Sweden’s offense has been dealt another major blow. Nicklas Backstrom was initially included on the team’s lineup for the gold medal game against Canada, but he didn’t participate in the pregame warmups and has now officially been scratched, per the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.
Defenseman Henrik Tallinder has been selected to fill the vacant lineup spot.
If Sweden wins the gold medal today, it will have been by overcoming some major injuries. In addition to missing Backstrom, Sweden is also playing without forwards Henrik Sedin, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg.
That being said, the Swedes can still challenge Canadian goaltender Carey Price with the likes of forwards Daniel Alfredsson, Alexander Steen, Loui Eriksson, and Daniel Sedin. Then there’s defenseman Erik Karlsson, who has been explosive in this tournament with four goals and four assists in five games. Canada will have to watch out for him.
Reports from Sweden indicate a migraine…shades of Scottie Pippen circa 1990
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.