Ex-Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill’s Team USA implodes at Worlds, 8-4, to Czech Wings

Detroit Free Press

What a disappointing final outing at the World Championship for former Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill — but an exciting one for two current players.

The U.S., where Blashill is an assistant coach, blew a 3-1 lead Sunday en route to getting hammered, 8-4, by Czechia, home to Wings forward Jakub Vrana and defenseman Filip Hronek. The Czechs’ rally was rewarded with the bronze medal at the tournament in Finland.

The U.S. looked in good shape with a 3-1 lead after the first period and nursed a one-goal lead after the second. Then the Czechs took control.

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David Pastrnak scored 51 seconds into the third period, and the Czechs scored again (and again and again) within minutes. It was 6-3 to Czechia at the 54:42 mark. David Kampf used his second goal to make it 7-3 at 58:08. David Pastrnak completed a hat trick at 59:23.

As much offense as the Czechs delivered, neither Vrana nor Hronek had a point.

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The U.S. team was assembled by former Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin, who last summer took the same title with the New York Rangers. Blashill was added as an assistant coach April 14. He was fired by Wings general manager Steve Yzerman April 30, the day after the Wings’ final game of the season.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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