and Karlsson.  Just off the top of my head Ekman Larsson got pressured near the corner and instead of playing it safe up the boards or reversing it behind the net he forced a pass into the middle that went off his forward’s skates and to a Czech player for a grade A chance all by himself about 10 feet in front of Lundqvist.  Larsson tried to skate a puck from behind the net practically into the crease where he lost it but was bailed out by a weak tripping call on a the Czech player whose stick got caught in Larsson’s skates after he had knocked the puck away from Larsson.

Two top level offensive talents from the blue-line, but they will be a defensive liability on a rare occassion even if it’s only once or twice a game.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 02/12/14 at 07:10 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

OEL and Karlsson were fine today.

That Oduya-Hjalmarsson pairing?  Woof.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/12/14 at 08:03 PM ET

Primis's avatar

That Oduya-Hjalmarsson pairing?  Woof.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/12/14 at 07:03 PM ET

Absolutely.  Kronwall-Ericsson was mostly good today as well.  But yikes, Hjalmarsson in particular…

Posted by Primis on 02/12/14 at 08:06 PM ET


OEL and Karlsson were fine today.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/12/14 at 07:03 PM ET

I actually thought they were better than fine.  I was just pointing out that they did have a hiccup here and there defensively, but those were completely overshadowed by all the good they did on the ice.  Burnside makes it sound like they were perfect all game defensively, which I didn’t feel was the case.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 02/12/14 at 08:20 PM ET

Paul's avatar

SK, Edler is suspended for first two games,for his hit on E. Staal at World Championship.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/12/14 at 08:26 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 02/12/14 at 07:20 PM ET

Yeah I agree. LeBrun was being a bit more flowery than he should have been.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/12/14 at 08:31 PM ET

Dakkster's avatar

Actually, Vancouver only found out about Edler because of Andersson. Andersson had called Edler’s coach to find out if he would be playing and then the coach called Vancouver’s scout about it to drum up more interest, I guess. Andersson learned from that and no longer tips his hand like that.

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 02/13/14 at 02:37 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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