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Red Wings Lidstrom Disheartened by Swedish Failure

Detroit legend was at semifinal loss to Czechs

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Nicklas Lidstrom, ex-Red Wings
Red Wings legend Nicklas Lidstrom shared Sweden's pain at the world championship.

Nicklas Lidstrom isn’t merely a Detroit Red Wings legend, he’s a Swedish hockey icon. So even though he was there on a working assignment in his role as vice president of hockey operations for the Red Wings, Lidstrom couldn’t help but share in the pain of his fellow Swedes as Czechia was whipping Sweden 7-3 in the semifinals of the IIHF world championship.

“It feels, it does,” Lidstrom admitted to Swedish website Aftonbladet.se. “Although you sit and watch the players on both teams, you want Sweden to succeed.

“It’s sad that it turned out the way it did, that it fell apart so much in the second period. We failed to stop the Czechs when they came.

“You feel disappointment, you do. It was not fun to watch, especially when you sit with a lot of Czechs in the stands.”

Red Wings Raymond Among Swedish NHL Stars

The Swedes beat Canada to win the bronze medal, but much more was expected from this star-studded club.

Sweden’s arrival at the world tourney was immediately creating a buzz in Lidstrom’s homeland. The Swedish roster was loaded up with 18 NHL stars, including Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond. The defense was stocked with the likes of Erik Karlsson of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Like Lidstrom, both are winners of the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman.

The Swedes went 8-0 prior to their loss to the Czechs. Even though he won both Olympic gold and a world title with the Swedes, Lidstrom couldn’t recall being part of such a dominant performance on in the international stage.

“I have probably never been part of a race like this before for a Swedish national team,” Lidstrom said.

At the same time, he felt the Swedes had it too easy in pool play. Lidstrom wonders if some early adversity might have better hardened the Swedish squad for the difficult matches ahead in the medal round.

“Yes, maybe to some extent,” Lidstrom acknowledged. “It’s a very long group stage, a bit of loitering and transport until these matches.

“You wanted them to have some adversity before this playoff. Get a wake-up call earlier in the group stage.”