Finland was dealt a blow prior to its semifinals contest against Sweden when it was revealed that Tuukka Rask wouldn’t be available due to the flu. The team will get Rask back for the bronze medal game against the United States though, according to Finland’s MTV3, via CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.
Kari Lehtonen ended up replacing him against Sweden and stopped 23 of 25 shots in the Finns’ 2-1 loss. While it was hardly a bad performance on his part, getting Rask back will still be a big boost.
Lehtonen has very little big game experience and Finland will need all the help it can get today. The Americans feature a superb offense that will be hungry after they were frustrated and shutout by Canada in their semifinals game.
At the same time, Finland is likely to employ the same defensive strategies that beat the United States yesterday, given that Canada was emulating teams like Finland in the first place.
The game is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. ET. You can watch it on NBCSN or online.