Jeff Skinner and an expected powerhouse Canadian team have gotten off to a great start. The Canadians are 2-0 so far, outscoring opponents by an 11-3 margin, and Skinner is among the tournament leaders with his four points, two of which have been goals.
Fresh off of a career-high 37-goal season, Skinner has continued to play a strong, dynamic offensive game on a line with Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux and Colorado’s Nathan McKinnon in Canada’s top-six forward group. Skinner has tallied a pair of point in each of Canada’s games so far.
For team Sweden, a quartet of Hurricanes is looking to help lead their native country to international glory.
Elias Lindholm opened the scoring for the Swedes and the entire tournament in their game one loss to Russia in overtime. He did, however, get slashed in the knee and was removed from game two following a powerplay goal from Victor Rask, who is now up to three points in two games while centering a line of Lindholm and Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog.
You may recall that in 2013, Eric Staal suffered a bad knee injury in a collision with Vancouver’s Alex Edler in the World Championships, but thankfully, Lindholm’s injury appears to be minor. He is expected to play on Monday against the United States.
Joakim Nordstrom logged north of 14 minutes and put three shots on net in game one for Sweden, but his ice time was cut back by nearly 50% against Russia as he only saw eight minutes of ice time.
Eddie Lack has yet to get a start in net for Sweden, serving as the backup to Viktor Fasth against Russia and Germany.
Noah Hanifin logged 20:30, second only to d-partner Jacob Trouba, and led all defensemen in shots on goal in the United States’ first outing against Germany. Despite heavily outshooting the Germans, the Americans lost 2-1 on Friday. He then followed it up with a marvelous performance in America’s 7-2 blowout of Denmark. He facilitated the puck with poise on the blue line, serving as the powerplay quarterback, playing a big role in a trio of USA powerplay goals.
Sebastian Aho didn’t take long to make an impact for Finland following his big rookie season for the Hurricanes, scoring the team’s first goal and logging an assist in Finland’s 3-2 win over Belarus on Friday. He’s playing on the team’s top line with Philadelphia’s Valtteri Filppula and young KHL standout Miro Aaltonen. Game two of their slate was one to forget. France defeated Finland 5-1, and Aho struggled. He finished as a minus-three and had a couple of costly turnovers.
The World Championships will continue on this week with all of Carolina’s participants slated to get in on the action. A game to watch will be the USA vs. Sweden on Monday as a plethora of Hurricane representatives will take the ice in Germany.