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2024 WJC Day 4 RECAP: Tre Kronor Blanks Canada, Czechia keeps it close against the USA, and Latvia may be dead

Day 4 was AWESOME.

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Game 1: Slovakia beats Norway in High-Scoring 8-4 Track Meet

Defense is optional, offense is mandatory, fun is just watching the highlights.

Game Notes:

  • Slovakia just puts the boots to just about anybody they play this year. They’re not perfect, but their talent is just too good to ignore. They put Norway in a dark, dark place and Norway responded by raging as hard as they could to keep up. It made for a wildly entertaining game that will probably earn Adam Gajan and Martin Lundberg a year’s worth of steak dinners for all the work both sides put on them.
  • Servac Petrovsky had four points in this game; probably could’ve had a hat trick too, but he kept himself humble. Gonna need that for when you rip the US a new one!
  • Norway, I appreciate your effort. It hasn’t paid off once, but it’s very fun.

Game 2: Latvia may in fact be dead as Finland gets a get-right game. Finns win 4-0

I may have overestimated Latvia.

Game Notes:

  • Finland finally got their act together, put Niklas Kokko on the bench, and now that they could get saves, they can win games! Funny how that works! Helps that they’re playing a very weak Latvia whose offense has been completely absent; to date they are the only team of the tournament to not score a goal.
  • Latvia, I don’t know how to break this to you, but you’re probably losing to Norway in the relegation round. I think you need to get used to that thought as soon as you’re able.
  • Bruins Prospects in this Game: Poor Locmelis, man. No goals yet and playing 21:01. Rough life out in Gothenburg.

Game 3: Czechia can’t get past Team USA in closer-than-it-should-be 4-3 Shootout loss

Slovakia is going to feast on Team USA’s carcass like a Hyena. I swear to god.

Game Notes:

  • Look. Team USA is fine. They have awkward goaltending and their “thing” that they do every goddamn year is getting on my nerves but they’re fine. They need to actively paste Slovakia if they want me to take them seriously, because Czechia’s weird tournament should’ve made for easy pickings and it just did not matter; they stayed with the States a lot longer than anyone in their position should’ve.
  • Humorously, Czechia’s life isn’t all that bad. They’ll probably stomp out Switzerland and have a perfectly reasonable bronze medal match. Good roll-through, Czechs!

Game 4: Canada can’t keep up with Swedish Excellence, Tre Kronor blanks Canucks in 2-0 Win

So it turns out the Swedes might be for real?

Game Notes:

  • Sweden may not be a perfect team? But if they’re on their horse they just sort of bulldoze whoever’s in front of them, and it genuinely doesn’t matter who it is; Latvia? Germany? Canada? You’re not scoring for anything. Theo Lindstein was an absolute killer for Tre Kronor today, but they rotate the “guy who makes the difference and gets all the points” per game. It’ll be something to see if this team can finally get it’s Gold Medal on home soil. Still gotta play Finland, though. They’d better grind them into paste because if I were Finland, I would be building my entire tournament on depth charging Sweden in front of their home crowd.
  • SO HEY CANADA! What was all that penalty trouble? Even better question! What the hell was that power play, guys? I thought you guys were the team to beat! You looked like a Division II high school team out there! Better get your act together for Germany. Sheesh.
  • Fraser Minten accounted for like half of all Canadian penalties in this one and was victimized by Sweden all night. Can’t help but feel like that’s something the Leafs ought to think about when he comes back.
  • Bruins Prospects in this Game: Matthew Poitras would probably like a second crack at this game, though he’d hardly be the only one. He played 14:31

Today’s Games

Switzerland vs. Norway

Germany vs. Latvia

My Pick: Both!

This is the day that effectively decides the relegation round. Norway, Latvia, and Switzerland desperately need a win here to avoid the headsman’s axe, and while Germany is safe for now, there may not be three teams more desperate to get something going. Norway seems the closest to causing trouble, but Switzerland’s offense is absolutely dire. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Also, side note: Will absolutely be using the highlights from today’s games to make my opinions on the games. I am in New York for a wedding.

Stay frosty. Don’t go to the relegation round!