In a shocking turn of events, Henrik Lundqvist has been scratched from today’s matchup with Russia at the World Cup. As of this morning, Lundqvist was the expected starter, but came down with an illness that is making him unable to play in the game. Jacob Markstrom will take his place in net, while the backup will be Jhonas Enroth.
For Sweden, it’s a huge blow to their chances against the high-powered Russians who will ice a top line of Nikita Kucherov, Pavel Datsyuk and Alex Ovechkin. That trio had 96 goals between them last season, even with Datsyuk obviously in the tail end of his career. While the Russian defense isn’t nearly as strong, their top two lines can play with anyone in the world, and probably outscore the majority of them. Lundqvist would have been a huge part in any Swedish victory.
- According to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, the injured Mikko Rantanen will not play today against Anaheim in the Colorado rookie showcase. While it was reported yesterday that his sprained ankle isn’t as bad as originally thought, the Avalanche have now released that it will keep him out 2-4 weeks. Rantanen is trying to show that he has developed enough to be considered for a full-time NHL job this season, after dominating at the AHL level a season ago.
- Sidney Crosby is one of, if not the, best players in the world and no one denies it. But when you hear his teammates on Team Canada speak so highly of him, like Matt Duchene did with TSN today, it really drives the point home. Duchene says “He’s not a guy who’s winning Selke trophies, but he easily could be.” Jay Bouwmeester chimed in as well, saying “He’s not just a pure goal scorer, a guy who’s just hanging out and getting points. He plays the game and he makes a lot of things happen out there, just through the way he moves, and what a powerful skater he is and how smart he is. It’s pretty impressive.”