Patrik Berglund has been pretty good in the 2014 Winter Olympics for Sweden. Has he been four-goals-on-six-shootout-attempts good? No, but there hasn’t been a brighter star for the St. Louis Blues in Sochi than T.J. Oshie. That said, Berglund has elevated his game when the Swedes need it most, and he should be receiving a bit more credit for doing so.
As we all know by now, Henrik Zetterberg won’t play another game for Sweden and his NHL season could be in jeopardy because of a wonky back. That’s the second massive strike against Sweden’s center depth. The first came when Henrik Sedin pulled out of the games due to an injury.
That left Berglund as the No. 1 center for the Swedes. With Sedin and Zetterberg out, the strong two-way pivot was suddenly thrust into a tough position. So far he’s made the most of the opportunity. He has three points through three games and even came up with this dandy deflection yesterday.
That’s an Erik Karlsson slap shot. That guy can shoot, and Berglund had no trouble getting a stick on it. Come to think of it, he kind of looks like Zetterberg on this play with how far out he’s standing. That’s a soft part of the ice that he’s found and no one in a red (maroon?) sweater seems to think that he’s a threat.
(h/t to Robert Soderlind for the GIF)
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