This week in European hockey holds the Karjala Cup Tournament, with contestants being the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, and Sweden. While the big four teams in Europe have their own tournament, the "smaller" teams play friendlies and have their own tournaments. Last year it was at this time that Martin Réway showed his skills in the German Cup to earn himself a contract in the Swiss league.
Several players had left their league club prior to games this week to prepare for those internation games, but before the break it was Champions Hockey League night on Tuesday, as the first legs of the Round of 16 were played.
Joonas Nättinen, JYP, Liiga
In his return to the ice after almost two weeks away to recover from a wrist laceration sustained during a game, Nättinen assisted on the empty-net goal in JYP’s win against Kärpät (Kärpät beat JYP in the bronze-medal game last year). In the second Liiga game this weekend, against Jukurit, Nättinen didn’t register a point.
He did notch another assist in a 3-2 loss against Bern in CHL play. The next game will be at home for JYP, where a one-goal deficit can be overcome.
Lukas Vejdemo, Djurgården, SHL
Vejdemo has returned to the lineup after being left off the roster with an undisclosed illness last week, playing a bit more than 11 minutes in Djurgården’s only game, showing again he has the trust of the coach.
The contest finished as a 4-0 loss, with Djurgården playing a nervous game. When they allowed the first goal, they just seemed to implode. They are second-last in the league standings and have a small gap to make up to move out of that relegation-series position, but they keep faith in the coach and the players. The national team break couldn’t have come at a better time for Djurgården than at this moment.
Arvid Henrikson, AIK, Super Elit U20
With a few more tough losses (5-0, 8-2 and 5-2), the rebound that Henrikson and AIK hoped to achieve didn’t materialize. From a positive perspective, Henrikson played on the first pairing and even with the 18 goals allowed, he was only on the ice for one of them.
Magnus Nygren, Färjestad, SHL
An assist was all the captain mustered this weekend in a back-to-back with Leksand, but Nygren was probably more than happy with two wins to solidify F’rjestad’s position in the league.