Canada shutout Belarus 6-0
Belarus aren’t a bad team, and they held Canada to one goal in the first period and two in the second. They couldn’t get near the Canadian net, though, and Calvin Pickard made only 13 saves to get a shutout. Not how it works in Denver, usually.
Mitch Marner set up Brayden Point for the first goal along with Travis Konecny helping out. They are the kid line from hell to other teams.
Marner made another lovely pass to Nate MacKinnon for the second goal on the power play, and a few minutes later MacKinnon got another from Jeff Skinner and that was it for Belarus.
The third period was target practice.
Mitch Marner had two points, and his linemates Point and Konecny had two each as well. Jeff Skinner and Nate MacKinnon each had three. It was youth day in Paris.
USA 4-3 over Sweden
Sometime in the middle of Sweden’s blowout win over Germany, with Elias Lindholm hurt, William Nylander got new linemates. He played a bit in that game with Gabriel Landeskog and two goals resulted. He also played with Joel Eriksson Ek and William Karlsson, and that group stuck for today’s game against the USA.
Nylander, who has whatever the exact opposite of chemistry is with Carl Söderberg, looked better today and so did Söderberg with the KHL’s Linus Omark.
The first half of the game was a wild affair with no visible defence on either side. The teams traded goals with Lindholm, back in the lineup, taking two, Victor Hedman scoring on a blast of a shot, and Jack Eichel’s line taking three to tie it up just as the second period got going.
The game tightened up and became a little less eighties looking.
J.T. Compher, an Avalanche prospect, scored for the USA midway through the third and that score held through two extraordinarily foolish Swedish penalties resulting in a five-on-three, followed up by Lindholm boarding Dylan Larkin with just over two minutes to go.
With Viktor Fasth out of the net, Sweden was at even strength, and they pressed hard, but had trouble getting near the net. Nylander got the puck as they had 14 seconds left, and he danced it up the ice trying to split the D, and ... He’s a Swede, this is Team Sweden he’s playing on, you know what he did. You know what I’m going to say. And you can imagine if that was Auston Matthews over there on the left wing, it might have even worked, but it wasn’t. ... he passed the puck instead of shooting. They never got a real shot on goal, the horn went and that was the game.
Nylander played a good, if quiet game, and he looked stronger in the third period just as the parade of penalties derailed all hopes. He had no shots on goal, but his linemates had four. Today he was the passing version of William Nylander, not the shooting version.
Czech Republic 4-3 over Finland in a shootout
Let’s just go with a gif of an 18-wheeler going off a cliff shall we?
The Finnish coach bounced Leafs player Miro Aaltonen off the top line, replaced him with Mikko Rantanen for an all the eggs in one basket line with Valtteri Filppula and Sebastian Aho. He did put Jesse Puljujärvi back in the game, but buried him on the third line just like Nylander.
Nonetheless, the super line scored three goals, and all they had to do was hold that lead.
The Czechs scored one on a power play with about 10 minutes to go in the game. No big deal.
The Czechs scored twice more in the last three minutes of play without even bothering to pull the goalie. Radko Gudas got one of them. 3-3 was the score, and overtime solved nothing.
Overtime solved nothing because Aho failed to score on a breakaway, and Tomas Plekanec shoved the feet out from under Puljujärvi on another. No penalty was called, and his incandescent rage must have been very cathartic for him considering what he’s gone through.
Naturally the coach that benched him for most of two games put him out first in the shootout. Me, I would have let his heart rate come down more. But no Finns scored in the shootout, one Czech player did. Game over.
Oh, and Aaltonen? Dressed but did not play. So I guess we have found the Finnish John Tortorella. Lauri Marjamäki should stick to hockey and leave the head-games for some other time.
Do you want the highlights? Here they are: