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Red Wings Raymond Gets Bump From Swedes

Detroit forward dropped to second line

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Lucas Raymond, Red Wings
Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond is off the top line for Sweden at the world championship.

Detroit Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond got off to a fast start at the IIHF World Championship. Lately, though, he’s slipping into a dry spell.

That factor is likely playing a role in the decision by Swedish coaches to be dropping Raymond from their top forward unit.

When the Swedes were practicing on Friday, Raymond found himself now slotting in on the second line alongside Pontus Holmberg of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Andre Burakovsky of the Seattle Kraken. Meanwhile, jumping up into Raymond’s spot on the top line with Adrian Kempe of the Los Angeles Kings and Joel Eriksson Ek of the Minnesota Wild is Eriksson Ek’s Minnesota teammate Marcus Johansson.

Swedish head coach Sam Hallam is insisting that the changes are merely to give opponents different looks to deal with moving forward in the tournament.

“Right in the middle of the tournament, it may be time to raise the intensity further,” Hallam told Swedish website Aftonbladet.se “We want to see how we can get the most out of the lineup.

“We have kept the units together to get enough data and feeling to work together. This feels like a good time to try something a little different.”

Raymond Pointless In Two Games

Raymond was second on the Red Wings with 31 goals this season. He lit red lamps in each of Sweden’s first two games of the tournament. However, he’s gone pointless in two games since.

Meanwhile, Johansson has accounted for three goals and six points in the tournament. The Swedes have taken a maximum 12 points from their four games, scoring 19 goals while allowing five.

“We are happy with the game and happy with the lines, but now, in the middle of the tournament, it can increase the intensity even more and force some conversation,” Hallam said as to the reason behind the changes. “It’s a way for us to test different ways of using the lineup.”

Sweden plays Latvia on Saturday.