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Red wings at the Worlds, Quarterfinals: Czechs upset Sweden, will face Slovaks

I’m writing this from my phone because it’s a stunning result: despite dropping a 3-1 deficit and losing Johan Franzen to an unspecified injury (update: Marie Hallman reports that Franzen became very ill) Henrik Zetterberg and Jonathan Ericsson rallied Sweden to a 3-3 tie against the Czech Republic…But poor decision-making and shaky goaltending from Victor Fasth yielded a 4-3 loss for Franzen, Zetterberg, Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall, Called Jarnkrok and Sweden.

The Czechs advance to face Slovakia in the Semifinals on Saturday, while the star-studded Swedes will face cries of, “Fiaskot!” and questions about what could have been.

Update from phone: Here’s IIHF.com’s recap.

Update #2: Statistically...Franzen, who Jim Butler posted a lovely hospital room picture of on Twitter, had an assist, finished at +1 and took 3 shots in only 6:24 of ice time;

Zetterberg was named the Swedes’ best player, finishing with a goal, an assist, a 10-and-13 faceoff record, 5 shots, a +3 and 21:13 of ice time;

Jonathan Ericsson had a goal, took 4 shots, finished at a +1 and played 17:33;

Niklas Kronwall took 1 shot, finished at a -1 and played 21:40;

And Calle Jarnkrok lost his only faceoff and looked strong, if a bit undersized, in 9:11 of ice time.

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Comments

Avatar

“Franzen had fever and was feeling dizzy and shaky in the legs could hardly skate in first”.

He could hardly skate….. well, since mid-February. Could he have concussion effects for the past 3 months.

Posted by Alex on 05/17/12 at 08:04 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Wow. Canada, the U.S. and Sweden get beaten by the Slovaks, Finns and Czechs, respectively. Looks like “parity” has made it all the way to the World Championships.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/17/12 at 08:10 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios on 05/17/12 at 06:10 PM ET

This is Canada’s third QF loss in a row. And Finns are reigning World Champs, BTW.

But Czechs over Swedes is a true upset though. But in all fairness, Swedes played an uninspired game today, Z and Loui excluded. Maybe the worst they played as a team in eight games I watched.

Posted by Alex on 05/17/12 at 08:16 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

They don’t exactly have a “quiet room” in international hockey…

And if you get off to a rough start, or have spotty goaltending, or both, you can really screw yourself over in single-game elimination hockey.

If today taught me anything, it’s that as much as watching successful NHL teams not named Detroit in the playoffs can involve quite a bit of defensive drudgery…It’s far better than watching a team’s championship hopes get dashed because a single game determines who’s “better.”

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/17/12 at 08:27 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

The Czech vs Slovak match up is incredible, especially those of us experienced enough (used instead of “old”) to remember what an international power Czechoslovakia was.  They often pummeled the USA and most other countries in similar fashion to the Soviets.  The Czechoslovak victory over the Soviets in the 68 Olympics was news, but nothing compared to the next winter’s matchup in the Worlds following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

Still under Warsaw Pact occupation six months later, Czechoslovakia refused to organize and host the Worlds as they were scheduled to, and it was moved to Sweden.  They beat the Soviets twice, some players taping over their national patch because it had the “star” on it, emblematic of the nation’s Warsaw Pact affiliation with the USSR.  They lost other games, attributed to being emotionally drained, and didn’t win gold.  That was of little consequence back home as the only games that mattered in that hockey-fanatical country were beating the Soviets, and they were given as much a hero’s welcome as could be done with still much of the 500,000 invasion force occupying Prague and major cities. 

I’m not up on any Czech-Slovak rivalry and cultural history, or if there is much next door animosity any worse than Michigan and that state that is a four-letter word.  It is an essential element of the human being to find someone to resent and hold in blame for all one’s own shortcomings, and where none exists we will create one.

At any rate the Czech-Slovak game should be interesting.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 05/17/12 at 10:01 PM ET

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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.