The beginning of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament started off with Sweden beating Czech Republic and Switzerland taking out Latvia in the last ten seconds.
Alfredsson might not have been able to get on the board, but the Czech Team was not able to keep the Red Wings from making a difference on the scoreboard for Team Sweden. Henrik Zetterberg scored the third goal of the game for Sweden and ended up being the game winner, Niklas Kronwall assisted on the goal.
Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson were paired together for Sweden and the chemistry these players have developed over the past two seasons showed well in the game. Ericsson’s transition to the Olympic ice was not very smooth though, he let a few players beat him to the outside and if not for Kronwall’s stick skills things could have gone bad for the big defenseman.
The Red Wings youngest participant, Gustav Nyquist, was not noticeable, which is probably a good thing for a player in his first Olympic game. Being on the third line he is playing a more defensive game, but I expect him to make a big impact in game two.
No Red Wings participated in the Switzerland vs Latvia game, but it did produce a last second thriller. Simon Moser scored with 7.9 seconds left in the third period to give the Swiss the victory and break Latvia’s heart.
Jimmy Howard will not be dressing for Team USA today, but the Red Wings will still have three players and a coach in action; Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar will take the ice for Slovakia, Pavel Datsyuk will captain Russia, and Mike Babcock is coaching Canada.
Russia vs Slovenia – 7:30 a.m. – MSNBC
Slovakia vs USA – 7:30 a.m. – NBCSN
Canada vs Norway – 12:00 p.m. – USA – CBC