Switzerland’s men’s hockey team has benefited from the stellar play of goaltender Jonas Hiller, who has posted back-to-back shutouts in the tournament.
The media has harped on the tricky goaltending decisions other countries have had to face (Finland with Kari Lehtonen and Tuukka Rask; Canada with Roberto Luongo and Carey Price; and the U.S. with Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller for example). Yet there seems to be no such controversy with the Swiss. Hiller’s play in two of the three games has probably muted that to some degree.
That’s not to take anything away from Reto Berra, who allowed only one goal in a 1-0 loss to Sweden in Switzerland’s second preliminary game.
VIDEO: Watch Hiller’s stellar performance
Switzerland hasn’t scored much in the preliminary round, just two goals in three games. The latest came Saturday, when Switzerland defeated the Czech Republic by a score of 1-0. They’ve been involved in shutouts in each of their three games (they’ve all been by scores of 1-0, too). Goaltending has been a big key to their success. The positive results have given Switzerland a different mentality on the international stage – they expect to win.
“Jonas is giving us a chance to win every game,” said Simon Bodenmann, as per the IIHF. “We’d be happy to score a couple more goals, but if we win like this, it doesn’t matter.”
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.