9

All Flames advance to World Championship quarterfinals

By virtue of some victories on Sunday and Monday in Slovakia, all five Calgary Flames playing at the World Hockey Championship have advanced to the quarterfinal round.

United States

In their second game without Johnny Gaudreau – he’s day to day with an unspecified injury – the United States beat Germany by a 3-1 score on Sunday. Both Noah Hanifin (three shots, even) and Derek Ryan (a penalty, one shot, even) were held off the score sheet.

Czech Republic

Also on Sunday, the Czechs pounded Austria by an 8-0 score. It was another strong game for Michael Frolik, as he had a goal, an assist, a penalty, three shots and was plus-two. He’s one of the top offensive players in the entire tournament.

Sweden

It was hardly do or die for the Swedes on Monday, but they survived a dramatic push from a Latvian national team that had to win in regulation to have a chance at passing Sweden for the final quarterfinal spot. Unfortunately, the Latvians pulled their goaltender to get a regulation win… and lost 5-4 after Sweden scored on said empty net. Elias Lindholm had an assist, three shots and was even in the win.

Quarterfinal fever

The United States has qualified for a quarterfinal spot in Group A, while both Sweden and the Czechs have done so in Group B. Tuesday’s results will determine seeding.

  • The USA sits third (behind Finland and Canada), and plays Canada in the final round robin game. An American win of any kind gets them at least second place in Group A. Finland plays fourth place Germany in the other important Group A game, so the most likely outcome is the Finns winning the group.
  • Sweden is second in Group B (behind Russia) and plays Russia on Tuesday, while the Czechs sit third (ahead of Switzerland) and plays Switzerland on Tuesday. The Swedes can pass Russia with a win (and Switzerland can pass the Czech Republic).

In other words, there’s still a good amount at stake and no match-up is definitively off the table right now.

  • Garry T

    Frolik’s value important to the Flames whether he stays or moves on.
    ( Agent Rumor ). I am hoping he stays. But if he wants to leave, then the price is a 1st. A 2nd and a prospect. We need picks and prospects more so than trying to replace him by trade. That is hard to do.

  • Squishin

    Ugh, Johnny’s hurt. We need another great season from him, and we also need him to play better in the playoffs.
    Loubardias said something interesting during our playoff series: Teams have wised up to Johnny’s moves. They are not working as well as they did in the first half of the season. He needs to change things up.
    I’m paraphrasing, of course, but the point is that his various playmaking moves decreased in effectiveness as the season progressed. Teams wised up to his strategies and started to counter them. In order to be an effective playmaker, one needs to keep inventing.

    • calgaryfan

      teams just attacked him with 2 and sometimes 3 defenders, knowing Monahan and Lindholm were not as dangerous, which proved to be right. Shut down the top line and the Flames by taking Johnny off the puck.

      • Kevin R

        Its why we need a very very good 2nd line that is dangerous to not allow teams to key on the top line. Why Frolik needs to be traded & its looking like a real good return & we wean off the 3 M line. I have always believed the best defence is a good offence.