Quick Hits: The Slow Starts Edition

Winging It In Motown

In the WJC:

Finland 9 – Slovakia 3

Eemil Viro – 2 SOG, 15:55 TOI

Rule of thumb: if you can’t kill penalties, they will kill you. The Slovaks learned that the hard way on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Place. Brimming with confidence, Finland converted five times with the power play in a 9-3 dismantling of Slovakia.

Czechia 2 – Latvia 5

Jan Bednář – 10 saves on 14 shots (.7143)

Bednar was replaced by Tomas Suchanek to start the third, but he faced only three shots as his teammates fired 17 on Brumanis without scoring.

That’s cool Latvia won and got to the quarterfinals.

USA 3 – Sweden 2

Simon Edvinsson – 2 SOG, 22:44 TOI
William Wallinder – 1A, 2 SOG, 15:16 TOI
Theodor Niederbach – 1 SOG, -1, 21:25 TOI
Carter Mazur – 1 SOG, -1, 16:14 TOI
Red Savage – 1 SOG, 14:04 TOI

This was a tight-checking affair with plenty of whistles and not many excellent scoring chances. Defence and caution were the order of the day. The Americans got the only goal of the opening 20 minutes on the power play. Brett Berard came out from behind the net and jammed once, then twice, and the puck popped in the air and over the goal line.

Team USA will play Czechia and Sweden will get Latvia in the quarterfinal. The likeliest result is that Canada gets Switzerland and Finland plays Germany in the next round, but those seedings are yet to be finalized. The Swiss have to avoid losing to Austria in today’s meetings and Canada has to avoid losing to Finland.

Don’t Be Surprised If Red Wings Prospect Soderblom Is Slow Off The Mark

When it comes to tapping into Soderblom’s potential, it might be wise for everyone to tap the brakes. History shows that Soderblom doesn’t take steps up the hockey ladder in one giant leap. He tends to be more about making baby steps into every level of the game.

“He’s kind of got a profile that is a bit all over,” explained NHL prospect expert Byron Bader of HockeyProspecting.com. “He’s kind of up and down, which is not very common.”

I don’t know how well “not very common” fits for the idea that when you get to a better league you have to improve, but I’m not NHL prospect expert Byron Bader, so what do I know?

I like the kid. I like his attitude and I’ve liked him since I saw he could actually skate at his first development camp.

NHL Top Players: Top 20 Centers – NHL

20. Robert Thomas, St. Louis Blues

Thomas had NHL career highs in goals (20), assists (57), points (77), plus-minus rating (plus-17), power-play points (14), game-winning goals (six), shots on goal (115) and shooting percentage (17.4) in 72 games last season. The 23-year-old also averaged 18:46 of ice time per game, second among Blues forwards behind Ryan O’Reilly (19:05).

Dylan Larkin isn’t on this list, but NHL.com lists are also notorious for being argumentative. I don’t care.

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