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The Free Press
Released these first day photos. You can catch glimpses of Bobby Ryan, Troy Stecher, Marc Staal and others as this new look group participate in day 1 exercises.
After defeating Austria 4-0
Team Sweden saw its round robin WJC win streak halted (54 games) by Russia in a 4-3 overtime loss. To be frank, I was unable to watch the game and I don’t want to attempt to posture using the game summary and box score. I didn’t notice any of Detroit’s 5 prospects on the scoring sheet, and a friend of mine said Russia came out flying. Sweden will have to shake it off quickly as they face the United States tonight. I will try and post updates regarding that game.
At this point, not much is being released from Detroit’s training camp. I’ve posted the roster, schedule and Mantha’s pre camp interview. The big winger wants last season to be left far behind. He’s also anxious to be farther along in “the rebuild” as far as being competitive. These are all the things you want to hear, to be sure. Once we can get a glimpse of on ice battles and drills we can get a better feel for how everyone looks. Mantha looks “bigger and stronger” according to reports.
This entry is a bit of a “place holder” while we wait for media and press releases to make their way out. These first 4 days of camp are “pre camp” for the 7 teams that missed last year’s post season. My greatest concern is injury. It’s been a long time since players have had competitive NHL action and reflexes/reactions are going to be a bit rusty. I’m hoping to see a good 2nd line emerge to lessen the drop off from Larkin/Mantha/Bertuzzi. The defensive pairings will be interesting to see too. Lots of changes and new faces.
As I hear more, I’ll do some updates. The good news is, Detroit is on the ice!
These are my first period thoughts. USA was all over the Swedes to start this. Swedish goalie let in 2 bad goals, but US dominated in every zone for 18 of 20 minutes. Below are just my personal thoughts during the play. I’ll post 2nd and 3rd period notes as they’re finished. Johansson has been on the ice for way too many attempts (and both goals against). Swedes look tired or rattled. Finally pulled it together at the end. I’ve added second period thoughts. Much the same as the first. Sweden has been completely ineffective and the coach didn’t do enough between periods. 2 more goals before a goalie change, and these kids look lost. They had a round robin loss for the first time in 15 years, and it looks like they are deflated. Notes are below
The third period, for Sweden, was another lackluster performance. No elaborate notes. High praise for the US. They played until the end and Knight was very good when called upon. Niederbach won Sweden’s “player of the game”, but I’m sure it’s not much consolation. These have been two tough days for Team Sweden.
Sweden Vs USA
Raymond and Johansson on the ice for the US goal at 1:10. Goalie wasn’t against the pipes, not good at all. Back checking was lacking. Johansson didn’t get a stick in the lane. Soderblom starts throwing the body around on the next shift. Niederbach up the middle. US still gets the puck in to the O zone and Sweden can’t keep up.
Sweden only has one shot in the first three minutes. US is owning the ice. Raymond breaks into the o zone and throws a HUGE hit, then gets a shot. Good physical play from LR. US gets the puck 200 feet the other way and gets an opportunity.
US scores another bad angle shot, Swedish goalie is a liability. Johansson, again, doesn’t get a stick in the lane. Lackluster defense from that prospect. US 2 goals in 4 minutes on 5 shots. Both could have been stopped. If Sweden doesn’t settle this down this will get out of reach.
Faceoff at 5 min. Raymond on the ice. Sweden fails to make any meaningful pressure or take good shots. US is keeping them to the perimeter. Niederbach loses neutral zone faceoff and it leads to another big chance for USA.
Caufield overhandles and gives Sweden a chance at the other end. CC showing why so many teams passed on him. A simple play would have the puck on net for another good opportunity.
Refs letting US steamroll the Swedes. A couple missed calls at this point. Sweden is going to have to play through. Brissom’s kid plays dirty in the crease, but Johansson lets it happen. That defenseman needs some time on the pine pony. Too much is happening when he’s on the ice tonight.
At about 9:25 Sweden starts to push back a bit more. More congestion on the ice, but a missed opportunity by Holtz. At 10:20 Johansson tries to help breakout of the D zone and it is intercepted. This feels a bit too much like last year’s Red Wings.
11:00 Swedes start in their own zone. US gets it out, but Sweden gets it back. Still can’t get any solid shots on Knight. US is dominating every single zone, every single shift. Niederbach wins next faceoff, Soderblom is held up behind the net. US running interference to slow down Swedish forwards, gets the puck out. Refs ignoring pretty much everything at this point.
At 13:30 Soderstrom uses skating to take puck below the net and get US out of position. Still unable to turn that into a shot on net. US has a triangle and/or a square in front of the net at all times. It’s going to take a perfect shot and some insane luck to get past what they’re doing. US playing with the lead to perfection.
Sweden takes HS penalty at 15:30. No crisp structure on Swedish PK. Looks almost man to man (not a great idea). I think these kids are scrambled and the coach needs to get this room settled down. Caufield gets smoked on a rush. Wow. wasn’t one of ours, but what a hit. Tobias Bjornfot made the hit (Kings selected 22, 7 after Caufield). Swedes are fighting back now. Getting gritty after Turcotte slashes the net minder.
That last PK may have been a much needed cup of coffee for Sweden. They need to survive this period and get it together. Soderblom continues to impress with backcheck and physicality. Elmer the barbarian is a serious bright spot.
At 30 seconds, Sweden starting to simplify. Dumping the puck in. Raymond takes a good hard shot. US seems to have relaxed a little. At this point, if Sweden is coming on, they still have to get past Spencer Knight. He looks really good.
Around 2 mins, US wins O Zone faceoff, couple quick passes and they score. So much talent and perfectly executed. Sweden doesn’t look like they can get back in this. perfect example of set face off play, and why centers are so important.
Raymond mishandled on an odd man rush, was a good look, but US cleared it out of the zone. No follow up chances. Another strong shift leads to a penalty shot attempt. Soderstrom gets the attempt, mishandles and never gets a shot off. That was hard to watch. He had Knight beaten.
Immediately afterward, Turcotte scores on a turnaround shot in front of the net. Sweden looks completely lost. The coaches haven’t done anything to get this group going. Finally a goalie change after 4 against. It should have been after the first period. Horrible player management.
At 4:45 another defensive zone turnover almost ends up in Sweden’s net. Johansson on the ice again. Soderblom trying to get something going at 5:30. He’s a one man show, keeps the puck on his stick and keeps playing. He could wear a letter some day...
At 13:00 mins, Sweden getting more chances, just not quick enough to take advantage. Sweden gets a power play at 15:47. Soderblom rings the post at 16:30. US has sticks in lanes, Sweden unable to move the puck around. Just a dominant kill by Team USA.
Just for reference, here are the individual Red Wings prospects player pages from “elite prospects” if you want to take another look.
#18 (this year’s top pick for Detroit) listed at 5’10” and a right shot/right winger
#16 listed at 5’11” right shot centerman/winger
#25 - 6’8” left shot winger
#9 - 6’0” left shot Defense
#7 6’2” right shot defense