Could Detroit's loss be a win for 2010 IIHF World Championships?

datswc.jpgWhile our main focus at PHT is pro hockey (it is in the title, right?), we still have our eye on other puck-related events. One of the world’s best hockey tournaments is the Hockey World Championships held every summer. The added wrinkle is that the contest takes place during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which means that an NHL playoff team’s loss could be a participating country’s gain.

Our own Joe Yerdon is providing some great stuff on the tournament, including a recent article regarding how much a Red Wings playoff loss could potentially help various countries

First, there’s the most obvious nation to benefit: Sweden.

Obviously, the main country that could benefit from the Wings elimination is Sweden. Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are all players that could be ready to play in worlds. There’s one other big name Swede from Detroit, but captain Nicklas Lidstrom hasn’t participated in the World Championships since 2004. It’s unlikely that the 40 year-old future Hall of Famer would participate this year, especially since retirement could be next on his list.

Yerdon mentions that while Russia is loaded with talent (perhaps they should thank the Montreal Canadiens for freeing up the schedule of so many Russian Capitals?), Pavel Datsyuk is a player whose puck patriotism could be a boon. Finally, here’s a few other individuals who could really help their respective WC rosters.

Two players from the Wings roster could provide a big boost to two different Group D teams if they should be asked to sign up. Finland’s Valtteri Filppula and the United States’ Jimmy Howard are eligible to join their countries but the question remains to be answered if they will. For Finland, Filppula would give their offense another skilled player to help improve an offense that was stonewalled against Denmark. For the United States, Howard could provide some stability in goal as well as giving Howard a taste of international competition he hasn’t seen since World Juniors in 2002-2003.

Personally, I think that Datsyuk, Lidstrom, Zetterberg and other long-time Wings deserve a Free Patriotism Pass because they’ve played an unbelievable amount of hockey during the last three years. Younger/lower-minute players such as Howard, Filppula and Ericsson might want to at least consider going overseas, though.

Want more coverage of the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championships? Here’s a few more links.

The Hockey Worlds Blog

A Photo Gallery for Day 2 of the WC

Team USA upset by Germany

Germany-USA draws record crowd

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    WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Sharks

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    It’s been a difficult start to the season for both the San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens, however both clubs have an opportunity to change that beginning tonight.

    The Sharks host the Habs and you can catch the action on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or via the live stream.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

    Rangers, Sharks need to wake up from early slumps

    Canadiens looking to spark, not ‘bury’ Alex Galchenyuk after move to fourth line

    It’s early but the Habs are struggling to find the back of the net

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    Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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    Video: Nolan Patrick’s sweet drop pass sets up Dale Weise

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    That was quite the second period for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

    The Flyers scored four straight goals to take a commanding lead, but Nolan Patrick put the exclamation point on the frenzied frame with this sweet drop pass to set up Dale Weise for Philadelphia’s fourth goal.

    That’s the second assist and third point of the season for the 19-year-old Patrick.

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    Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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    WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Devils

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, in a match-up of the early season Atlantic and Metropolitan division leaders.

    It shouldn’t really surprise anyone to see the Lightning, with Steven Stamkos in their lineup, among the higher scoring teams so far. The Devils, on the other hand, have enjoyed a great start to their season and are currently third in the league with 4.20 goals-for per game. You can check out tonight’s game on NBCSN (7:30 p.m. PT) or online via the live stream.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

    The Buzzer: Nikita Kucherov just keeps scoring goals

    Kucherov’s star continues to rise, Stamkos sharp as Lightning beat Penguins

    ‘Fun to watch’ Devils rookie Jesper Bratt off to hot start

    Hischier ‘played his way’ into top-six role with Devils

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    Cam Tucker is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @CamTucker_Sport.

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    Test your might: Buckle up for fascinating night in NHL

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    With 11 games on the schedule and a doubleheader on NBCSN, Tuesday provides a veritable buffet for hockey fans.

    That volume opens up opportunities, such as getting closer to seeing where the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers really are at, and which one of the struggling San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens can get their second win of the season (note: Montreal at San Jose closes off that NBCSN doubleheader).

    It says a lot that a Penguins – Rangers game is intriguing, but not necessarily headline-grabbing.

    Oh yeah, and we also get to see how the stubborn Ottawa Senators look now that Erik Karlsson is returning to lineup. There’s really something for everyone tonight.

    For the sake of brevity, let’s limit this to four games that should be especially fascinating on Tuesday.

    Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals

    Remember that fantastic first-round series? The one that ended up being uncomfortably close for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Caps?

    Tuesday could be another thriller, as Alex Ovechkin‘s off to a heck of a start for the up-and-down Capitals (3-2-1), who host the dumb, fun Maple Leafs (4-1-0). It says a lot that, despite only playing five games, Toronto leads the NHL with 26 goals scored. Ovechkin vs. Auston Matthews is rarely not a fun time, in general.

    This game may answer some questions, including: “How long can Mike Babcock really push Mitch Marner down the lineup?”

    Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils

    These aren’t your older brother’s boring Devils, but this is increasingly looking like your older brother’s very good Lightning.

    Anyway, Tampa Bay (5-1-0) already beat a surprisingly hot Red Wings team on Monday, and now they look to cool off another dark horse in the Devils (4-1-0).

    Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos are doing their usual suspects act for the Lightning, while the Devils are off to the sort of start that has made them one of the most entertaining teams of this early season. It’s not just obvious guys like Taylor Hall or even 2017 top pick Nico Hischier, either, as Will Butcher already has eight assists and Jesper Bratt is currently second on NJ in scoring.

    Tampa Bay is closing off a back-to-back, which might make it tougher for them to keep up with this young team in Newark.

    This potential barnburner begins NBCSN’s doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. ET. To watch the game online, click here.

    MORE: Full preview for Lightning – Devils, Canadiens – Sharks

    Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators

    Nashville isn’t too impressive just yet with a 2-2-1 record, but do note that they’re 2-0-1 in their last three games. They’re also getting a chance to eye Matt Duchene, whose feelings might not be totally soothed even though the Avs are off to a 4-2-0 start.

    This one stands as an interesting test for the upstart Avalanche, but the Duchene angle might be most interesting. Is he facing his future team here? Could the two squads pull a “Moneyball” and have him change locker rooms tonight? (OK, that’s probably going too far.)

    Columbus Blue Jackets at Winnipeg Jets

    John Tortorella’s loaded, “safe equals death” group featuring the likes of Zach Werenski versus the ridiculously loaded Jets (Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele, so much more)? Yes, please.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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