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05-15-2012, 10:30 AM
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Country: Denmark
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Originally Posted by danishdynamite View Post
Unfortunately I was right.

The first line was terrible in terms of goalscoring. They got two lucky deflections from Eller and some PP-goals against Sweden after they stopped playing.

Jakobsen and Hardt never found their game - huge disappointments. The same can be said for Andersen, F. Nielsen, Larsen.

Bright spots were Storm, Starkov and S. Nielsen.

In terms of expectations I think our 4. line were the best seen over all 7 games. Nobody on D really stood out.

I hope Backman will retire soon, and that we somehow find a way to beat Belarus and Slovenia for the OGQ..
Bäckman might have thought the having 4 HNL players would change everything for Denmark and concentrated his lines. He forgot in this extended group play that having many competative lines becomes much more important on a tight schedule than in the old 4 team groups where 1 win generally made you avoid relegation.
Both Denmark, Latvia and Germany has cracked during this tight format because they started in the first 3-4 matches in having played with huge amount of playing time and responsibility (mentally taxing) to their first couple of lines.
Norway hasn't but it more to intoxication over their big wins (I bet they are equally tired).
The question of Bäckman's mistake is NOT only playing Eller on the wing, but ESPECIALLY not making sure more lines became reasonably competable.

But i agree a lot of the players underwhelmed this WC.
Starkov surprised me positively (but i started from a negative stance). Both Jesper Jensens were positive (but still made some mistakes) and Simon Nielsen was brilliant in 1 match (small sample). Green scored important goals but also made huge mistakes. But I had expected much more from the 4 NHL'ers, Hardt and Andersen.
When so many players play worse than expected, then it's natural to ask that either something is bad in the line-ups, the mental preperations, or in the strategy - all in the domain of the coach.

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