Today’s match-ups were already going to cause some conflict here at Runs On Duncan—Sweden taking on the Czech Republic already meant that not all of our boys could win, but Slovakia defeating Canada dashed a lot of hopes.
One of our boys is going to semis, at least?
(…wow, that opening sounds familiar.)
Team Sweden (vs. Czech Republic)
There is really nothing good to say about this game in terms of the Blackhawks on Team Sweden. For starters, its abrupt end (Michalek put it away for Team Czech with :29 to go) reminded me of that Flyers-Blackhawks game in 2010 that still makes me wince. And then there’s the stats sheet. Stalberg, Hjalmarsson, and Kruger contributed a grand total of zero points and broke even in plus/minus except for Hjalmarsson… who was a minus-one. The most visible of the three was Stalberg, who took a dumb slashing penalty in the second.
On a bright side, their loss is Michael Frolik’s gain, whose contributions did not reflect on the score sheet aside from six shots on goal and an awkward minus-one (which is often the case with him)—but who has a chance at a medal by advancing to the semifinals.
If you feel like reliving the pain of this game, you can read my full game recap at the Intermission Report.
Team Canada (vs. Slovakia)
Yet another upset today, with Canada once again choking in the quarterfinals. Our only visible Blackhawk was Assistant Captain Sharp, who had an assist on Skinner’s equalizer and thus broke even in the plus/minus. Duncan Keith was essentially absent on the ice except for his now-expected minus-two at the end of the game. At the end of the day, the problem here was a Team Canada that did not find a way to be consistent—and whose big names ended up fading into the background.
If you want some more, you can go read IIHF’s recap once you’ve scraped your jaw off the floor.
We’ll be back tomorrow as Team Czech takes on their Slovak neighbors in bid for the medal round. Hodně štěstí, český tým!