The IIHF's World Hockey Championships have been going on for one week now and, as always, there have been a few surprises.
Perhaps the biggest of these has been the early play of the the Swiss team, who beat first Sweden and then Canada to open their tournament. As of now, Switzerland are sitting in first place with a 3-1-0-0 record and 11 points. Yeah, you read that right. With four games under their belt they have yet to lose a game.
Perhaps as surprising has been the (relative) struggles of Sweden, who are generally considered one of the top three national teams in the world. Nonetheless, they've lost two of their games in regulation so far, and are in fifth place with a 3-0-0-2 record. Their latest loss was to Canada Thursday night (Thursday afternoon, US time), in which Steven Stamkos got the game-winner and his third goal of the tournament.
Some things, however, don't change. Canada is in second place with 10 points (3-0-1-0), having demolished both Denmark (score of 5-0) and Norway (score of 7-1) as well as defeating Sweden soundly (3-0). Russia, who hadn't lost a World Championship game since 2011, has been dominant. They won their first three games (against Latvia, Germany, and the US) handily, but were upset by the lowly French on Wednesday. They are currently third with 9 points.
Also at nine points is the United States, backstopped by the Lightning's own Ben Bishop, who has had a less than spectacular tournament. In three games, Bishop has put up an .873 with a 3.05 GAA. Most of that comes from the loss to Russia, where he gave up 5 goals and looked, frankly, unsettled for much of the game. To be fair, that wasn't a game the Americans were supposed to win, and the result is not wholly unexpected.
Other Lightning players
Matt Carle 0/0/0, -1, 4 SOG, 17:04 ATOI
Steven Stamkos 3/4/7, +3, 12 SOG, 18:09 ATOI
Nate Thompson 0/1/1, -1, 2PIM, 3 SOG, 14:24 ATOI
Jaroslav Janus 40:00 TOI, .882, 3.00 GAA (Janus has dressed for all 4 of Slovakia's games, but has only come in in relief once.)