The St. Louis Blues knew they were going to have some good performances at the World Championships. The ups and downs of the entire thing have been surprising to this point.
The St. Louis Blues continue to surprise at the 2018 IIHF World Championships. However, surprise does not always mean a good thing.
That is the case with Team Canada on May 12. For the first time all tournament, all of the Blues were shutout.
Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko had all managed at least a point between the four of them the previous games. For whatever reason, Team Finland had their way with the Canadians.
Finland scored two power play goals in the first period and went up 3-1 overall. They played shutdown defense from thereon and won by a final of 5-1.
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It was quite the shocking result, especially since our guys had been doing so well. Edmundson has a goal and three points, Schenn has the same, Schwartz has three assists and Parayko chipped in with two goals and five points.
Elsewhere in the tournament, Tage Thompson continues to chip in. His minutes had dwindled, only averaging 6:40 per game. Despite this, he has a goal and three points.
Now, it should be noted that Thompson’s goal was the ninth for Team USA in a 13-1 rout over Korea. Nevertheless, it was a solid goal and he set up the final score of the game as well.
Thompson is not a huge reason, but he is a reason the US is doing so well. America is now one of only two unbeaten teams in this tournament. USA’s lone blemish was being taken to overtime by Latvia. The American’s also went to a shootout against Canada, but that was expected much more.
We discussed Dmitrij Jaskin’s somewhat shocking rise to scoring prominence in a separate article. For the quick version, Jaskin has three goals in five games, compared to six goals in over 70 games with the Blues. Make of that what you will.
The other downer from the Canadian game was the absence of Ville Husso. After starting two games in a row, Husso was on the bench for this upset. It is what it is, but it would have been a nice boost for him to knock off a strong Canadian team.
On the more disappointing side, there are some other Blues – or future Blues – that are not getting a good tournament experience. Adam Musil has not dressed for the Czechs. Niko Mikkola has yet to play a game for Finland either.
Nikita Soshnikov finally broke the ice for Russia. He only managed to get 7:59 on the ice and did not even register a shot on goal. He is one of only two Russian players to not at least be in the plus column in plus/minus.
Most of the teams only have two games left, though a couple have three yet to play. The knockout stages of the tournament begin on May 17.
It’s nowhere near the excitement of the playoffs, but it’s hockey. It’s been fun to follow the guys so far. Hopefully we get more of the pleasant surprises as being shutout is too reminiscent of how the actual season went.