Canada had stiff competition today against Switzerland, but Canada hung on to beat them in regulation 3-2. Switzerland would open the scoring in the first period, as Cam Ward looked shaky to start the game once again. It was an entirely different second period though as Canada scored 35 seconds in as Jordan Eberle’s shot went off the skate of John Tavares. Canada dominated the play for most of the second period despite a late push in the final three minutes of the period by the Swiss team. It was a typically tight game against the Swiss, who have proven to be a tough opponent for Canada on the international stage since the upset victory at the 2006 Olympics in Turin. Canada didn’t do themselves any favours by failing to convert on four power-play opportunities in the opening 40 minutes. The third period was far more open as the play went back and forth. Canada would score 41 seconds in off a fantastic effort by Eberle and Switzerland would score to tie the game up again just over three minutes later. The final goal of the game would come off the stick of Ryan Getzlaf who finally got his first goal of the tournament.
Some Improvement Still Needed
Despite the win today there are still some areas that Canada needs to address going into Friday’s game against Finland. Defensively Canada is still seemingly trying to adjust to the bigger ice surface, either getting caught going too wide or not going wide enough when teams enter the zone. The power play unit of Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith and John Tavares is doing well, but the other line, the “first unit” is just not working at all. They keep trying to do an individual effort and get the puck back to Dion Phaneuf for a one-timer. While the “second” unit works down low, cycling the puck to get a shot from anyone who has a shot. Canada also needs to take a really strong look at who they want their goaltender to be, as Cam Ward continues to struggle early in games. I’m hoping that Devan Dubnyk will start against Finland, but it may be more likely that we see him on Saturday against Kazakhstan.
Canadian forward Alex Burrows sat out his third straight game after suffering a concussion in the tournament opener. He could return Friday against Finland. Ward earned an assist on Getzlaf’s goal. Switzerland’s lone victory over Canada at the world championship came in 2010. The Swiss are coached by Canadian-born Sean Simpson. Announced attendance was 4,589.
Felicien du Bois was the player of the game for Switzerland
Jordan Eberle was the player of the game for Canada