Today is RIVALRY DAY! Team Sweden takes on Team Finland in one of the fiercest international rivalries in all of sports in the afternoon. And in the night cap, Team USA takes on Team Canada as Team USA tries to stave off elimination with a win. Who will come out on top and get bragging rights for the time being?
Team Finland 0 versus Team Sweden 2
Valtteri Filppula – 0-0-0, E, 2 SOG, 53% FOs, 13:43 TOI
Anton Stralman – 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIMs, 2 SOG, 1 Hit, 13:57 TOI *SECOND STAR*
Victor Hedman – 0-0-0, +1, 0 SOG, 2 Hits, 4 Blocks, 15:31 TOI
Team Sweden came out to play and Henrik Lundvist was ready after missing the first game with the flu. King Hank looked like himself and was All-World in pitching a shutout for the Swedes.
After being up at the top of TOI in the first game of the World Cup, this time, Stralman and Hedman were down at the bottom for Team Sweden’s defense.I It’s actually fairly vexing to me as the pair were dominating in possession whenever they were on the ice for the first two periods. Hedman and Stralman were both joining the rush and getting into the play from the beginning of the game and Hedman looked like himself with that surfing stride down the ice. Stralman ended up getting his goal by going to the front of the net and putting a puck in under Tuuka Rask’s pads on a pass from a Sedin twin.
The third period featured a scary moment for Victor Hedman as Leo Komarov laid an absolutely dirty, cheap shot by going low and taking out Hedman at the knees well after he had gotten rid of the puck.
I believe the hit is suspension worthy due to the blatancy of the hit, it’s lateness, and it’s obvious danger by going at Hedman’s knees. Hedman was shaken up on the polay and was slow to get up and get to the bench. He did however return to the game and appeared to be fine.
Valtteri Filppula played a reduced role for Team Finland today as they were looking for offense and he was 6th for TOI among Finland’s forwards.He was mostly a non-factor on the night with only 2 shots on goal. With limited power plays, two for each side, he also didn’t add a lot of ice time getting less than a minute on the power play and on the penalty kill.
Team Sweden now controls their destiny in Group B up 2-0. If they can beat Team North America, they will win the group. They would also win the group if they lost to Team North America in overtime as that would put them up to five points and no other team can exceed 4 points. Team Finland can only get to the semi-finals if they beat Team Russia in regulation and Team Sweden beats Team North America in regulation. Then it would come down to tiebreakers between the three teams as they would each be at 1-2 and tied at two points a piece. If North America wins in regulation and Team Russia wins in any manner, then Sweden would be relying on tiebreakers to get into the semi-finals.
Team Canada versus Team USA
Steven Stamkos – 0-0-0, -1, 3 SOG, 7 SAT, 4 Takeaways, 13:31 TOI
Ben Bishop – DNP
The beginning of this game gave everyone watching the thought that maybe Team USA could pull it off as they scored under five minutes into the game. Well, Team Canada wasn’t ready to just lie down and responded with two quick goals over the next two minutes of play. They would pull away with another goal in the first to go into the locker room up 3-1. Canada added another goal in the 2nd before giving up a goal with less than 3 minutes to go in the 3rd period.
For much of the first half of the game, Stamkos was a little bit invisible having just a shot blocked for shot attempts through much of the game. But he started to turn on the jets and ended up with 3 shots on goal and 7 shot attempts overall. He also led Team Canada with four takeaways which was pretty impressive to see. He played well defensively and was just a bit of hard luck that he got the minus on the night for being out on Team USA’s only goal.
John Tortorella continued to show that he does not believe in Ben Bishop. Jonathan Quick gave up three goals in the first period and you really thought that Torts would change up and go with Bishop after the first period just to change things up. Instead, he left Bishop on the bench and it only took pulling Quick for a 6th attacker to get him out of goal. I’ve said it before, but Tortorella seems to have no belief in Bishop and never really gave him a chance to win the number one job. Now Quick has had two games where he’s given up a total of 7 goals. Maybe he’ll put Bishop in for the third game, but knowing Tortorella and how he’s treated Bishop so far, I really won’t be surprised if it’s Cory Schneider in goal for Team USA’s last game as they are eliminated.
Team Canada has punched their ticket for the semi-finals with the win tonight and eliminated Team USA and Team Czech Republic in one fell swoop. Team Europe and Team Canada advance to the semi-finals and will play for who is first in the group in their last game of group play.