The field has been narrowed down, the bottom-feeder teams sent to Division I for next year (Italy and Kazakhstan, we hardly knew ye) and now the stage is set for a veritable marathon of quarterfinal games to move things along even faster than the preliminary round. In one flurry of games, back-to-back-to-back-to-back, Canada will take on Slovakia, Russia meets Norway, America revisits Finland and Sweden faces the Czech Republic. But before that all goes down, let’s take a look at what happened since Weekend Update!
‘murricawatch: Because we tote blue passports
America beat Switzerland 5-2 in a mid-afternoon (for the US) romp. Yes, the first period was scoreless and Switzerland got on the board first, but Bobby Ryan got America on the board, his teammate Cam Fowler added a tally of his own, Paul Stastny made it three on the power play, Alex Goligoski added another and, hey, why not take one more from Jeff Petry! Perhaps a criticism people had when they saw the lineup of Team USA, one that was mentioned on TV, was wondering where the goal-scorers were. You know where they are? They’re everywhere because this is America.
Oh, and during the game, Justin Abdelkader was called for something that probably would not be a penalty in the NHL: during an attempt to dig out the puck, someone got his helmet funny and it came off. In the NHL, you can basically play the rest of the shift, but internationally you have to either go get that bucket immediately or immediately head for the bench. Abdelkader attempted to keep playing and was whistled for “illegal or dangerous equipment”–i.e. lack thereof. I also noticed that goalies who have played in the NHL, even in this international tourney without the Brodeur Trapezoid, still play as if there is one, whereas guys reared in the European leagues will go all around to play the puck. Sometimes the NHL guys might just take it a little more cautiously lest they mess up their international rules.
Furthermore, Max Pacioretty had a point in this game–two, actually–so he has scored at least one point in every single Team USA game.
On to Finland, gentlemen. Make your country proud.
Other games with folks in them that we like
Canada whooped Belarus 5-1. Ryan O’Reilly, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf (so many Ducks scoring for teams!) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored–O’Reilly twice. Duncan Keith helped out twice, Patrick Sharp got an assist as well and John Tavares helped too. For Belarus, the one goal-scorer was Sergei Kostitsyn, getting an assist from brother Andrei. Whoa. But with Belarus done for (hey, did you know 2014 Worlds is scheduled to be there, even though Belarus has an authoritarian government? And that avowed hockey fan Rep. Mike Quigley is trying to change that?), now Canada will take on Slovakia in the very early game on Quarterfinals Day, a.k.a. oh my goodness the DVR is gonna get some work.
The Czech Republic defeated Germany 8-1. Yep, they made a snowman in the month of May. Not only did they make a snowman, though, David Krejci had a three-point night. He scored shorthanded and helped out on two others.
He also had a chance to make it 9-1 on a penalty shot awarded when a German player pulled “Alexander Ovechkin at the 2011 All-Star Game” and tossed his stick. Krejci was unsuccessful, but that’s okay. By then, it was already quite obviously Czech’s game. Michael Frolik never got on the board, but he did take three shots on goal. Now the Czechs meet half-host country Sweden.
France made Slovakia work hard for it, but Slovakia prevailed 5-4 in regulation, denying France the chance to make the quarterfinals. One of Slovakia’s goals came on the power play and assisting on that man-advantage tally? Zdeno Chara. Captain Chara also led the team in ice time–and led Slovakia to a guaranteed spot in the 2014 Olympics, one of the team’s twin goals in coming to this tournament. The other goal was making the quarterfinals. Goals achieved. Time for some new goals, gentlemen! Like good things against Canada?
Sweden shut out Latvia 4-0, although none of the Swedish Hawk Mafia got on the scoreboard. Now one-half of the home teams will host the Czech Republic in the quarters.
Next up for our teams
As seen above, all five of the teams we care about are headed to the quarterfinals. Tomorrow’s going to be a big day!!