The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/24/14 at 10:18 AM ET
Gustav Nyquist and Sweden will play for a medal at the World Championships tomorrow, but it won't be gold. Instead, the undefeated Russians will battle the winner of today's Czech-Finland game (11:45 AM EDT on
NBCSN and TSN; on tape delay at 1 PM EDT on NBCSN) for gold tomorrow at 2 PM.
The Russians rallied from a very, very early 1-0 deficit to defeat Sweden 3-1.
The game got particularly nasty as the Russians really put the defensive hammer down on Sweden in the third period, with some really baffling penalties called, but Nyquist was smashed face-first into the boards during the 2nd period, and that was ignored, as was a very intentional shove-the-net-off-its-moorings play by Russia in the 3rd--so it appeared that Belarus Rules applied.
The Swedes were too loose defensively and the Russians were too strong offensively, but Nyquist acquitted himself quite well, being double-shifted alongside Linus Klassen and eventually Jimmie Ericsson (Calle Jarnkrok, who hasn't registered a point in the tournament, was shuffled off the line, and when he had an open net top shelf late in the 3rd, he fired the puck directly into Bobrovsky's chest). The Russians were able to clamp down on Nyquist in the checking department, but he and Ericsson in particular absolutely worked their asses off.
Nyquist did commit an at-the-offensive-blueline turnover that led to the Russians' 2-1 goal, but Sergei Shrokov skated through three other Swedes and chipped a knuckleball past Anders Nilsson (who was not at his best), and Nyquist felt that Shriokov interfered with him and should've been penalized.
The game got very chippy at the end, and the coaches exchanged unpleasantries, but in the end, the goals on the scoreboard were what mattered, and Russia out-skated and out-competed Sweden by a fair margin.
Nyquist played 15:51 and finished at -2 with 2 shots, but again, he was working his tail off, and he and Klassen were both in passing mode when Jimmie Ericsson got into their line and crashed the net. I have no complaints whatsoever about Nyquist's effort, intensity, attention to detail or determination at the Worlds thus far, and I'd suggest that he's building the foundation for a superb 2014-2015 campaign.
I wish I could say the same for Calle Jarnkrok, but his ability to out-skate everyone on the ice hasn't translated into diddly squat, and he's just...He's floated.
Nyquist and Sweden will play for bronze against the loser of the Czech-Finland game, and the bronze game takes place at 9:30 AM EDT (on NBC Sports Live Extra and TSN 2).
Update: Here's Nyquist speaking to IIHF.com's John Sanful:
Sweden is the defending champion but will now have to settle playing for the bronze medals tomorrow afternoon.
"I think right now it’s a tough loss, but at the same time, we’ve been here for a long time now," Nyquist said after the loss. "We’ve been here almost three weeks, and we’ve grown together as a group. We’ve had a lot of fun. When you’re here for this long, you don’t want to go home empty-handed."
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.