Hate to do this again, but looking and Norfolk stats is there not a glaring problem with the the 1st line? A combined -26 in just 21 games.
The only thing that means is that the 1st line looses their ES game by one goal per three games. They can more than make up to it on PP. Well of course it also makes you wonder how Wagner can be +6 on the same team, with the same goaltending.
^ Clark and Vatanen haven't played together more than a few shifts at the end of changes. Vatanen has played a vast majority of the time with Hendry, outside of a couple of games when he was put with Guentzel/Parent.
Another positive from WCHA - Welinski is tied at 49th at scoring. Only 8 defenseman have scored more points than him. Only 7 freshmen have scored more than him (all forwards) and he`s the highest scoring freshman defenseman in WCHA. He was an overager, though, but it is still nice to see.
I'd definitely disagree with him then. With the loss of Klefbom and Brodin, Lindholm is easily their most important defenseman, and they need him to have a great tournament. They've got some nice offensive depth, but what is all that going to mean if their blue line can't get it done? I wouldn't be surprised to see Lindholm get close to 30 minutes of ice time.
I can't really see Sweden having any chance to cope with Russia or Canada. With Zibanejad, Brodin and Klefbom out they are missing what was perhaps their three most important players.
But Hampus will have a terrific chance to stand out as their golden boy. I will surely try to catch every minute they play.
Ehh. Zibanejad's importance is a bit overstated. If the way he's been playing in the AHL these days is any indication, it's gonna hurt that he's not there, but it's not going to cripple them. Brodin and Klefbom are the notable ones absent. Forsberg has come along in his development, and E.Lindholm has shown that he can score against adults and he shouldn't be held back TOO much by 20 year olds. Collberg will be there and he's a proven scorer for that squad. Karlsson and Rakell will be there. Rask and De La Rose could prove to be wild cards. So as I said it's a question of how good will that blueline be without Klefbom and Brodin.