World Juniors 2014 Game Recap: Canada decimated by Sweden

Bruce Bennett

After talking a big game, Canada came out completely flat against Sweden, losing 3-0 in a game that should looked significantly worse.

After TSN manufactured a mild controversy when Andre Burakovsky said he believed that Team Sweden was better than Team Canada on paper, the truth of his statement was born out in a complete drubbing where Team Sweden controlled the puck for what seemed like 80% of the game.

Burakovsky, for what it's worth, backed up his statement personally as well. He scored the first goal of the game off of a beautiful feed from Jacob De La Rose, the eventual game winning goal, and was named the player of the game for Sweden.

De La Rose was likely next up for that honour, as he was dominant for Sweden in all three zones, and in all three situations. If not for a bit of interference from a backchecking Canadian, De La Rose likely would have notched a shorthanded goal as well. The big Swede competes for every inch of ice, and looks to be exactly the kind of winger than the Montreal Canadiens need. Big, responsible, and surprisingly good at creating scoring chances. He's a great skater to boot.

Also on Sweden was Habs prospect Sebastian Collberg, who notched an assist on the second Swedish goal, and produced a ton of scoring chances with his slick play and deadly shot, but missed the net more often than not. This has been a problem for Collberg in the SHL as well, and was notable during Habs summer camp. This is something that isn't really worth worrying about though, because players figure these things out. Collberg is getting chances, and that's what's important. He's not being shut down.

Jake Patterson got the start for Canada, and although he wasn't bad, he also didn't have to make many great saves. Sweden as a whole missed the net on most of their grade A scoring chances, hitting the net on 4 of them, 3 of which went in. Patterson in no way cost Canada the game though, which sounds like a good thing until you realize how thoroughly the Canadians were outplayed.

The only real sustained pressure seemed to come from Jonathan Drouin's line, though even he was mostly shut down. Nic Petan had a few good looks, but could never seem to get the puck off.

If this was just a bad game from Canada, that would be a huge relief, but as it stands, that was as uninspiring as it gets. They need to rebound in a big way against Switzerland tomorrow.

A dark mark on the game was Matt Dumba's knee on Erik Karlsson in the second period, who left the game and didn't return. Dumba was ejected from the game and may face disciplinary action.

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