With the Detroit Red Wings, it seemed like Jakub Vrana couldn’t miss the net. Playing for his homeland, Vrana isn’t denting any twine.
Heading into Thursday’s game against Latvia, Czechia is 1-1-1 and in danger of missing the medal round at the IIHF World Championship. They’re hopeful that the addition of David Pastrnak from the Boston Bruins will give the team a lift.
Certainly, the current top forward line featuring Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks at center and Vrana of the Red Wings as the finisher simply isn’t clicking. Neither player has a point through three games. However, the Czech coaching staff was quick to defend Vrana’s work.
Jakub Vrana put up 13 goals (8 at 5v5) in 26 games this season after returning from a shoulder injury. He's an elite goal scorer and having him in the lineup for a full season will give the Red Wings an upgrade next season.#LGRW pic.twitter.com/awPZV3pVyE
— Greg Amundsen (@PuckLuck83) May 11, 2022
They believe Vrana’s lack of output is because his teammates aren’t creating scoring opportunities for him.
“Yes, we have to get him there, that’s the first thing,” Czechia assistant coach Libor Zábranský told iSport.cz. “When his formation is in front, he has to get a chance. It’s about him getting stuck in, then talking about it with them with movement and getting to the excellent shot he has.”
Head coach Kari Jalonen commended Vrana’s work.
“I think he plays very well,” Jalonen said. “But Jakub needs goals. He gets to the chances, but he doesn’t give them. Maybe that’s why it looks like that. But he works hard, he’s a team player.”
Suter Dishing The Disk
Red Wings center Pius Suter drew assists on three goals as Switzerland downed Slovakia 5-3 Wednesday to move to the top of Pool A at the world tourney with a 4-0 record.
Meanwhile, Red Wings goalie Magnus Hellberg went from zero to hero as Sweden also improved to 4-0 by virtue of a 3-2 shootout win over the host nation Finland. In the second period, Hellberg fumbled the puck into his own net on a routine shot to put Finland on the board.
“It is perhaps sometime per season that you concede such a goal,” Hellberg told Sportbladet.se. “And you do not want that to happen at a World Cup.”
In the shootout, Hellberg stopped three shots and the Finns missed the net on their other two chances. With 11 points, Sweden leads Group B.
“It is always nice to win over Finland, but to do so in a sold-out home arena in Finland is a special feeling,” Hellberg said.
Red Wings In Case You Missed It
- Oskar Sundqvist’s future with the Red Wings
- Detroit defenseman Filip Hronek and Czechia teammate Dominik Simon were involved in a physical altercation at the team’s hotel that led to Simon’s departure from the worlds
- Wings goalie Magnus Hellberg blanked Great Britian for his second win at the world tournament
Hockey Now Network
Florida: Ben Chiarot, defenseman for the Florida Panthers, was issed a $5,000 fine by the NHL for head butting Tampa Bay’s Russ Colton in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Colorado: When the Colorado Avalanche acquired defenseman Josh Manson, they saw him adding a number of elements to the team. Scoring Stanley Cup overtime goals likely wasn’t high on that list of intangibles.
Calgary: As the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames renew the Battle of Alberta, Oilers goalie Mike Smith is claiming it’s just another playoff series.
Montreal: Cayden Primeau, son of former Red Wings forward Keith Primeau, has backstopped the Laval Rocket, AHL farm club of the Montreal Canadiens, into the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
Boston: A David Krejci return? The Boston Bruins aren’t ready to rule out the possibility.
Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Penguins are the verge of finding out what the Red Wings already know – that all good things must come to an end.