The Stars in Stockholm and Helsinki continue to lead their teams and with every passing day players like Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, and Kari Lehtonen are getting major notice around the hockey media. Get caught up on all the boys representing the Dallas Stars in this, our second edition of the World Championships round up. Note: Richard Bachman has still not seen any action, so will once again be absent from this list. Rest assured, when and if he does see some time, he will be here. The same applies for Tomas Vincour.
Loui Eriksson – Sweden
Sweden was back in action on Monday morning versus Denmark and it was a shootout. Loui Eriksson thrived in that match up, putting up 2 goals and 1 assist for the Swedes en route to a 6-4 victory. His performance put him near the top of the tournament’s scoring leaders, but Sweden’s next match up versus Germany would give him first place bragging rights. His one assist in the 5-2 win put him ahead of Evgeni Malkin with 7 points, good for first place in the entire tournament, not too bad for the most underrated player in the NHL. The Swedish team is now one of just three remaining undefeated teams (the others being Finland and Russia) with a 4-0 record.
Kari Lehtonen – Finland
The Big Fin continues to alternate starts with Finnish backup Petri Vehanen so he got his second start in Tuesday’s game versus Switzerland and continued to dominate. Lehtonen saw 28 shots and stopped 26 as the Fins dominated Switzerland 5-2. Earlier today Finland faced France, with Vehanen getting the start, and soundly defeated them 7-1. The dynamic duo of Lehtonen and Vehanen has given Finland a perfect 4-0 record. Through 2 starts, Kari Lehtonen has seen 49 shots and stopped all but 2 of them.
Jamie Benn – Canada
Poor France has been nothing but a punching bag throughout this tournament and the trend only continued when they faced Canada, much to the benefit of Jamie Benn. He had 2 goals and 1 assist in the 7-2 trouncing of the French team. He was held scoreless in Canada’s tight 3-2 victory over Switzerland, but his 3 goals has him #1 in the tournament, although he is tied with numerous other skaters for that title. Benn is technically #1 thanks to him shooting 100%. He has 3 shots on goal and has scored on each one through 4 games. Jamie Benn is pretty good.
Alex Goligoski – United States of America
Goligoski got off to a hot start for the Americans but has cooled down sense. He’s been scoreless in the USA’s last two games, but has played solid defense, keeping an even plus/minus rating despite a disheartening 4-2 loss to Slovakia. He did have two shots and goal in today’s 5-3 victory over Belarus and has been seeing solid ice time. The USA’s 2-1-0-1 record (W-OTW-OTL-L) has them third place behind Finland and Canada in Group H.
Philip Larsen – Denmark
Philip Larsen was featured in a pretty hilarious video on Puck Daddy on Monday, in case you missed, and has been having a decent tournament to go with this brief Internet fame. Larsen picked up another point in that 6-4 loss to Sweden, but did have a -1 rating. This could be the result of Larsen seeing a team high 27:27 in ice time, an absurd amount of time that obviously has shown that Denmark’s head coach has complete trust in him. Larsen was held pointless in Demarks’ 3-1 loss to Russia but put 6 shots on goal. Larsen has led the Danish in ice time through all four games. He’s Denmark’s #1 defenseman in this tournament and the Stars are lucky to have such a bright young talent ready to go for next season.