Quick Strikes: Hedman and Stralman are World Champions

Eight members of the Tampa Bay Lightning earned medals in the IIHF World Championships. Hedman and Stralman got gold; Cooper, Killorn, and Point picked up silver; Kucherov, Namestnikov, and Vasilevskiy brought home bronze.

The Bolts

Scouting the 2017 NHL Draft: Your head coach will want you to draft Ryan Poehling. “Poehling is a big, smart center that has the makeup to become a reliable two-way center in NHL.” [Raw Charge]

“Voting for the Blue Region in the Best of the Bolts' Round of 16 starts at noon on Friday, May 19 and ends at noon on Monday, May 22. Each matchup is listed below and you can vote as many times as you'd like for your favorite play in each matchup on TampaBayLightning.com.” [Tampa Bay Lightning]

The Worlds

Nine members of the Tampa Bay Lightning participated across three teams in the IIHF World Championship medal rounds yesterday: Canada (Jon Cooper, Alex Killorn, and Brayden Point), Russia (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and prospect Nikita Gusev), and Sweden (Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman).

Sweden defeats Canada 2-1 in the shootout to win Gold

Hedman scored Sweden’s only goal in regulation. Once again, Sweden relied heavily on Hedman and Stralman as their top defensive pairing. Hedman led all skaters with 31:47 of ice time and Stralman came in a close second with 29:08. On the Canadian side, Killorn and Point were held off the score sheet.

After the game, Hedman admitted his goal was a bit fluky. [IIHF]

"I got a fortunate bounce," Hedman acknowledged. "I wasn’t really friends with the puck there in the second period, so I just threw it at the net, and Joel [Lundqvist] and Krugs [Marcus Kruger] did a good job in front of the goalie. I don’t think he really saw it. I got a lucky bounce and the puck had eyes. It was good."

I could honestly watch Stralman throw beautiful, clean hip checks all day long. It’s glorious.

Killorn did not pick up a single point in this tournament. Here’s how he handled a wide open net in overtime.

Listen to the Swedish national anthem and watch the players pass the trophy around among themselves. Spoiler alert: Stralman hands it off to Hedman. Here’s hoping they are passing Lord Stanley’s cup to each other next year.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the entire game - the brief moment when Cooper meets Hedman in the handshake line. Their reaction to seeing each other says everything.

Cooper handled the loss well, admitting that although the Canadians lost in a shootout, Sweden deserves the title of world champions. [Toronto Star]

“We don’t feel like we lost a hockey game tonight. We feel like we lost a shootout,” said Canadian coach Jon Cooper. “I told our guys ‘hang your head high.’ We knew the rules going in, it was part of the format, and they bested us. I thought both goaltenders were exceptional, but in the end it came down to a skill competition. They were better than us, and in the end they deserved to be world champs.”

Photos of the match courtesy of the IIHF.

Russia defeats Finland 5-3 to win Bronze

Gusev scored a two goals and an assist, Kucherov scored a goal, and Namestnikov picked up an assist as Russia secured the bronze medal. Vasilevskiy stopped 26 of 29 shots (0.897 save percentage). Former Bolt Valtteri Filppula picked up an assist for Finland.

Kucherov spoke briefly after the game. Original quote in Russian as published in rsport.ru. English translation provided by Igor Nikonov.

If you use this translation in any context, please credit the translators for their work.

Kucherov: The game went pretty well during the first two periods. We showed weakness and then they immediately scored three goals. We stayed calm and confident on the bench, no one was nervous. Vasy played well. There weren’t as many penalties as in the last game against Canada. We weren’t afraid that it would end up the same way as the games against the USA and Canada.  We have won today! The only thing we couldn’t do was win the last period against Canada.

Andrei Vasilevskiy had a phenomenal tournament.

Photos of the match courtesy of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and IIHF.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch lost 2-1 in overtime to the Providence Bruins. Rookie Ben Thomas scored the lone goal for Syracuse. The series is tied 1-1. “It was a classic goaltending duel at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sunday evening. Both Mike McKenna and Zane McIntyre were on top of their game for 60 plus minutes, turning aside high-quality scoring chances left and right. Each team would only find the back of the net once in regulation and the Crunch were the first to do so.” [Raw Charge]

Vote for Lightning prospect Anthony Cirelli’s overtime OHL championship clinching goal for the top play of the week.

The Game

Joe Sakic was one of eight inductees named to the 2017 class of the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame on Sunday. Uwe Krupp and Teemu Selanne — two of Sakic’s former teammates — were also inducted in a ceremony held prior to the medal round games at the world hockey championship. [Sportsnet]

The Penguins scored three power-play goals en route to a 7-0 victory over the Senators to take a 3-2 series lead.