Special Teams Lead the Way; Sweden Wins Group C
It wasn’t pretty by any means as Sweden wins Group C by defeating a Latvia team that just seemed like they never wanted to go away, 5-3.
Special Team Power
The Swede’s powerplay was on fire going 4 for 5 today, and really carrying the load for a Swedish team who was getting out matched 5 on 5. Karlsson, Alfresson, Ericsson, and Berglund all scored on the man advantage for the Swedes as that held them over from an equally dangerous Latvia powerplay.
What made it work? Shots from the point for one, but they cycled the puck around well enough to confuse the Latvia penalty killers. What crushed Latvia? The tying score from Erik Karlsson, who had enough room to slap one from the point and in.
The King Dazed and Confused
It didn’t help getting a shot off the shoulder by your own teammate during pregame warmups, but that’s what exactly happened to Henrik Lundqvist as he took a shot from Marcus Johansson. Lundqvist seemed he couldn’t get himself settled, but he did take a few bumps from the Latvia team, as they were very agressive in front of the net. Causing traffic, and confusion really phased Henrik, as two of the three goals he gave up today were due to those conditions.
Lundqvist handled himself well, and had the teams support to shake off some questionable plays during the game to allow him to get back and settle down, and relax. Now with a few days off before the quarterfinals, it will allow Henrik to heal any bumps and get himself mentally ready for the quest for gold.
Carl Hagelin Watch
A very uninteresting game for Hagelin as he played a team low 3:46, with no shots on goal. It seemed as if he was the extra forward today for the Swedish team with the low minutes. He hasn’t had a tournament worth bragging about, but he has shown his speed at times, which has caused confusion, and helped sustain fourth line pressure for the Swedes. Hopefully Hagelin will use this game as a learning experience as he continues to improve his play internationally.