Detroit Red Wings players are filling key roles on both sides as Switzerland and Germany are facing off on Tuesday for first place in Group A at the IIHF World Championship.
Red Wings center Pius Suter and the Swiss are atop the group with a perfect 6-0 record. Detroit defenseman Moritz Seider and Germany are 5-0-1. The difference in the standings is that the Swiss beat Canada 6-3, while the Canadians handled the Germans 5-3.
“It’s a special duel,” Calder Trophy favorite Seider told German website n-de.tv.
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Since losing their opener to Canada – a game in which Seider registered a goal and two assists – the Germans have rattled off five successive victories.
“We’re hot,” Seider said. “We’ll do everything to get first place for the first time to secure.”
Germany has never entered the quarterfinals of a world tournament as the top seed in a group. They are challenging for top spot at this tournament in Finland despite the absence of top scorer Leon Draistaitl. He’s still in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the Edmonton Oilers. As well, Ottawa Senators star Tim Stutzle was lost for the tourney due to a knee injury.
“It’s bitter,” Seider said of Stutzle’s absence. “He’s a very, very important player for us.”
Red Wings Suter Delivering For Swiss
Seider is tied for third on the German squad in scoring with 1-4-5 totals. Likewise, Suter is tied for third in scoring with the Swiss. He’s showing 2-5-7 numbers in six games and tallied a goal and an assist in the big win over Canada.
As with the Red Wings, Suter is filling the No. 2 center role for Switzerland. Fellow NHLers Nico Hischier (New Jersey Devils) and Tim Meier (San Jose Sharks) are anchoring the top forward unit.
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“Suits is a heady player,” Detroit teammate Sam Gagner said earlier this season. “He’s really smart, really aware of everything going on out on the ice, offensively, defensively. He’s fun to play with.”
Looking To Go One Step Further
Germany reached the gold-medal game at the 2018 Sochi Winter Olympics. Switzerland won a silver medal at the 2013 and 2018 worlds.
Neither country has ever been world champions.
“We want the title,” Seider said. “We have so much quality in the locker room.”