Detroit Red Wings
Clear Bag Policy Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Wings weigh in on final Olympic games

Sweden and USA the dressing room favorites to meet in gold-medal game

Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 3:07 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Wings weigh in on final Olympic games

American Zach Parise and Canadian Sidney Crosby met four years ago in the golde-medal game in Vancouver. Friday they will lead their countries in a semifinal battle in Sochi. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT - With all eyes on Friday’s Olympic semifinals, the players in the Red Wings’ dressing room had plenty of input on how their countries and teammates will fare for the remainder of the tournament.

Sweden and Finland will face off in the first semifinal matchup at 7 a.m. EST, bringing the historic Scandinavian rivalry between the two countries to the center stage for the entire world to see.

“Yeah, it’s a lot of talk between the Swedes and Finns,” said Munkedal, Sweden native Joakim Andersson. “They teach Swedish in school so we always say they’re the little brother, but I don’t know, they have a good team and we have a good team as well. They got a lot of injuries before the tournament but they always get a good team together and work hard for each other.”

Teemu Pulkkinen, who was recalled from the Griffins to participate in Detroit’s practices this week, wasn’t so quick to agree.

“That’s what the guys said; I don’t know about that,” the Vantaa, Finland native said.

Andersson, not surprisingly, picked Team Sweden to be victorious against Finland, and will cheer on five of his Wings teammates in their quest for a gold medal.

“I think Sweden will win,” Andersson said. “They have the better players. I think they’re going to play their best games here when it counts.”

The second game features a rematch of the 2010 gold-medal game in Vancouver, as the Americans seek revenge against Canada for Sidney Crosby’s golden goal in overtime that ended the USA’s Olympic dreams four years ago.

“It’s going to be a very good game,” said Drew Miller, whose brother Ryan is the backup goaltender for Team USA. “I think U.S wins, I’m a little bias, but I think the four teams that are left are all good teams. In a single-game elimination it’s anyone’s tournament now.”

The USA, who has outscored its opponents 15-4 through four games in Sochi, is the favorite among the Wings players in Friday’s game despite the tough challenge the defending gold-medal champions present.

“It’s been great,” forward Justin Abdelkader said of the USA’s performance. “Team USA has really been playing well. They’ve played the best out of any team in the tournament but they’re going to have a tough match against Canada. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

As far as Sunday’s gold-medal matchup, Daniel Cleary hesitated ever so slightly before giving his final answer.

“Prediction? Wow. I’m going to go with Sweden and USA,” the forward said.

And then?

“USA,” Cleary said.

“USA, of course,” Abdelkader conceded.

Andersson didn’t quite agree.

“I cheer for Sweden,” the center said.

Only time will tell what bronze and gold-medal games the world will watch Saturday and Sunday, but one thing is certain: in the words of Wings associate coach Tom Renny, “It just doesn’t get any better than this.

“Under the circumstances with the best players and ultimately the best teams in the world playing, it just doesn’t get any better than this. It’ll be a great day. Where it ends up, who’s to say.

“I think it’ll be a great day of hockey and certainly, the whole idea behind these guys being at the Olympic games in the first place is to just sell the game globally and I think mission accomplished.”

Follow Andrea Nelson on Twitter @Nelson_Andrea

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89