Stand up for each other | Sanny Lindstrom
This was exactly what Tre Kronor needed. A match of high quality, high intensity, more physical play and a level of skill not seen before during the tournament.
Despite the loss, this match provided important experience for the quarter-finals on Thursday.
The USA pushed up a tempo that the Swedish team had not encountered before during the WC. Their forecheck was sharp and gave the Swedish defenders minimal time to play the puck. The USA was able to win the puck high up the court without, for that matter, playing physical or completing tackles.
Instead, it was their courage, intensity and drive that reaped success.
The match picture also became particularly shaky when the referees for the day had a rating level that was lower than it had been earlier during the tournament. At the same time, it is something that you have to be able to handle and not focus on, although I know from experience that it can sometimes be challenging.
The USA had full control of the match and it felt closer to a fourth or fifth American goal than Tre Kronor would reduce.
But morals. You can’t joke that away.
After Leo Carlsson’s 2-3 reduction, something happened. The speed, intensity and accuracy that I lacked during large parts of the match was suddenly there.
It made me happy and actually a little proud.
To turn a game around when you are as inferior as you were in the third period is very strong.
I’m not a fan of fights in hockey, but I am a fan of standing up for each other on the ice when needed.
When one’s team’s best player is treated brusquely, I believe that as a team you have to mark. No Swedish player did that either when Rasmus Sandin got an ugly knee tackle or when Lucas Raymond was treated roughly in front of the USA’s goalkeeper at the end of the second period.
Now I want to be clear that I didn’t think the USA played badly throughout the match, but that they were about a few situations.
The tackle Rasmus Sandin received from American forward Michael Eyssimont was extremely dirty and could cause long-term damage. Eyssimont is fully aware of what he is doing and it is only with intent to actually harm. Nothing else.
For Tre Kronor, it is important that Rasmus Sandin can be ready for the quarter-finals. The same can be said about André Petersson, who limped off the ice in obvious pain. Here, however, it was nothing full but more the fruit of bad luck.
Apart from Michael Eyssimont’s tackle, the USA did not play particularly badly, but more on the border like a playoff match should be. It is something that you have to be able to handle in the quarter-finals and hopefully in the semi-finals and subsequent medal match.
Before the match I highlighted in-game details I wanted to see:
✅ The intensity
✅ The passing game
✅ More who step forward
I don’t really think I got the answers I was looking for.
The intensity disappeared when the match picture was characterized by expulsions in the first periods.
The passing game was weak at times as the American players picked up the pace. They have not had as many puck drops in the middle zone as they did today in the six previous games. It was pretty much only in the beginning of the match and after Leo Carlsson’s 2-3 goals that the team got excited.
Patience was tested in particular with some questionable dismissals suffered.
Among the players, no one immediately stood out. Alexander Nylander certainly played his best game and Marcus Sörensen, Jacob de la Rose, Pär Lindholm, Anton Lindholm Lasse Johansson and Leo Carlsson can equalize a good rating.
Jakob Silfverberg, who I highlighted before the match, got ice time in the power play when André Petersson was injured but, just like throughout the tournament, had a tough time, while Rasmus Sandin, as you know, was forced to step off already in the first period.
It is still unclear who Tre Kronor will face in the quarter-finals on Thursday. But after three games against weak opposition (Hungary, France and Denmark), this was a breakthrough that the team really needed.
Despite the loss, there is a morale in the group that is worth highlighting.
It may not be worth gold but well worth a medal.
Finally. Hampus Lindholm was a very good guest expert on SVT’s broadcast. Hope he gets to be in the playoffs as well.
Thank you for taking your time
#Stand #Sanny #Lindstrom