The 2018 IIHF World Championships are currently a week in.
Unfortunately, due to time zones, scheduling, and all around real life getting in the way, none of us here at FlamesNation have really been able to watch much of the games. To that end, here’s a statistical update on the Flames’ four representatives – Team Canada head coach Bill Peters, Team Czech Republic goaltender David Rittich, Team Sweden captain Mikael Backlund, and Team USA forward Johnny Gaudreau – through roughly the first half of the round robin.
If you’ve been able to watch the games and have noted what the Flames have been doing, we encourage you to leave your observations in the comments!
Team Canada: Bill Peters
Canada, so far, is tied for first in Group B with three wins and one shootout loss. They have defeated Team Korea 10-0, Team Denmark 7-1, and Team Norway 5-0. They’ve lost the tiebreaker, however, by virtue of the United States – the other team in first place – defeating Canada 5-4 in a shootout.
The Canadians are crushing it, with 26 goals for – the most in the tournament – and just six goals against, tied for third fewest allowed. Their +20 goal differential is tied with the Finns for best in the tournament.
Team Canada has just one scorer in the top 10, however (Connor McDavid). He’s tied for third in tournament scoring; only two Finns – Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, coincidentally two Carolina teammates – have outscored him.
The Canadians have three games remaining in the round robin.
Team Czech Republic: David Rittich
Rittich has started in two of the four games the Czechs have played so far: a 3-2 loss to Sweden, and a 4-3 overtime win over Russia. He stopped 24 of 27 shots against the Swedes and 20 of 23 against the Russians; so far, his .8800 save percentages is 16th among all goalies tournament-wide.
Rittich’s teammate, Pavel Francouz – a 27-year-old playing in the KHL – has also played in two games and won one, and his .8696 save percentage is 18th among all goalies. It looks like things are roughly neck-in-neck for them, perhaps with Rittich having the slight edge. The Czechs are currently in fifth place in Group A, with three games to go.
Team Sweden: Mikael Backlund
Backlund currently has just one goal through four games: a powerplay goal against the French in a 4-0 win. The Swedes have scored 19 goals through their four games, so that Backlund – who is tied for 12th in team scoring – has been having trouble finding the net is at least a little eyebrow raising, especially when you consider his 68:29 played is third in Swedish forward ice time. Backlund does, however, have nine shots through four games: tied for sixth amongst all Swedes.
Sweden has another three games left to play in the round robin. They’re currently first place in Group A.
Team USA: Johnny Gaudreau
Gaudreau has one goal and three assists for four points through four games: an even strength goal against Canada, an even strength primary assist against Denmark, a powerplay primary assist against Germany, and a powerplay primary assist in overtime against Latvia. Gaudreau’s four points have him tied for fourth on team USA, while his seven shots have him tied for eighth on the team. He has played a nice 69:00 total, third on the Americans in forward ice time.
The States have three games left in the round robin. They’re currently in first place in Group B.