The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/16/12 at 12:23 PM ET
Prior to taking a three-day break due to what I can best describe as the equivalent of post-concussive migraines, the World Championships’ round robin stage was still underway in Stockholm and Helsinki.
Today, the round robin portion of the tournament has wrapped up, and the top four teams from the Stockholm Group—Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Norway—will tangle in the Quarterfinals on Thursday before heading to Helsinki, where they’ll meet up with the winners of the Helsinki Group’s quarterfinal teams—Canada, the United States, Finland and Slovakia—on Saturday. [update/edit: And there’s good news for Sweden as IIHF.com’s Szymon Szemberg reports that Jonathan Ericsson will be playing for the Swedes]
In other words, out of the four teams that are still alive in Stockholm, two will advance to play against the two remaining teams in Helsinki for the Semifinals on Saturday, with the winners of those games playing for Gold on Sunday, and the losers playing for Bronze. Here’s how the schedule hashes out from tomorrow to Sunday (per the IIHF’s website):
Thursday, May 17th:
• 6 AM EDT: Canada (Kyle Quincey) vs. Slovakia (Tomas Tatar; TSN/NBC Sports Network)
• 8:45 AM EDT: Norway vs. Russia (Pavel Datsyuk; on the NBC Sports Network)
• 11:30 AM EDT: USA vs. Finland (Jimmy Howard and Justin Abdelkader vs. Valtteri Filppula; NBC Sports network);
• 2:15 PM EDT: Sweden vs. Czech Republic (Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Calle Jarnkrok, Jonathan Ericsson vs Petr Mrazek; NBC Sports Network)
Saturday, May 19th:
• 7:30 AM EDT: Canada-Slovakia winner vs. Sweden-Czech Republic winner;
• 11:30 AM EDT: Norway-Russia winner vs. USA-Finland winner.
NBC Sports will televise one of the above-mentioned games at, according to their schedule, 9 PM EDT.
Sunday, May 20th:
• 9 AM EDT: Bronze Medal Game: Semifinal 1 loser vs. Semifinal 2 loser
• 1:30 PM EDT: Gold Medal Game: Semifinal 1 winner vs. Semifinal 2 winner.
NBC Sports will televise the Gold Medal game on tape delay, at 9 PM EDT
If you do not have access to NBC Sports or TSN, or want to watch games at work or otherwise, I must strongly, strongly, strongly warn you that almost any site that has a stream of the game is also likely to be rife with spyware, so you must, must, must be using antivirus software and ad-blocking and script-blocking software to head to such websites—even if you are using a Mac—but I have found that (add in the http:// and www on your own) justin.tv has some solid streams, firstrowsports.eu has been useful, and while it is rife with spyware, livetv.ru/en/ has been very good, and I have also been told that there is a website called youtubeunblocker.org might help you break through any blocks the IIHF’s YouTube streams are utilizing. But you didn’t hear any of this from me.
Perhaps the biggest news in terms of Olympic ramifications comes in the form of Tomas Tatar’s Slovaks having become the last of nine World Championship-participating teams that have received automatic berths in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia:
And in terms of roster news, the balance of power has shifted somewhat as the Swedes were able to add Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom, the Swedes also made official their addition of Patric Hornqvist, and the Russians made huge waves by adding Alexander Semin—barring insurance issues as he’s an unrestricted free agent-to-be—and Alex Ovechkin..
And, regarding the games I missed:
• Valtteri Filppula and Finland rebounded in a big way, with Filppula registering 2 goals and 2 assists in Finland’s 4-1 win over Kazakhstan. Filppula was named the game’s best player with 2 goals, 2 assists, 5 shots, a +1 and 19:02 of ice time;
• And the Russians rolled over Italy, defeating the Italians 4-0 to win the Stockholm group. Pavel Datsyuk scored his team’s first goal, went 9-and-7 in the faceoff circle, took 2 shots, finished at +2 and played 17:07.
And on Tuesday...
• Team USA set up a re-match with the host Finns via a 5-2 victory over Switzerland, with Jimmy Howard stopping 25 of 27 shots and Justin Abdelkader registering an assist, a 9-and-3 faceoff record, a shot and an even plus-minus rating over 13:43 in ice time;
• And with Johan Franzen wearing a full cage in his return from a broken and dislocated nose, Sweden defeated Latvia 4-0, with Franzen scoring a goal and adding an assist on 1 shot, finishing at +1 in 17:34 of ice time;
Zetterberg scored a goal and added 2 assists for 3 points, went 12-and-3 in the faceoff circle, took 3 shots, finished at +1 and played 16:40;
Calle Jarnkrok took 3 shots, went 4-and-3 in the faceoff circle and played 12:47;
And Niklas Kronwall was held off the scoresheet but took 2 shots and finished even in 22:38 of ice time, and, as Paul noted, “Kronwalled” Kaspars Saulietis:
At present, Zetterberg’s 14 points are the third-most in the tournament, and Valtteri Filppula’s not far behind with 9, and you can check out the rest of the Wings players’ stats via the Wings’ website.
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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.