Kukla's Korner

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Entries with the tag: team sweden

Team USA Losses To Team Sweden In OT At The WJC

VICTORIA, British Columbia – The U.S. scored four unanswered goals - including a natural hat trick by Ryan Poehling (Lakeville, Minn./St. Cloud State University) - over the last 10:26 of regulation to force overtime, but was unable to complete the comeback as the U.S. National Junior Team fell to Sweden, 5-4, in its third preliminary round game of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"We weren't there for the first two and a half periods but boy did we show what we're capable of there at the end," said Mike Hastings (Crookston, Minn./Minnesota State), head coach of the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team. "I told our team that it's okay to feel a little short, to have this feeling, because we did this to ourselves. This team knows that it's up to players in the room to decide how far we can go in this tournament."

The U.S. (2-0-1-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) will close preliminary round play on Monday (Dec. 31) with a New Year's Eve tilt against Finland (2-0-0-1). Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. ET) and will be televised live on NHL Network.

Watch the game highlights below.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: team+sweden, team+usa

10 NHL Players Are Named To Team Sweden

via Martin Merk of IIHF.com,

10 NHL players committed to join the men’s national team for the Worlds in their country’s neighbourhood when the largest annual winter-sport event will come to Denmark for the first time ever. Among them are also returnees Oliver Ekman-Larsson and John Klingberg.

Goaltender: Anders Nilsson (Vancouver Canucks).

Defencemen: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Arizona Coyotes), John Klingberg (Dallas Stars), Erik Gustafsson (Chicago Blackhawks), Adam Larsson (Edmonton Oilers).

Forwards: Mika Zibanejad (New York Rangers), Mikael Backlund (Calgary Flames), Jacob de la Rose (Montreal Canadiens), Johan Larsson (Buffalo Sabres), Magnus Paajarvi (Ottawa Senators).

The roster will be completed with Swedish players from European clubs and with potential other NHL players the team management is in discussion.

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  Tags: team+sweden

Gold For Team Sweden At The World Championship

from Andrew Podnicks of IIHF.com,

Nicklas Backstrom and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored shootout goals and goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped all four shots he faced, givig Sweden its first World Championship gold medal since 2013.

It also marked the first time in four gold-medal games between the two nations that Sweden beat Canada (having lost in the finals of 1997, 2003, and 2004)

Canada, trying to win a third straight gold, has to settle for silver.

The only other World Championship gold-medal game to go to a shootout was in 1994, when Canada beat Finland.

Sweden's captain, Joel Lundqvist, now joins Sven "Tumba" Johansson as the only members of Tre Kronor to win three World Championship gold medals.

In order to get to the shootout, Canada had to kill an overtime tripping penalty to Sean Couturier, and it did so masterfully. Besides that, Canada had several dangerous forays into the Swedish end but couldn't beat Lundqvist, who came over to the team mid-tournament after his New York Rangers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

continued

Watch the highlights below...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: team+sweden

Team Canada vs. Team Sweden In The World Championship Gold Medal Game

Team Canada takes on Team Sweden in the gold medal game of the World Championship.

The puck drops at 2:15pm 2:45pm ET and is on the NHL Network, NBC Sports (streaming only) and TSN.

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  Tags: team+canada, team+sweden

Statements From Don Fehr And Nicklas Backstrom Regarding IOC Decision

TORONTO/WASHINGTON (March 14, 2014) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) released the following statements regarding today’s decision by the IOC:

Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director:

“We are certainly pleased that Nicklas Backstrom’s name has been cleared by the IOC ruling, allowing him to receive the silver medal that he earned with his Swedish teammates. The decision by the IOC Disciplinary Commission makes it clear that Nicklas was open and cooperative throughout the process and had clearly disclosed on his doping control form the Zyrtec-D medication he had been taking for his allergies.   Moreover, it is also welcome that the decision makes clear that Nicklas had both requested and received specific advice from the Swedish Chief Medical Officer that the allergy medication he was taking would not give rise to an adverse analytical finding.  Backstrom did nothing inappropriate, but merely asked for and followed medical advice from his team doctor. 

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, team+sweden

More Questions Than Answers With The Backstrom Positive Substance Test

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

A couple of hours before the biggest game of his young career, Nicklas Backstrom made his way to the Bolshoy Ice Dome and began warming up for the gold-medal tilt between his Swedish national team and Canada.

But by the time that game had started, Backstrom had been whisked away to a disciplinary hearing with International Olympic Committee officials over a positive test for a banned substance -- an element in an allergy medication that Backstrom has been taking for seven years, according to Swedish Olympic Committee officials -- and told he could not compete for his country.

It is absolutely mind-boggling that it came to this.

Backstrom provided the urine test in question on Wednesday, after the Swedes' quarterfinal win over Slovenia. He alerted doping officials that he was taking the medication. According to Swedish and International Ice Hockey Federation officials, the normal turnaround for such tests is 48 hours, and yet the general manager of the Swedish national team was informed that Backstrom had exceeded the threshold for an element found in the medication only two hours before the gold-medal game.

continued

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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, sochi+olympics, team+sweden

NHL Statement On Nicklas Backstrom

SOCHI, RUSSIA (Feb. 23, 2014) – National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today released the following statement regarding Nicklas Backstrom:

“We understand that Nicklas Backstrom tested positive for a substance banned ‘in competition’ by the International Olympic Committee. It is our further understanding that the positive test was the result of a common allergy medication taken by the player knowingly, with the approval of the team doctor and without the intention of gaining an illegal or improper performance-enhancing benefit. In addition, the specific substance that resulted in the positive test is not currently on the League’s Prohibited Substances List.

“Subject to confirmation of the facts as we understand them, and given the fact that the substance is neither prohibited in the NHL nor was used in an improper manner here, we do not anticipate there being any consequences relative to Nicklas’ eligibility to participate in games for the Washington Capitals.”

added 11:38am, Washington Capitals statement...

ARLINGTON, Va. – Nicklas Backstrom did not participate in Team Sweden’s Olympic gold-medal game on Sunday due to the allergy medication he has been taking intermittently for seven years, including this season while playing for the Washington Capitals to combat severe allergies. The medicine was approved by the Swedish national team. It is not anticipated that this will impact his participation in NHL games.

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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, sochi+olympics, team+sweden

Open Post- Men’s Hockey Gold Medal Game - Canada vs. Sweden

The puck drops at 7:00am ET and is on NBC in the US and CBC in Canada.

Feel free to comment on the game and also anything related to the hockey tournament.

Personally, I have enjoyed the games, although those 3:00am ET starts were killers.

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  Tags: sochi+olympics, team+canada, team+sweden

It’s All About Defense In Gold Medal Game

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Both Sweden and Canada put the majority of their game plan emphasis on defending. It's why they're both in the gold-medal game.

This isn't the NHL over here.

"It's a different sport," Sedin said. "You can't even compare them. Everyone thinks because it's a bigger ice, it should be more open. I think teams are playing more defensive than ever."

As such, expect a low-scoring game Sunday. Which should not be confused with boring.

I think we're in for the best hockey game of the year, on either side of the ocean.

And for Team Canada, a chance to make it three gold medals in five NHL Olympics.

"It's about hockey supremacy," Babcock said Saturday. "We like to brag that it's our game? If you think it's your game, you better show it's your game."

more

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  Tags: sochi+olympics, team+canada, team+sweden

Morning Line

I think he can leave out the word "if".

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  Tags: par+marts, sochi+olympics, team+sweden

Open Post- First Semifinal Game Of The Day- Men’s Hockey Sweden vs. Finland

Puck drops at 7:00am ET and can be viewed on NBCSN and TSN.

Winner will advance to the gold medal game on Sunday, 7:00am ET to face the winner of the USA/Canada game which starts at 12:00pm ET today.

Feel free to discuss the game and again, enjoy.

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  Tags: team+finland, team+sweden

Another Finland/Sweden Battle

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province at Canada.com,

In a tournament that includes the powerhouses from Canada, Sweden, the U.S., and, until recently, the star-crossed host team, Finland doesn’t measure up anywhere except on the ice. But on Friday, they meet their blood rivals from Sweden in the semifinal round of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament where, again, they’ll be the underdogs and, again, they’ll savour that role.

“Every time we go into tournaments like this we’re disrespected,” said forward Olli Jokinen, one of the many players who seems to grow a foot when they put on the Suomi jersey. “But the good thing for our country is no matter what names are on the back, Finland’s going to play the same way no matter who we have here. We could have 20 different guys here and the results would be the same. Finland’s going to play Finland’s way.”...

““I don’t think we are the favorites, honestly,” said Teemu Selanne, the aforementioned 43-year-old national icon who led the way against Russia with a goal and an assist. “We have four of our best centers out in this tournament (Mikko and Saku Koivu, Valterri Filpulla and Alex Barkov) , and usually we don’t have the kind of depth that some other teams have. But we believe and we work.

“Let’s see what happens.”

The Sweden-Finland rivalry doesn’t carry the same cachet as, say, U.S.-Canada or Russia-Canada but Scandanavia will stop for Friday’s encounter between the two old foes. Loosely stated, the Finns regard the Swedes as pompous, arrogant egotists who believe they’ve evolved from a higher order of being than their neighbours to the East. That, at least, is culturally and the hockey rivalry, which reached its zenith in Sweden’s 3-2 win gold-medal over Finland in Torino eight years ago, is a reflection of the friction between the two countries.

“Every year it’s the biggest game for us,” said forward Jori Lehtera, one of the eight KHL players on Finland. “It doesn’t matter where you play, if you play against Sweden you’re always pumped up.”

read on

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  Tags: sochi+olympics, team+finland, team+sweden

Men’s Hockey Semifinal Schedule On Friday

First semifinal game will be Finland vs. Sweden at 7:00am ET and can be viewed on NBCSN in the US and TSN in Canada.

The second game is USA against Canada at 12:00pm ET on NBCSN and CBC.

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  Tags: team+canada, team+finland, team+sweden, team+usa

Down goes Lundqvist?

The Free Press's Helene St. James, writing for USA Today, reports that Team Sweden suffered from a friendly fire incident at today's pratcice:

The Swedes have a joke about defenseman Erik Karlsson: He has one speed, and that's wrecking ball.

They are on him about slowing down in practice, though, because Monday morning at Bolshoy Training Rink, Karlsson knocked down star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist giving chase to Loui Eriksson, and wiped out star scorer Daniel Alfredsson.

"That's a tough thing," Alfredsson said, "because he really wanted to catch Loui on the breakaway and threw himself down, and Henrik was trying to make the save, and they just pummeled each other. We can laugh at it now because it wasn't too serious, but it gave everybody a big scare."

St. James continues, and the Canadians and Americans are speaking to the media at the time I'm writing this (3:48 AM)...

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  Tags: daniel+alfredsson, erik+karlsson, henrik+lundqvist, team+sweden

Henrik Zetterberg’s Back Injury Just Too Painful To Continue Playing In The Olympics

from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,

Zetterberg played in Sweden’s first game against the Czech Republic but hasn’t practised since due to back problems. He missed yesterday’s practice and didn’t join his team either in today’s pre-game skate for the match against Switzerland.

Team doctor Bjorn Waldeback addressed the media and said Zetterberg has a herniated disc. During the pre-game skate it became known that he will not only miss today’s game against Switzerland but that he will be out for the remainder of the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament in Sochi and will fly home.

“He is still suffering from his back injury and it is so painful for him that he can't be in it any more. It is Z who has taken this decision together with me,” Waldeback said. “I think it is the cumulative load. There was no specific thing that happened in the game. The issues came the morning after. These are nerve-related issues and they often come creeping in. It is not one specific injury.

"[The NHL doctors] totally agree with us. When you suffer from a herniated disc the way he does, you need to go home for a medical evaluation."

“I spoke with Z on the evening after (Wednesday's) game and he didn't show any signs of feeling the slightest pain,” Swedish head coach Par Marts said. “Of course it's nothing one wishes for, but we have to see the possibilities and look forward.”

a bit more on Team Sweden...

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  Tags: henrik+zetterberg, team+sweden

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...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: sochi+olympics, team+sweden

Team Sweden May Be Without Henrik Sedin

 

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  Tags: henrik+sedin, team+sweden

It Appears Johan Franzen Will Not Be Going To Sochi

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  Tags: johan+franzen, team+sweden

Afternoon Line

“The gold would mean a lot. Talk in Sweden began to pick up when they were about to pick the teams. We know Canada’s going to be good, a lot of teams will, but Sweden will have high expectations.”

-Nick Lidstrom on Team Sweden.  Luke Fox of Sportsnet has more from Lidstrom, including Wings and Babcock talk.

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  Tags: nick+lidstrom, team+sweden

Team Sweden Announced

via IIHF.com,

Team Sweden has been named for Sochi 2014. The men’s team will be looking to improve on its fifth-place finish in Vancouver 2010 with a strong group of core veterans and talented youngsters.

Sweden will go for gold with a roster that sees six returning players from the squad that won it all in Turin 2006: Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel Alfredsson, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and Henrik Zetterberg. Alfredsson will be making his fifth Olympic appearance.

All but one of the players (Jimmie Ericsson) are from the NHL. In addition to the players mentioned above, Jonas Gustavsson, Henrik Tallinder, Johnny Oduya, Nicklas Bäckstrom, Loui Eriksson, and Johan Franzén return from the team that played in Vancouver 2010. Two of the rookies that could make a big impact will be Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche and Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators, both of whom are having excellent seasons with their respective clubs.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: team+sweden

Report- Daniel Alfredsson, Alex Edler Will Be Part Of Team Sweden

via Sports Bladet (link not translate),

There were questions about whether both Alfredsson and Edler would be set aside for the Olympic squad. Alfredsson has had time to become 41 years old and Edler had a weak season and is currently knäskadad (injured?). Additionally, Vancouver hill off in the first two games (suspended) after knätacklingen against Eric Staal in the World Cup last spring.

But according Sportbladets data has both Alfredsson and Edler received the thumbs up of Mårts.

Powerplay-role

Edler will be one of eight runs and Alfredsson a total of fourteen forwards in the squad.

Daniel Alfredsson makes his fifth Olympic tournament, he has previously been involved in Nagano, Salt Lake City, Torino and Vancouver. The idea is that Detroit The forward will have a special role in the power play during the tournament.

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  Tags: team+sweden

Video- WJC Semifinal Highlights, Sweden vs.Russia

Sweden moves on to face the winner of Canada/Finland which starts now on NHL Network US and TSN,

No report yet on any suspensions coming from the fight at the end of the game.

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  Tags: team+russia, team+sweden

Zetterberg Would Be A Good Choice To Lead Team Sweden

from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,

One possibility to take over the ‘C’ is Lidstrom’s former teammate on the Winged Wheel, center Henrik Zetterberg. He’s already pulled one team through the transition of life without Lidstrom and Zetterberg is encouraged by the raft of new talent available to the Tre Kronor.

“On our ‘D’ side it looks really good,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids coming in. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is already a star in this league, we’ve got ‘Kronner’ (Wings mate Niklas Kronwall), Erik Karlsson, Jonas Brodin in Minnesota is doing a great job.…So a lot of guys can take that role and we’re going to see who does it in Sochi.”

While Zetterberg’s excellence on both sides of the puck will be a key part of Sweden’s attack up front, his experience will also help a national team in transition. Mainstays such as Peter Forsberg and Mattias Ohlund won’t be around, while Daniel Alfredsson will play in his last Games and be more of a secondary player. On the plus side, young stars Nicklas Backstrom and Loui Eriksson both saw duty in Vancouver.

“Everyone who has been a part of it before knows what to expect,” Zetterberg said. “I’ve been through the highs and lows of the Olympics, so nothing will be new. We will have a good team and we just have to do our best over the two weeks. If I get the captaincy, it will be a little different, but I’m not going to change the way I play.”

more

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  Tags: henrik+zetterberg, team+sweden

Alfredsson Not On Team Sweden’s Camp Roster

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Apparently Team Sweden isn’t counting on Daniel Alfredsson to dig for gold next winter.

The Senators captain hasn’t decided if he’ll play next season, but it’s significant to note that he wasn’t among 18 forwards invited to a three-day information session for Team Sweden from Aug. 12-14 to prepare for the Sochi Olympics.

In a list of 35 players on the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation website for the orientation camp, Alfredsson’s name didn’t appear. The website said the three days of meetings will mostly be an information session for the Olympics.

Alfredsson, 40, has suited up for the country 13 times in his career— including four times at the Olympics. Yes, the list could change, but some wonder if he’s indicated to Swedish officials he won’t be back next season.

continue...

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  Tags: daniel+alfredsson, team+sweden

Team Sweden Wins World Championship Gold

from Andrew Podneiks of IIHF.com,

Switzerland scored first, but hosts Sweden dominated the last 55 minutes to become the first home team to win gold since 1986. It is the nation's ninth World Championship gold medal.

For the Swiss, it was their first loss of the tournament after nine straight wins and only their second silver medal ever after finishing runner-up in 1935, their highest finish at any IIHF international hockey event.

"We were able to match their intensity at the start," said Swiss defenceman Philippe Furrer. "We had a lot of chances but couldn't score, and they did."

continued and watch post-game comments from both teams below...

added 6:29pm, Gold game highlights added below too.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: team+sweden

What Direction Is Edler’s Career Going?

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

If you thought Edler had a brain-dead season this year — coughing up the puck and playing soft for a man of his tremendous physical abilities — you will be pleased to know that he at least tried to hit somebody in this one. Unfortunately for the Carolina Hurricanes and Eric Staal, it was a ridiculously lame hit on the Canadian forward’s knee in the first period of Thursday’s 3-2 Sweden victory. Edler got a major penalty and was ejected from the game, and rightfully so. Loads of people on Twitter joined the condemnation of the hit.

Staal went down as though he’d had his leg sawed off and if he doesn’t have a serious knee injury that will keep him out a long while, it will be nothing short of a miracle. Edler threw his stick in frustration as he left the ice, and whether he was upset with himself or the call isn’t known. The bonehead play certainly gives Canucks fans pause to ponder just where this guy’s career is going — given he hasn’t made a zot of progress under this coaching staff.

There have been suggestions that general manager Mike Gillis should move Edler before his new no-trade clause kicks in — and suggestions that this won’t be happening, because the organization promised they wouldn’t do that when they convinced him to take a hometown discount to remain with the club. So in all probability, the Canucks will try to keep their reputation as an honourable organization, and keep their word by keeping the player. But they’d better figure out a way to get this kid some help if they ever want to see any benefit from their $30-million investment.

more

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  Tags: alex+edler, team+sweden

Gold Medal Game WJC- USA vs. Sweden

Again I won't spoil the results but if you wish to watch game highlights, look below to watch the TSN version.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: team+sweden, team+usa

Has Alfredsson Played His Last Game?

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Once again, Daniel Alfredsson performed with incredible passion, like a man who may never do so again.

Afterward, he even admitted it could have been his swan song.

Moments following Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Czechs in Stockholm that knocked he and his Swedish teammates out of the world championship, the Senators captain was described as being “distraught” as he told local media that “this might have been my last hockey game.”

Alfredsson will now return to Ottawa and make the much-anticipated decision of whether to retire or play a 17th NHL season. Despite his comment in the aftermath of an emotional game, it’s unlikely he has made a final determination.

continued

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  Tags: daniel+alfredsson, team+sweden

Zetterberg Talks World Championships

from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,

Are you having fun so far? Everyone here seems pretty excited to see you.

Yeah, absolutely. It’s great to be back home and play for Team Sweden. Hopefully we can get a nicer ending here than we did in Detroit.

Throughout the year with Detroit, you get to play for one of the best coaches in the business in Mike Babcock. What are the differences between his approach and that of Pär Mårts?

I think we’re playing a bit more aggressively [with Sweden]. We don’t hold back anything – we can just go. That might be the biggest difference. In Detroit, maybe we’re thinking a little bit more defence than we do here. We’re allowed to do mistakes and still keep on playing.

more

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  Tags: team+sweden

Video- Sweden Wins The World Junior Championship In OT

from the CP at TSN,

Mika Zibanejad scored at 10:09 of overtime to lead Sweden to a 1-0 win over Russia in the championship final of the world junior men’s hockey championship on Thursday.

Zibanejad stole the puck from Russian forward Nikita Gusev before breaking into the Russian zone and roofing a backhand shot over the blocker of Russian goaltender Andrei Makarov, who finished the game with 57 saves.

continued

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  Tags: team+sweden

Pretty Good Team Beats Sweden

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

“They are pretty good when they get to back up and play five on their own blue line,” Swedish center Peter Forsberg said. “They have great guys when they get turnovers. They have a couple of the quickest guys in the world, so you can say that they played us the way they wanted to play us. It’s pretty hard when they are up; we have to go after them.

“They are not a bad team. They are a pretty good team, so we have to have some luck to beat them, but not today.”

As a result, the golden era of Swedish hockey ends.

Four years from now, if professionals are still a part of the Olympic hockey tournament, Sweden will be without many of its most famous names. Lidstrom and Forsberg won’t be back. It’s also unlikely that we will see Daniel Alfredsson or Fredrik Modin.

more

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  Tags: team+slovakia, team+sweden, winter+olympics

Open Post- Team Sweden Against Team Slovakia

Game begins at 11:59pm ET and can be watched on CNBC (note the Finland/Czech Republic game may still be in progress), CTV & RDS.

Winner meets Team Canada on Friday at 6:30pm ET.

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  Tags: team+slovakia, team+sweden, winter+olympics

Don’t Forget About Team Sweden

from John Dellapina at NHLcom,

...But there is one generalization about him and his countrymen that Lidstrom is proud and happy to perpetuate: that they are an amicable and understated bunch that requires neither acclaim nor any fanfare.

That’s why captain Lidstrom and the rest of the Tre Kronor are only too happy to enter Wednesday’s quarterfinals the same way they entered the entire Olympic tournament: as the defending champs that so many have somehow managed to overlook.

“I think it fits us perfectly,“Lidstrom said, smiling as he came off the University of British Columbia ice after a light-hearted Team Sweden practice Tuesday. “We’re kind of sitting in the weeds. And people are picking other teams and kind of not talking about us.

“I would pick Canada and Russia as well. You look at their lineups and the players they can put out there on the ice.”

read on

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  Tags: team+sweden

We End The Great Hockey Day With Finland vs. Sweden

Puck drops just after 11:55pm ET on MSNBC and CTV.

Trust me, you may want to stay up for this game.  Get the late for work or school excuses ready.

Also, have to feel for the people in Finland, Sweden and all of Europe.  It is very early Monday morning for those dedicated hockey fans.

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  Tags: team+finland, team+sweden, winter+olympics

The Finland/Sweden Rivalry

from Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,

Finland wants Sweden’s scalp. No kidding.

Sunday will be a day of rivalry without, well, a rival when all of the big hockey nations meet each other. Czechs and Russians, Canada and USA—and then Sweden versus Finland. For a few million people 4,700 miles east of the Winter Games venue, the last one may be the biggest of the tournament….

The Finns really, really don’t want to lose to Sweden. Especially not in hockey.

Here’s an example: During the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, a leading Finnish newspaper reported every day how Sweden still hadn’t won a gold. That was the whole story. “Sweden hasn’t won a gold medal”. And what a great story it was.

“No. Absolutely not, you never want to lose to the Swedes, in anything. It’s like the Old Firm in Scottish soccer, between the Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic,” says Niki Juusela, play-by-play announcer for Finnish YLE.

The Swedes can stick it to the Finns, too, although for them, it doesn’t seem to be as important, no matter what Nicklas Bäckstrom—“It’s a pretty big game, a little more emotion in it than in a regular game”—or Nicklas Lidström—“The rivalry is not just in hockey, it’s about all sports. It’s a fun game to be a part of, and surely it’ll be a great battle”—would have you believe.

more

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  Tags: team+finland, team+sweden

Forsberg Knows He Is At The End Of His Career

from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

“I always want to play better,” Forsberg said after Sweden’s white-knuckle 4-2 victory over Belarus yesterday. “I’m 36. I don’t think it’s going to get much better. To be honest, I’d rather be in my prime than like this.”

There was resignation in his voice as well as his piercing blue eyes. For the last couple years, since he withdrew from NHL competition because of a chronic foot problem, there are periodic reports that Forsberg might return. He is hockey’s Sasquatch, Loch Ness monster and D.B. Cooper all rolled into one.

“I would say [he’s been asked] at least 100 times,” Forsberg said, and that has to be a conservative estimate. “I tried to come back in Colorado, but I wasn’t playing at the level I want.”

Guess what? Forget it. Forsberg said he will finish the season with the Swedish League team he plays with, but that will likely be it for his stellar career.

Indeed, when he looks back with the benefit of hindsight, he can see that his efforts to play with the foot injury were futile.

read on

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  Tags: peter+forsberg, team+sweden

Forsberg Lured By Gold

from Reuters,

It was the lure of more Olympic gold that prompted Forsberg to attempt a comeback and earn a place on the Swedish national team he has led for almost two decades.

“It’s definitely great to be back playing against the best players in the world,” a smiling Forsberg told reporters after Sweden opened the defense of its title on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over Germany. “I feel ok, it’s a work in progress.

“I played in the Swedish league, maybe 20 games this year and I’m scoring better-and-better every game.

“But at this stage of my career I don’t think I’m ever going to be really healthy again so I’m just going to do my best and see how it goes.

“I don’t know what I’m doing here but I’m still battling. Anytime you get the chance to play in an Olympics it’s the best thing you can do.”

read on

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

Open Post- Sweden vs. Germany

Game time is 7:30pm ET on CNBC and here are some notes on the game from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Total NHL players on rosters—Germany 7; Sweden 19

Puck Drop—“We haven’t been playing with each other for a long time and we only have two practices to get things back together, so it’s important to get a good start,” Zetterberg told NHL.com. “But, in the same way, the tournament really starts after the round robin. That’s how it was in Torino (in 2006). We didn’t have a great start of the tournament, but from the playoff games in we played good and that’s why we won.”

NHL.com predicts—Sweden wastes no time getting off to a good start by winning in a blowout

.

more

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  Tags: team+germany, team+sweden

Henrik Sedin In Vancouver Again With A Bad Back

from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,

Team Canada’s brain trust has likely been pleased to see how the red-hot scoring pace of Swedish Sedin twins Henrik and Daniel has cooled dramatically the last couple of weeks.

It’s certainly been a mystery to Vancouver Canucks fans, and the sudden dry spell most certainly cost Henrik the NHL scoring lead he owned for a month since early January, as Alex Ovechkin came roaring by.

Some were suggesting the opposition had finally figured out how to stop the Swedish forwards — although those Xs and Os were available and clearly not effective since October.

But Henrik acknowledged on Monday after Team Sweden’s first Olympic practice that his back has been bothering him for about 10 days.

continued

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  Tags: henrik+sedin, team+sweden

Franzen Happy To Be In Vancouver

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Even after his major knee operation in October, Johan Franzen had a gut feeling that he was going to be in Vancouver for the Olympics.

“I didn’t book a vacation trip,” he said Monday after Team Sweden’s practice.

Maybe not, but he also didn’t find out officially until 11 o’clock Sunday morning that he would be part of Team Sweden.

Franzen, who is four months removed from surgery for a torn ACL, is here because his teammate in Detroit, Tomas Holmstrom, can not be as his Olympics were derailed by nagging foot and knee injuries.

“I waited until the last day and I finally got the call,” Franzen said. “I wanted to believe it (that I would be in the Olympics).”

continued

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  Tags: johan+franzen, team+sweden

Report- Mule In, Homer Out

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Tomas Holmstrom’s ailing left knee has forced him to withdraw from the Swedish Olympic team, enabling Detroit Red Wings teammate Johan Franzen to take his place, according to Sweden’s Expressen.

Franzen has played only three games since returning from knee surgery, which idled him for four months. But he is skating well and said he feels good. It will be his first Olympic appearance.

continued

added 5:00pm, via Kevin Allen tweet,

It’s official: Red Wings Johan Franzen replaces Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom on the Swedish Olympic hockey team.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen, team+sweden, tomas+holmstrom

Evening Line

“I’m pretty thrilled to be here and be able to be part of this team.  It’s been a little rocky journey the last couple of years. I’m not 100 per cent sure if I’m going to be great in this tournament or not, but I’m just going to go out and do my best. If I get placed on the third or fourth line it doesn’t matter.

“As long as I’m here, I’m going to do the best for my team and the country.’‘

-Team Sweden’s Peter Forsberg.  More on Forsberg and Team Sweden from Chris Johnston of the CP at CTVOlympics.

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  Tags: peter+forsberg, team+sweden

Team Sweden Coach Following Franzen Progress

via Jamie Bell at CTVOlympics,

Johan Franzen may end up at the Olympics after all.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Swedish Olympic team coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson has asked Franzen to contact him following Tuesday night’s Red Wings’ game against the St. Louis Blues to give him an update on his status after a lengthy absence.

Franzen, who was not originally named to Sweden’s roster, has not played in over four months after undergoing surgery to repair an injury to his left knee.

“I’m going to call him after the game and tell him how I felt,” Franzen told the Free Press, “and then talk to him after the next game.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen, team+sweden

Lidstrom Feels Pressure Is On Russia And Canada To Win Olympic Gold

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

Members of Sweden’s Olympic hockey team politely insist that even though they have 13 holdovers from the squad that won gold at Turin and will supplement that group with a crop of brilliant youngsters, they’re hardly a sure shot to repeat as champions in Vancouver.

“I don’t know if we’ll be considered the favorite no matter what we do,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “I think Canada and Russia are the ones that people are talking about the most.”...

Team captain Nicklas Lidstrom, the imperturbable defenseman who has been a pillar of strength for the Red Wings and Team Sweden, dismissed the notion that the Tre Kronor—so named because of the three crowns on the front of the team’s jerseys—will be overconfident when the tournament begins Feb. 16.

“I think we like our situation that we’re not one of the main favorites. I think that suits us well,” said Lidstrom, one of nine Swedes and only 22 players ever whose resume includes a title at the Olympics, the world championships and the Stanley Cup finals.

“Even though we’re going to be the defending Olympic champs, I think the pressure will still be on the top two teams, Russia and Canada.”

read on

 

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  Tags: team+sweden

Did Team Sweden Make A Mistake By Not Naming Franzen To Their Team?

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

The Wings said yesterday that Franzen’s target date for a return is next Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues, putting his rehab time at the minimum of four months and potentially giving him three games before the Olympic break. Then he can put his feet up on the coffee table and do whatever it is a guy nicknamed the Mule does to relax for a few weeks, having been left off the Team Sweden Olympic roster.

That snub didn’t exactly sit well with Franzen. In speaking with Swedish newspaper Expressen (article hilariously translated here, including the phrase “it feels a little sandbox on the whole”), Franzen said Team Sweden officials “made a mistake and they want to hide it” after keeping him off the roster.

According to the admittedly rough translation, the paper previously reported that Swedish head coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson hadn’t spoken to Franzen since November and that the team didn’t consult Detroit doctors about his injury rehab.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen, team+sweden

Senators Want To Make Sure Alfredsson Is Healthy Enough To Play For Sweden

from Pierre LeBrun or ESPN,

Murray and Alfredsson have a tremendous relationship and will need to draw on that in four to six weeks when the veteran star winger is scheduled to return from a shoulder injury. If it’s six weeks, it will be right on the eve of the Olympic Games, and that makes the Sens nervous.

“That’s the whole thing, it’s right on the bubble,” Murray told ESPN.com from the world junior championships in Saskatchewan.

So Murray and Alfredsson had a chat a few days ago to make sure everybody is on the same wavelength.

“You know full well that we’re not going to hold Alfredsson back if he is healthy and ready to go. That’s not our intent,” Murray said. “In talking to Alfie, I just wanted to make sure that he’s back playing and somewhat healthy before he makes a commitment to go to there and have any further possible aggravation or whatever it may be. He’s a very caring guy. He’s a great team guy. He wouldn’t do it to jeopardize anything with our franchise, I know that. But he does want to play in the Olympics. He cares greatly, and he knows it’s probably his last kick at it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson, team+sweden

Lilja Has ‘Sammy’s” Back

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja doesn’t blame Mikael Samuelsson, his best friend and former teammate, for ripping Swedish Olympic officials for excluding him from the team.

Samuelsson told Vancouver reporters: “Probably going to get in trouble for this, but they (Team Sweden officials) can go (expletive) themselves.’‘

Lilja liked his reaction.

“I think it’s kind of nice when someone says what they really think instead of saying, ‘OK, it was their decision, nothing I can do about it,’ ‘’ Lilja said. “Nice that people show emotions because he’s (ticked off). I don’t blame him.’’

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+sweden

Team Sweden Roster Announced

from John Marchesan at CTVOlympics,

Sweden will go with a mostly veteran lineup as it attempts to defend the gold medal it won four years ago in Turin.

Coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson has selected 13 members from the 2006 gold medal winning team led by Niklas Lidstrom who will anchor a veteran-laden defence which includes five first-time Olympians - Tobias Enstrom, Magnus Johansson, Douglas Murray, Johnny Oduya and Henrik Tallinder.

Lidstrom, who will captain the team, is among four players who will be making their fourth Olympic appearance with Sweden. He is joined by fellow defenseman Mattias Ohlund and forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Forsberg.

Forsberg, whose foot and injury problems have been well documented, has been attempting a comeback in Sweden this year. While he has been a member of the last two gold medal winning teams for Sweden, his selection will be seen as a gamble.

continued

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

All Olympic Talk

Red Wings’ Head of European Scouting Hakan Andersson talks about Team Sweden and the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Also, Steve Yzerman talks Team Canada and Ken Morrow talks Team USA.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hakan+andersson, ken+morrow, steve+yzerman, team+canada, team+sweden, team+usa

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