This is it for the round robin play. Monahan, Gaudreau, Hudler, and Backlund are all advancing to the quarterfinals, which all take place on Thursday. Team USA will play Team Czech Republic at 7 a.m. MT on TSN, Team Canada will play Team Finland at 11 a.m. MT on TSN, and Team Sweden will play the host Team Belarus at 12 p.m. MT on TSN2. (For the record, the Sven Baertschi-less Swiss finished fifth in Group B, and failed to advance.)
Team Canada and Sean Monahan
Good news: Team Canada defeated Team Norway 3-2, and finishes the round robin at the very top of Group A.
Great news: Monahan's ice time is going back up, and he got an assist.
Monahan played 11:38 today, tenth out of all Canadian forwards, but just eight seconds fewer than former fourth-line-centre-rival Mark Scheifele. He assisted on Canada's first goal, which came on the powerplay (that's right - Monahan with powerplay time!), was on the ice for another Canadian goal, and no goals against. His linemate Joel Ward was named Canada's best player of the game. Monahan had two shots on net.
Were it not for the injury to Alex Burrows, Monahan likely wouldn't be playing as much as he has been.
Tippett said Burrows "probably could've played if we needed him to play, and he'll be fine for the quarter-final."— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) May 20, 2014
However, it's still important to note that he is getting a regular shift, and is capable of contributing. He's the second youngest player on the team, and while not as skilled as Nathan MacKinnon, is doing everything you could ask of him. He hasn't been a defensive liability, and he's chipped in helpfully at times.
Our 19-year-old rookie is a member of one of the best teams of the preliminaries, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Team USA and Johnny Gaudreau
Great news: um
BEST news: Johnny Gaudreau is Flames property. WE get this. Sure, fans of other teams can come in and watch, but WE'RE the ones who are going to get him for 82 games a season.
No. For real. Gaudreau scored a goal and had four points (and four shots!) in Team USA's 5-4 victory over Team Germany. He was, of course, named the Americans' best player of the game. And Gaudreau did all this in just 14:42 of ice time, sixth out of all American forwards.
The only other American players who even came close were Justin Abdelkader and Jake Gardiner, and they only got two points each in like, four-five extra minutes of ice time. Team USA's top line had no points between them and they all played over 20 minutes each.
I mean, he's reasonably good
Johnny does what Johnny wants, I guess
Also, some QUOTES! From Andy Potts on the IIHF site:
He is a really good hockey player. He finds the open areas on the ice and sees the ice so well. When he gets time and space on the ice he is dangerous. I think his game has gotten better as we've gone through the tournament here and his confidence has grown and he's played well because of it. He's deadly when he has the puck on his stick.
- Linemate and Team USA captain Justin Abdelkader
This is my first opportunity to work with Johnny. He has been an important player on this team and is very talented. He's an even better person. He displays such incredible talent and is sucha smart player. That's why he's on the ice with two minutes left in the game.
- Head coach Peter Laviolette
Team Czech Republic and Jiri Hudler
Bad news: The Czechs defeated the French 5-4 in OT, meaning they draw the Americans in the quarterfinals, rather than the Russians (the Americans would have had to play the French in this scenario). We could have had all four Flames advance to the semifinals if the French had won. Alas, we'll be getting another Flame vs. Flame matchup sooner rather than later.
Good news: Well, the Czechs are in the quarterfinals.
Hudler didn't exactly have a great showing today. He played 13:55, eighth out of all Czech forwards. In that time he only had one shot on net and was on the ice for a French goal against. Compared to his teammates, his impact was relatively minimal, and this was an important battle for third place for the Czechs.
So, Jiri vs. Johnny? Uh... sure.