Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: 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.”
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.
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.
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.
Again I won't spoil the results but if you wish to watch game highlights, look below to watch the TSN version.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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).”
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.’’
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.
Red Wings’ Head of European Scouting Hakan Andersson talks about Team Sweden and the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.