Ice Hockey World Juniors 2019

World Juniors

Team Canada won the final of the 2018 World Juniors against Team Sweden through a late goal in the third period. The Swedish Three Crowns showed an excellent performance in the group stage as usual, and went through a solid ride in the play offs. Now they have another shot for the gold when the tournament are to be decided in Victoria and Vancouver, Canada. In this post we present the schedule for the 2019 World Juniors, with a focus on Sweden’s games. As by tradition, the World Juniors are initiated between Christmas and New Year, and the play offs are played during the first week of January.

Sweden in the 2019 World Juniors

In the group stage of the 2019 World Juniors ten teams are divided into two groups. Eight spots in the playoffs are at stake. The top team from each group will face the fourth placed team in the other group and so on.

Group A

Canada
Czech Republic
Russia
Switzerland
Denmark

Group B 

Sweden
USA
Finland
Slovakia
Kazakhstan

Sweden, that has a habit to go undefeated during the group stage in the World Juniors, will battle for the group win mainly against USA and Finland. However, Slovakia is not an easy opponent either. Kazakhstan should be the underdog in this company, and anything but a fifth place would be a big suprise.

Sweden’s games (Swedish time):

December 27  2018, 04:30: Finland-Sweden
December 28 2018, 00:30 Slovakia-Sweden
December 30 2018, 04:30 Sweden-USA
Januari 1 2019, 02:00 Sweden-Kazakhstan

Hence, there will be some late nights or early mornings for those of us that wants to see the games on TV.

2019 World Juniors: Playoffs

January 2: Quarterfinals x4
January 4: Semifinales x2
January 5: Bronze game
January 6: Final!

We hope for new medals in the World Juniors for the Three Crowns. This post will be updated with more information, including the names of the Swedish squad.

 

Team Sweden won the 2018 IIHF Hockey World Championship

Team Sweden

Team Sweden won their 2nd consecutive gold in the IIHF 2018 Hockey World Championship in Denmark. As in the IIHF 2017, the final game was decided by a shootout. Then, Sweden’s national team “Three Crowns” defeated Team Canada. This year, Switzerland was the opponent.

The road to the finals

The 2018 edition of the Three Crowns was characterized by two features a) 20 players from the national hockey league (NHL), b) an average age of only 24 years. The team got the best possible start of the group stage by defeating Belarus 5-0. Game number two, against Czech Republic, was tougher, but Sweden managed to grab the odd goal 3-2 win. France was defeated 4-0 in an unusual dirty game. The game against Austria became a feast among the crowd as well as on the ice (7-0). The fifth game, against Slovakia, was tighter and Sweden managed to score the decider, 4-3, in overtime. The upcoming opponent in the final, Switzerland, was outmaneuvered with relative easy, in a 5-3 victory. The last game, against Russia, was a group final where the winner would face Latvia and the loser Canada. The Three Crowns managed to come back and turn 0-1 to 3-1. Russia later lost the quarterfinal against Canada in overtime.

In the playoffs, the quarterfinal against Latvia Sweden showed a somewhat crampy performance, where Latvia played an effective defense, and deadly counterattacks. Finally, Sweden managed to win 3-2. In the semifinal, Team USA led by Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane was waiting. USA eliminated Czech Republic in the quarterfinal. The last time USA won a world championship was in 1960(!). They were the best team in the first period of the semifinal, but somehow Sweden managed to get away with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. In the second period, USA got a 4 minute powerplay only to see Magnus Pääjärvi score 2-0. USA never recovered after this. After an idiot move by Johnny Gaudreau, using his stick as a baseball bat, Sweden scored in their powerplay. Then, another quick goal came from nowhere, and Sweden was suddenly up by 4 after 40 minutes of play. The final period was basically just about playing on the result for the Three Crowns, and the final score was written to 6-0. USA won the bronze game against Canada later (4-1).

On the other side of the playoff tree, a disciplined Switzerland first eliminated group winners Finland 3-2, and then Canada with the same figures.

Sweden won the final against Switzerland

The final game between Sweden and Switzerland was a replay of the 2013 final, when Sweden won on home ice (first team to do that since the Soviet Union gold in 1986), defeating Switzerland 5-1. Like then, Switzerland got the 1-0 lead. Sweden got the quick equalized and the score was 1-1 after 20 minutes of play. Switzerland got the 2-1 lead in the second period. Then, Sweden put the pedal to the metal and spent over three minutes in the offensive zone. 2-2 came in the powerplay.In the third period, both teams had their chances to score the decider. Sweden could not convert on a couple of breakaways.

The overtime was characterized by careful 4 vs 4 play, where no team wanted to make any mistake. This game was to be decided by a shootout. At stake was Switzerland’s first world championship gold ever, or Sweden’s 11th. The Swiss scored at their first penalty shot, while Sweden missed. However, after two goals by Oliver Ekman-Larsson (who also scored in the shootout against Canada in 2017) and Filip Forsberg, Sweden won the shootout with two goals to one. The victory gave Sweden and Three Crowns their 2nd consecutive world championship win, just like they did with their young team in 1991 + 1992. One has to feel sorry for Switzerland who manage to pull off their game plan with precision and was as close to a gold medal as a team can come.

The Swedish gold was a result of hard work of coach Rikard Grönborg and his staff. They have managed to raise the professionalism in the Three Crowns a few notches, and make the world championship an attractive tournament and end of season for the NHL players that are eliminated in the North American Stanley Cup playoffs. The players enjoy the idea of youthful entusiasm and classic, Sweden defensive plays. This is the New Sweden!

IIHF World Championship 2017: Sweden won the gold!

Team Sweden

When Sweden’s head coach Rikard Grönborg got 19 reinforcements from the NHL in this year’s edition of the Three Crowns, Sweden was ranked as one of the favorites for the gold in the World Championship behind Canada and Russia. Strong names such as Nicklas Bäckström, William Nylander and Henrik Lundqvist could be found in the squad. However, at the start of the tournament, Sweden had difficulties getting their game together. Sloppy plays and unnecessary penalties put their mark on the games. Sweden beat the weaker nations in the group stage, but lost to the main opponents USA and Russia. USA won the group and Sweden grabbed the third position, behind Russia.

Playoffs

So far, a Three Crowns filled with NHL-players had two losses against Russia and the United States and wins against Germany, Latvia, Denmark, Slovakia and Italy. In the quarterfinals, Switzerland awaited. They managed to get second place in their group, behind Canada. Sweden got the expected victory, 3-1. Rough for Switzerland, who has been eliminated by Sweden a number of times through the years, including in the World Championships in 1998, 2013 and the Olympic Games in 2006.

In the semi-finals, the Nordic rivals Finland awaited. They had a sluggish introduction to the tournament, but managed to beat a sleepy United States in the quarterfinals. Sweden tamed the Finnish lions, through a 4-1 victory.

On the other side of the playoff tree, Canada had advanced to the finals. They beat the host nation Germany in the quarterfinals, 2-1. The semifinal against Russia was a fast-phased game, with Russia leading 2-0 before the third period. Canada showed great morale and managed to turn the game in their favor through four straight goals. Impressive. The question was how Three Crowns would be able to beat their nightmare opponent in the final? Sweden had lost against Canada in the World Championship final before in 1997, 2003 and 2004.

The final game

Three Crowns played a convincing game in the finals, with disciplined defense, stable attacks and a Henrik Lundqvist on top in the goal. The first period ended scoreless. The first goal of the game came in the second period 20 seconds before the break. Victor Hedman sent a bouncing puck on goal in the boxplay. Somehow the puck found the back of the Canadian net. 1-0 Sweden. In the beginning of the third period, Canada tied the game after a cheap penalty. Both teams then had a powerplay each without being able to convert. The score was 1-1 after 60 minutes of play.

The game could not be decided during overtime and the shootout awaited. Henrik Lundqvist came out on top, stopping four out of four penalty shots, which was enough to win the gold after Nicklas Bäckström and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored on their penalties. Another classic shootout, which made many Swedes remember the final against Canada in the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer, where Sweden won the gold after a classic penalty shot by Peter Forsberg.

A classic Swedish team with both old and new profiles won the Three Crown’s 10th World Championship.

William Nylander was named the best player of the tournament. His victory jump in the hands of Henrik Lundqvist is already legendary.

Captain Joel Lundqvist, Henrik’s twin brother, took his third World Championship gold. In a Three Crown without NHL reinforcements, Grönborg expects he will lead the team in the Olympic Games of 2018.

Nicklas Bäckström finally got to play the final he missed in the 2014 Olympic Games in.

Anton Strålman finally got to win something in his career.

There are many stories to tell about this classic Swedish team!

The Stanley Cup Round of 16, 2017

Skridskor

The regular season of the National Hockey League (NHL) 2016-17 is over, and the playoffs have started. In this post you will find match-ups for the Round of 16 together with comments. Spring is here, and so are the NHL playoffs!

Stanley Cup Round of 16, 2017

Chicago Blackhawks – Nashville Predators

Comment: The dynasty Chicago will advance from this meeting.

Minnesota Wild – St. Louis Blues

Comment: St Louis Blues still has no Stanley Cup title. Will 2017 be different?

Anaheim Ducks – Calgary Flames

Comment: The Ducks are always strong in the playoffs.

Edmonton Oilers – San Jose Sharks

Comment: Last year’s finalists,- the “beards” from San Jose will probably go far in the 2017 playoffs as well.

Montreal Canadiens – New York Rangers

Comment: Tough resistance for Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. Can they withstand the pressure at the Bell Center?

Ottawa Senators – Boston Bruins

Comment: This matchup is difficult to predict, but we believe in Boston.

Washington Capitals – Toronto Maple Leafs

Comment: The toughest opponent possible for the Swedish rookie William Nylander and Toronto in the first round, but on the other hand, Washington is known to fold when it is time for the playoffs.

Pittsburgh Penguins – Columbus Blues

Comment: Crosby, Malkin and their henchmen are hoping to repeat last year’s success.

Notably, last year no Canadian team made it to the playoffs. This year four teams have reached the round of 16: Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. Vancouver and the Sedin brothers miss the playoffs. Now we’re just waiting to see how many NHL players that will join 2017 Ice Hockey World Championship. According to Sweden’s head coach Rikard Grönborg, things are looking great. The following players have said they will play for The Swedish national team in the 2017 championships:

  • Alexander Edler, Vancouver.
  • Elias Lindholm, Carolina.
  • Joakim Nordström, Carolina.
  • Victor Rask, Carolina.
  • Victor Hedman, Tampa.

Last time Sweden won the Ice Hockey World Championships was in 2013.

2016 Stanley Cup: Round of 16

Skridskor

The regular season of the National Hockey League (NHL) 2015-16 is finished and, as usual, it means that 16 teams have made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs. In this post you will get information about match ups, together with predictions.

Stanley Cup 2016, Round of 16

Washington Capitals – Philadelphia Flyers

Comment: Caps, led by Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Bäckstrom has performed well in the series, as usual. But now it’s time for the playoffs, where they have not been able to match their regular season in the recent years. Chances are that “the Philly Flu” will reach the capital before this series is over.

Florida Panthers – New York Islanders

Comment: One of the most interesting match ups beforehand. Two teams that have been struggling for the past years, but have raised their game lately. Islanders have something good going on and the Panthers, led by Czech icon Jaromir Jagr, have showed that there are room for two hockey teams in sunny Florida. At the same time it is one of the more difficult sereis to predict,  it could go either way. Jagr scores the decider in game seven overtime? 🙂

Tampa Bay Lightning – Detroit Red Wings

Comment: Detroit barely reached their 25th straight playoff barely. They got some help from Ottawa who unexpectedly defeated Boston Bruins, even though they had nothing to play for, while Bruins were chasing a playoff spot. The Red Wings have not played convincingly this year and is not the same team as it used to be. However, they have a lot of routine in players like Kronwall, Zetterberg and Datsuyk. Tampa was in the final last year and would normally count as a clear favorite in this series. However, they are plagued by injuries on some of their key players.

Pittsburgh Penguins – New York Rangers

Comment: A prestigious and classic match up. Last year, Swedish forward Carl Hagelin sent home penguins to lethargy in a deciding game. This year, Hagelin will try to do the same for the Penguins who have played a good game at the end of the regular season. If they retain the shape in the playoffs, then Rangers might not advance to the quarter finals this year.

Dallas Stars – Minnesota Wild

Comment: Dallas has as usual done a great job in the regular season, but just as with the Capitals, they often have difficulties to follow it up with equally robust efforts in the playoffs. It will be necessary in order to defeat Minnesota Wild.

Anaheim Ducks – Nashville Predators

Comment: Anaheim Ducks began the season in the worst possible way, but then managed to raise their game. They are a team made for playoffs with robusness, subtlety and some malice. Chances are, in 2016, the Predators will not be at the top of the food chain.

St. Louis Blues – Chicago Blackhawks

Comment: Another team that performed well in the regular season against a classic playoff team. Blues have never won the Stanley Cup and the risk is that they will not advance from the round of 16 against the modern dynasty and current champions Chicago, who always manage to find ways to win important matches.

Los Angeles Kings – San Jose Sharks

Comment: Can the Sharks led by Joe Thornton manages shake of their playoff ghost? The resistance is the toughest possible, with the Kings who are eager for revenge since they, as reigning champions, missed last year’s playoffs. An interesting and difficult series to predict, but it might end with King’s eating shark fin soup in the quarterfinals.

NHL Christmas stats 2015

It’s Christmas time and at Chicken Swedes we celebrate by writing a post full of all kinds of statistics from the National Hockey League. Below is all kinds of top-ten lists you ever wished for. Merry Christmas!

p = points, g = goals, a = assists

Points:

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago 21 g+29 a 50 p
2. Jamie Benn, Dallas 22 g+24 a 46 p
3. Tyler Seguin, Dallas 19 g+27 a 46 p
4. Taylor Hall, Edmonton 15 g+24 a 39 p
5. Vladimir Tarasenko, St Louis 22 g+16 a 38 p
6. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa 9 g+29 a 38 p
7. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary 15 g+22 a 37 p
8. Joe Pavelski, San Jose 18 g+18 a 36 p
9. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver 16 g+20 a 36 p
10. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg 10 g+25 a 35 p

Goals:

1. Jamie Benn, Dallas 22
2. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis 22
3. Patrick Kane, Chicago 21
4. Tyler Seguin, Dallas 19
5. Joe Pavelski, San Jose 18
6. Mike Hoffman, Ottawa 17
7. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh 17
8. Alex Ovechkin, Washington 17
9. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver 16
10. Matt Duchene, Colorado 16

Assists:

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago 29
2. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa 29
3. Tyler Seguin, Dallas 27
4. John Klingberg, Dallas 27
5. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg 25
6. Jamie Benn, Dallas 24
7. Taylor Hall, Edmonton 24
8. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver 23
9. P.K. Subban, Montreal 23
10. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary 22

Points (defenders):

1. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa 9 g+29 a 38 p
2. John Klingberg, Dallas 5 g+27 a 32 p
3. Brent Burns, San Jose 14 g+17 a 31 p
4. Justin Faulk, Carolina 12 g+15 a 27 p
5. John Carlson, Washington 6 g+21 a 27 p
6. Roman Josi, Nashville 9 g+17 a 26 p
7. Shea Weber, Nashville 10 g+15 a 25 p
8. Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo 7 g+17 a 24 p
9. Joe Pavelski, San Jose 18 g+18 a 36 p
10. P.K. Subban, Montreal 1 g+23 a 24 p

Goals (defenders):

1. Brent Burns, San Jose 14
2. Justin Faulk, Carolina 12
3. Shea Weber, Nashville 10
4. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa 9
5. Roman Josi, Nashville 9
6. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg 9
7. Aaron Ekblad, Florida 8
8. Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo 7
9. O Ekman-Larsson, Arizona 7
10. Mark Giordano, Calgary 7

Points (Swedish players):

1. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa 9 g+29 a 38 p
2. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver 16 g+20 a 36 p
3. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver 9 g+23 a 32 p
4. John Klingberg, Dallas 5 g+27 a 32 p
5. Alexander Steen, St Louis 11 g+21 a 32 p
6. Nicklas Bäckström, Washington 10 g+21 a 31 p
7. Loui Eriksson, Boston 13 g+15 a 28 p
8. Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit 6 g+21 a 27 p
9. Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado 8 g+18 a 26 p
10. Victor Rask, Carolina 9 g+14 a 23 p

Points (rookies):

1. Artemi Panarin, Chicago 10 g+21 a 31 p
2. Max Domi, Arizona 10 g+15 a 25 p
3. Dylan Larkin, Detroit 13 g+11 a 24 p
4. Anthony Duclair, Arizona 10 g+9 a 19 p
5. Oscar Lindberg, NY Rangers 10 g+7 a 17 p
6. Jack Eichel, Buffalo 9 g+7 a 16 p
7. Colton Parayko, St. Louis 6 g+9 a 15 p
8. Sam Reinhart, Buffalo 8 g+7 a 15 p
9. Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia 6 g+8 a 14 p
10. Sam Bennett, Calgary 5 g+9 a 14 p

Penalties (minutes):

1. Derek Dorsett, Vancouver 106
2. Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia 82
3. Tom Wilson, Washington 81
4. Chris Neil, Ottawa 81
5. Cody McLeod, Colorado 73
6. Mark Borowiecki, Ottawa 66
7. Jordin Tootoo, New Jersey 57
8. Antoine Roussel, Dallas 56
9. Brad Marchand, Boston 54
10. Zac Rinaldo, Boston 53

Shots:

1. Alex Ovechkin, Washington 162
2. Brent Burns, San Jose 150
3. Max Pacioretty, Montreal 145
4. Tyler Seguin, Dallas 143
5. Taylor Hall, Edmonton 140
6. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver 130
7. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis 127
8. Patrick Kane, Chicago 123
9. Radim Vrbata, Vancouver 123
10. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg 115

Plus/minus (+/-):

1. Dylan Larkin, Detroit +21
2. Jamie Benn, Dallas +17
3. Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles +17
4. E Kuznetsov, Washington +17
5. Jeff Carter, Los Angeles +16
6. Jason Demers, Dallas +16
7. Alex Ovechkin, Washington +15
8. Tyler Seguin, Dallas +15
9. Patrick Kane, Chicago +15
10. Johnny Oduya, Dallas +15

Time on ice per game:

1. Ryan Suter, Minnesota 28,16
2. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa 28,03
3. Drew Doughty, LA 27,49
4. Brent Burns, San Jose 26,30
5. A Pietrangelo, St. Louis 26,28
6. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh 26,15
7. TJ Brodie, Calgary 25,31
8. Duncan Keith, Chicago 25,30
9. P.K. Subban, Montreal 25,21
10. Jack Johnson, Columbus 25,19

Face offs (%):

1. Jonathan Toews, Chicago 59,8
2. Ryan O’Reilly, Buffalo 59,2
3. Jordan Staal, Carolina 58,9
4. Jay Beagle, Washington 58,4
5. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia 58,4
6. Paul Stastny, Colorado 57,8
7. Jarrett Stoll, Minnesota 57,5
8. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit 57,1
9. Ryan Kesler, Anaheim 56,9
10. Joe Pavelski, San Jose 56,6

Goalies (%):

1. Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia 93,7
2. James Reimer, Toronto 93,5
3. Carey Price, Montreal 93,4
4. Thomas Greiss, NY Islanders 93,3
5. Braden Holtby, Washington 93,1
6. Jake Allen, St. Louis 92,8
7. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay 92,6
8. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh 92,5
9. Roberto Luongo, Florida 92,5
10. Cory Schneider, New Jersey 92,5

Goalies (goals allowed per game):

1. Braden Holtby, Washington 1,96
2. John Gibson, Anaheim 1,97
3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay 2,00
4. James Reimer, Toronto 2,01
5. Thomas Greiss, NY Islanders 2,03
6. Jake Allen, St. Louis 2,06
7. Carey Price, Montreal 2,06
8. Michal Neuvirth, Washi. 2,06
9. Jaroslav Halak, NY Islanders 2,09
10. Antti Raanta, NY Rangers 2,10

Goalies (nr of wins):

1. Braden Holtby, Washington 21
2. Corey Crawford, Chicago 18
3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles 17
4. Jake Allen, St. Louis 16
5. Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers 16
6. Martin Jones, San Jose 15
7. Antti Niemi, Dallas 15
8. Cory Schneider, New Jersey 15
9. Craig Anderson, Ottawa 15
10. Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota 14

Power Play (%):

1. Boston Bruins 28,9%
2. Washington Capitals 25,7%
3. Dallas Stars 23,3%
4. Chicago Blackhawks 21,6%
5. New York Rangers 21,6%
6. St. Louis Blues 21,2%
7. Toronto Maple Leafs 21,2%
8. Buffalo Sabres 20,9%
9. San Jose Sharks 20,9%
10. Nashville Predators 20,9%

Penalty Kill (%):

1. Anaheim Ducks 87,7%
2. St. Louis Blues 87,3%
3. New York Islanders 87,0%
4. Montreal Canadiens 84,9%
5. Washington Capitals 84,4%
6. Los Angeles Kings 83,8%
7. San Jose Sharks 83,7%
8. Pittsburgh Penguins 82,5%
9. New York Rangers 82,3%
10. Chicago Blackhawks 82,0%

Goals scored per game:

1. Dallas Stars 3,51
2. Washington Capitals 3,12
3. Boston Bruins 3,09
4. Ottawa Senators 2,91
5. Montreal Canadiens 2,89
6. New York Rangers 2,86
7. Colorado Avalanche 2,83
8. Minnesota Wild 2,78
9. Arizona Coyotes 2,73
10. Winnipeg Jets 2,71

Shots (per game):

1. Los Angeles Kings 32,2
2. Dallas Stars 32,2
3. Pittsburgh Penguins 31,6
4. Montreal Canadiens 31,4
5. Nashville Predators 31,1
6. Boston Bruins 30,8
7. Toronto Maple Leafs 30,5
8. Philadelphia Flyers 30,5
9. Chicago Blackhawks 30,4
10. St. Louis Blues 30,2

NHL standings, top ten (whole league):

1. Dallas Stars 54 p
2. Washington Capitals 52 p
3. St. Louis 46 p
4. New York Rangers 44 p
5. Chicago Blackhawks 44 p
6. New York Islanders 43 p
7. Montreal Canadiens 43 p
8. Minnesota Wild 42 p
9. Los Angeles Kings 42 p
10. Boston Bruins 42 p

Champions Hockey League 2015-16: Semifinals are up

Champions Hockey League

The quarterfinals of the 2015-16 Champions Hockey League have been played and four team have advanced to the semifinals. We got to experience some great hockey action during the quarterfinals when four Finnish teams, one Swiss team and three Swedish teams fought for four spots in the next round.

Highlights from the quarterfinals (bold teams set for semifinals)

Frölunda-Luleå

This matchup was a replay of the final last year when Luleå won the Champions Hockey League 2014-15. Luleå won the first quarterfinal at home and a shootout was needed to separate the teams in the second game, in Gothenburg. Frölunda draw the longer straw at the shootout, with Andreas Johnson scoring in the last round. This game was one of the best we have seen so far in the Champions Hockey League. Both teams wanted to win and gave everything.

Skellefteå – Davos

Davos did what many Swedish teams have failed to do: They went to Skellefteå in northern Sweden and won. Having an 1 goal advantage with them from the first game, Davos also won the second game, 1-3. This was extremely important for the tournament, meaning a larger part of Europe is included in the top four, not just Swedish and Finnish teams.

Lukko Rauma – TPS Turku

One of two all-Finnish quarterfinals. Both games were tight, ending tied at full-time. As in the game between Frölunda-Luleå, this quarterfinal also had to be decided by a shootout. Turo Asplund scored the only goal at the shootouts, giving his Lukko Rauma a place in the semifinals.

Kärpät Oulu – Espoo Blues

Espoo had a two goal advantage from the first quarterfinal in this second all-Finnish showdown. Julius Junttila changed that. He played his best hockey in the return game, scoring three goals and performing two assist in Kärpät’s 5-1 victory. Juntilla is a 24-year old forward, born in Oulu. Now he has brought his team into the semifinals!

Schedule, semifinals:

Tuesday, 12 January

Lukko Rauma – Kärpät Oulu
HC Davos – Frölunda Gothenburg

Tuesday, 19 January

Kärpät Oulu – Lukko Rauma
Frölunda Gothenburg – HC Davos

Schedule, World Cup of Hockey 2016

World Cup of Hockey 2016

World Cup of Ice Hockey is back 2016 and here you will find schedule and fixtures for the tournament. The group stage consists of eight teams divided into two groups:

Group A:

Canada
USA
Czech Republic
Team Europe (A coalition of European players from teams that aren’t participating in the tournament)

Group B:

Sweden
Finland
Russia
Team North America (A team that consists of younger North American players)

Game dates:

Saturday, September 17 2016:
Team Europe–USA
Canada – Czech Republic
Sunday, September 18 2016:
Russia – Sweden
Finland – Team North America
Monday, September 19 2016:
Czech Republic – Team Europe
Team North America – Russia
Tuesday, September 20 2016:
Finland–Sweden
Canada – USA
Wednesday, September 21 2016:
Team North America – Sweden
Canada – Team Europe
Thursday, September 22 2016:
Finland-Russia
Czech Republic – USA
The playoffs are played September 24 – October 1:
Saturday, September 24:
Semifinal 1 (A1 vs B2)
Sunday, September 25:
Semifinal 2 (B1 vs A2)
Final (best-of-three):
Tuesday, September, 27:
Final Game 1
Thursday, September, 29:
Final Game 2
Saturday, October, 1:
Final Game 3 (if necessary)

History of the World Cup of Hockey

The first World Cup of Hockey was played in 1996. It was a successor to the previous Canada Cup which was played between 1976-1991. Canada Cup was a rather one-sided history with Canadian gold medals in 1976, 1984, 1987 and 1991. Soviet Union won the 1981 edition of the Cup. United States won the 1996 World Cup and Canada won the cup in 2004. The 2004 World Cup was the latest edition of the tournament. After 12 years of wait, the World Cup of Hockey is finally back! Hopefully we get to see some European teams having success in the cup this year. However, Canada will have a stronger team than ever on the ice. We still shivers at the thought of the team they had in the 2015 IIHF World Championships, and then they still had a lot of players still playing in the NHL playoffs. We are especially looking forward seeing the coalition of European players in Team Europe. There are plenty of good players in the rest of Europe and teams like Slovakia, Switzerland, Belarus and Germany will probably contribute with their cream of the crop to the team.
The World Cup ensures high quality ice hockey with the best teams and players in the world fighting for prestige and glory. We have a number of good match-ups to look forward to. Or how about the matches in September, 22: Nordic rivals Sweden versus Finland and the North American battle between Canada and USA? It will be a blast!
You can read more about World Cup at NHL.com.

Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup wins

Skridskor

Toronto Maple Leafs has won the Stanley Cup 13 times: 1917–18 (as Toronto Arenas), 1921–22 (as Toronto St. Patricks), 1931–32, 1941–42, 1944–45, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1950–51, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1966–67). In this post we will write a short note on every title as we have seen that many of our readers are searching for specific years that Toronto won the cup. Many Swedes followed the Maple Leafs when Swedish forward Mats Sundin played there between 1994/95 – 2007/08. He was captain of the Maple Leafs from 1997/98. However, Sundin won no titles with his Toronto. In Sweden we remember him more for his participation in our national teams, especially during the World Championships of 1991, 1992 and 1998 as well as the Olympic games in Torino 2006 when Sweden won the gold.

Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup titles

Let us go back in time and take a closer look at the Stanley Cup titles of Toronto:

1918 Stanley Cup finals: a time of organizational change

This was in a time when the NHL had quite a different form and also a time of World War I in Europe. The Stanley Cup finals were played between the NHL champion Toronto and the PCHA (Pacific Coast Hockey Association) champion Vancouver Millionaires. There were competing leagues in North America at the time. NHL had formed in the backwaters of the NHA (National Hockey Association). Toronto’s NHL-team were often referred to as their NHA-name: Blueshirts. Formally, they were the Toronto Arenas though. Despite some issues on organization of the leagues and ownership, Toronto went on and first won the NHL by defeating Montreal Canadiens. The Stanley Cup final against Vancouver were played in Toronto Arena Gardens as a best-of-five-games series. The games alternated between NHL and PCHA rules for every game which seemed to have a major influence on the results: Toronto won the games with NHL rules (1,3,5) and Vancouver the two games with PCHA rules. The biggest differences was number of players (NHL: 6, PCHA: 7) and the fact that in NHL, forward passing was allowed. Toronto’s Alf Skinner was the scoring leader in the final series with 8 goals.

1922 Stanley Cup finals: Baby Dye

Once again it was Toronto versus Vancouver in the Stanley Cup final and once again, Toronto managed to come out as champions. Vancouver came in second place in the PCHA but managed to win the series against first placed Seattle Metropolitans. After that, they won the preliminary series against WCHL’s (West Coast Hockey League) champions Regina Capitals which gave them a spot in the final. Toronto (now named St. Patricks) came second in the NHL but defeated Ottawa Senators in the NHL series. It would take five games to separate the teams this time as well and all games were played in Toronto. Vancouver won game one 4-3. In game two, Babe Dye scored 2-1 for Toronto 4:50 into overtime. In game three, Vancouvers goaltender Hugh Lehman got the shutout, giving the Millionaires a 2-1 game lead. However, Toronto came out as the stronger team in the last two games, winning by 6-0 and 5-1. Babe Dye scored 9 of Toronto St. Patricks 16 goals.

1932 Stanley Cup finals: Circus Rangers

This was the first final Toronto appeared in as The Maple Leafs. Their opponents this time was New York Rangers. Because of a circus (!) being scheduled in Madison Square Garden, one had to be played in Boston. One game was played in the Garden and one in Toronto. Rangers had reached the final by defeating the defending champions Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in a best of five series. Toronto reached the final by playing two total-goals series: 6-2 against Chicago and 4-3 against the Maroons. In the final, Toronto came out as the stronger team, scoring six goal in three straight games: 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

1942 Stanley Cup finals: A remarkable comeback

Now, the final was to be decided by seven instead of five games. The 1942 final was played between Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings and was the first final to go all the way to seven games. Toronto defeated New York Rangers with 4 games to 2 to reach the final while Detroit won two best-of-three series against Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. This series contained a remarkable comeback: Toronto came back from a 3-0 series deficit to win four straight games and the Stanley Cup. This is the first and only time it has happened in the final. It has been done three times in the play offs since then, but never in the final. Red Wings won the first game 2-1 and the second 4-2, Don Grosso scoring two goals in each game. Toronto was in a 2-0 lead in game three but Detroit managed to tie and win 5-2. In game four, Toronto’s coach Hap Day replaced a couple of players and the Maple Leafs managed to get the 4-3 win. Don Metz had an excellent game five with three goals and two assist in a 9-3 victory for Toronto. Metz continued to score in game six, which was another Toronto win (3-0) and the series was now tied. In game seven, which was played in Toronto, the Red Wings managed to get the go-ahead goal before the third period. However, Toronto got the chance to score on the power play in the third and made no mistake: just as the penalty expired, David Sweeney Schriner scored the equalized. Now, Toronto increased the phase and eventually out-shoot Detroit in the third period, 16-7. Pete Langelle scored the game winner and Schriner scored his second goal of the night in this historic Stanley Cup victory for Toronto.

1945 Stanley Cup finals: History will repeat itself… or?

1945 was a year that went to history. World War II ended. Detroit Red Wings almost repeated Toronto’s comeback from 1942: The two teams met in the final once again and this time it was Toronto who got the 3 game lead (1-0, 2-0, 1-0). Although three consecutive shut-outs by Frank McCool who had replaced Turk Boda (who had to do army service) in Toronto’s net. However, another star emerged in the three upcoming games: now it was Detroit’s 18-year old goalie Harry Lumley who didn’t let in any goals for three games (5-0, 2-0, 1-0) and the series was tied before game seven in Detroit. This was to be the first time in history when the home team did not win game seven. Instead, Toronto triumphed a 2-1 victory and won the Stanley Cup.

1947 Stanley Cup finals: An all-Canadian tale

The 1947 Stanley Cup final was the first all-Canadian final in 12 years. It was played between Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. Montreal defeated Boston Bruins 4-1 to reach the final while Toronto defeated Detroit Red Wings, also 4-1. The Canadiens got a good start with a 6-0 win in the first game. The series was physical and in the second game, Rocket Richard knocked out two Leafs players with a stick to the head. However, Toronto took advantage of the power plays, winning game two 4-0. Toronto also won game three and four at home, leading the series 3-1. Montreal won game five at home but Toronto decided the series in their next game at home, winning 4-2.

1948 Stanley Cup finals: The Toronto Maple Leafs dynasty

Defending champions Toronto was now building a dynasty with another final, this time against Detroit Red Wings. Toronto won four consecutive games and their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

1949 Stanley Cup finals: The dynasty continued

In a rerun of the 1948 final, Toronto and Detroit met again, and once more, Toronto won four consecutive games and their third consecutive Stanley Cup. Detroit had to wait until the 1950 finals, which they reached by defeating Toronto. That year they won the Stanley Cup by defeating New York Rangers in the finals.

1951 Stanley Cup finals: 5x overtime

All five games in the 1951 finals between Toronto and Montreal had one thing in common: They were decided in overtime. Toronto reached the final by defeating Boston Bruins 4-1 and Montreal defeated defending champions Red Wings 4-2. Toronto won game one and Montreal tied the series in game two before Toronto got three straight overtime wins. Bill Barilko scored the deciding goal in the last game, his last NHL goal ever since he died in a plane crash during the summer.

1962 Stanley Cup finals: 11 years later…

Toronto’s fans had waited 11 years for a Stanley Cup title when the team reached the finals by defeating New York Rangers. In the final series they met Chicago Blackhawks who had defeated Montreal. Chicago’s Stan Mikita broke Gordie Howe’s play off record of 20 points, scoring 21 points, which was not enough to win the series. Instead, Toronto won the finals 4-2, winning the last game 8-4.

1963 Stanley Cup finals: Another dynasty

Another Toronto dynasty and their second straight final series and title. Toronto reached the finals by defeating Montreal 4-1. In the finals they met Detroit who defeated Chicago 4-2. In game one, Dick Duff scored twice in 68 seconds which is the fastest two goals in the history of Stanley Cup. Toronto won the game 4-2 after a bit of a meltdown in the second period (which was punished by their coach by a morning practice the day after the game). Toronto also won game two at home, 4-2. In game three, Detroit used their home advantage and managed to get a 3-2 win. However, in game four, Toronto got another 4-2 win after scoring the two deciding goals in the last 10 minutes of the game. Toronto then won game six at home, securing their second consecutive Stanley Cup victory.

1964 Stanley Cup finals: Live to win another day

Another year, another cup, another final series between Detroit and Toronto. Toronto reached the finals by defeating Montreal 4-3 and Detroit defeated Chicago 4-3. Toronto won the first game of the finals at home 3-2. Detroit won the second game, away, in overtime 4-3. Game 3, in Detroit, was won by Detroit 4-3. Toronto tied the series 2-2 by winning in Detroit 4-2. After two consecutive away wins it would take a deciding game seven in Toronto to core a winner of the 1964 finals. Toronto came out as the stronger team, winning 4-0. One famous happening in this series was in game six when Bob Baun took a slapshot from Gordie Howe on the ankle and had to leave play. He returned in overtime though, and scored the deciding goal.

1967 Stanley Cup finals: One last triumph

The 1967 finals were the last of its kind, ending the NHL Original Six era. It was played between Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. The series was Toronto’s latest Stanley Cup win, and their latest appearance in the finals. Only St. Louis Blues have a similar record of championship drought, without a Stanley Cup win since they joined the National Hockey League in 1967. Montreal defeated New York to reach the series and Toronto defeated Chicago. The average age of Toronto’s players were 31 which is the oldest lineup to win the Stanley Cup. Goalkeeper Johnny “The China Wall” Bower (42) and defenceman Allan Stanley (41) were two of the team’s aging players. Montreal won the first game at home, 6-2. For the second game, Bower was guarding the net instead of Terry Sawchuck. Bower got the shutout in game two and the series was tied 1-1. Toronto won game three in the second overtime period. The game is often referred to as one of the most exciting games of all times. However, Bower was injured before game four and Sawchuck was back in net again, allowing 6 goals in another 6-2 loss. The series was tied again, 2-2. However, Sawchuch stepped up his game in game five and six, letting in only one goal per game, Toronto winning the series 4-2.

So there you have it: Every Stanley Cup won by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hopefully their drought will end soon and we will once again see a Canadian dynasty in one of the world’s greatest hockey cities that have been home to many excellent players, including some Swedes, such as Börje Salming.

Stanley Cup 2015: Tampa and Chicago to the final. Fixtures for the games.

NHL

The conference finals in this year’s Stanley Cup had to be decided by two game seven after Rangers and Chicago tied the series in the sixth game. Four teams had to be cut down to two that will fight for the Stanley Cup Championship 2015. New York Rangers and Anaheim had the home team advantage against Tampa Bay and Chicago. That didn’t help.

New York Rangers 0-2 Tampa Bay

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist and New York Rangers are known to be hard to beat in game seven. That plus home team advantage in Madison Square Garden was factors that made many, including us, believe in Ranger victory in this decisive game. We were wrong. The first period ended with no goals. Rangers started with some pressure against Tampas net but the feeling was that Lightnings worked their way into the game and got the upper hand. Lundqvist had to do a number of saves on odd bounces. In the second period Rangers got the chance to score in a couple of power plays but didn’t convert. In the third period, they couldn’t resist Tampa’s strong offensive play. Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat scored a goal each and Rangers none. Game over Rangers, Tampa Bay to the final, fair and square.

Anaheim 3-5 Chicago

Heavy Anaheim Ducks against play off veteran Chicago Blackhawks. Last time the Ducks were in a final was in 2007 when they won against Ottawa. However, they have lost three straight game seven. Chicago was champions in 2010 and 2013. That was then. In game seven of the 2015 conference final Jonathan Toews gave Chicago the go ahead goal in the first period. Later in the same period, they increased the lead to 2-0 in power play. Anaheim got their chances but Corey Crawford in Chicago’s net came out on top with some good saves. One and a half-minute into the second period Chicago scored the third goal of the game. Later on, Marian Hossa showed some football skilled, skating in the puck to 4-0. Anaheim got a comforting goal through Jakob Silfverberg in the end of the second period. In the middle of the third period Anaheim got their hopes up thanks to a beautiful goal by Corey Perry, assisted by Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon. However, Chicago answered in power play: 5-2. Anaheim got the last goal, making the final score 5-3, but never came closer than that. Chicago won the game thanks to a better goalie and lots of traffic on net. A winning recipe that can make them go all the way this year.

Schedule for the final

Tampa Bay reached the final after finishing fifth in the total NHL standings, third in the eastern conference and second in the atlantic division. In the play offs they eliminated Detroit 4-3, Montreal 4-2 and New York Rangers 4-3.

Chicago reached the final after finishing seventh in the total NHL standings, fourth in the western conference and third in the central division. In the play offs they eliminated Nashville 4-2, Minnesota 4-0 and Anaheim 4-3.

The final games are played the following dates:

3 June: Chicago @ Tampa Bay
6 June: Chicago @ Tampa Bay
8 June: Tampa Bay @ Chicago
10 June: Tampa Bay @ Chicago
13 June: Chicago @ Tampa Bay
15 June: Tampa Bay @ Chicago
17 June: Chicago @ Tampa Bay