Catching up with Rangers at the 2017 Worlds
The Rangers are out of the 2017 Playoffs, but some of them are still playing hockey. Four New York Rangers are representing their countries in the 2017 World Championship. Brady Skjei, Kevin Hayes, Oscar Lindberg and Henrik Lundqvist flew out to join their national teams the day after breakup day.
Brady Skjei - USA
Skjei wasted no time making an impact for USA after his impressive postseason performance for the Rangers. He picked up a secondary assist just eight minutes into his first game of the Worlds.
.@ClaytonKeller37's 5th goal of the #2017MWC gives #TeamUSA the lead in the opening period. Assists: Lee & Skjei pic.twitter.com/xbK1AnP1qx— USA Hockey (@usahockey) May 14, 2017
Skjei started his first game of the tournament on the third defensive pairing with Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy. He joins a blue line that features Jacob Trouba, Danny Dekeyser, Noah Hanifin and Connor Murphy.
Kevin Hayes - USA
Hayes’ chemistry and connection with Johnny Gaudreau is well known. In his first game wearing his other red, white and blue jersey the Rangers center picked up two assists including a gorgeous primary assist on a give-and-go with Johnny Hockey.
Johnny Gaudreau give and go with Kevin Hayes, 2-0 #USA pic.twitter.com/8URZn8yWO5— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) May 14, 2017
In his second game Hayes picked up two goals against Russia bringing him to a scintillating four points through his first two games at the Worlds. Gaudreau now has 11 points in seven games. It’s safe to say that the duo is making beautiful hockey together.
Hayes had just three points for the Rangers in the 2017 Playoffs, none of which were goals. It’s good to see him lighting the lamp and ending the 2017-18 season with some confidence.
Hayes and Skjei next face off against Finland in the Quarterfinals on the 18th
Oscar Lindberg - Sweden
In two games with the Swedish national team Lindberg has picked up one assist at the Worlds. He’s been skating on Sweden’s “second” line with Nicklas Backstrom and William Nylander. Lindberg has also seen power play ice time.
Henrik Lundqvist starts for Sweden against Denmark. Oscar Lindberg skating w/ Nicklas Backstrom and William Nylander. #NYR #IIHFWorlds— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) May 14, 2017
Lindberg had three goals in 12 playoff games with the Rangers. It’s surprising to see him playing wing with some of Sweden’s biggest guns, but thus far he’s done well playing with Backstrom and Nylander.
He’s not on that line to make cute passes. Lindberg is there to create space for more skilled players and go hard to the net and thus far he’s done well in that role.
For more on Lindberg and his future with the Rangers, be sure to check out Adam’s great piece from earlier this week.
Henrik Lundqvist - Sweden
Lundqvist has made two starts in net behind the team that his brother Joel is captaining at the Worlds. It’s been a dozen years since the Lundqvist brothers last played for the same team.
Thus far Lundqvist been good enough to earn his home country two wins against Denmark and Slovakia.
Lundqvist has allowed four goals on 36 shots - all of which have come at even strength. He’s been spotless behind the best penalty killing unit at the Worlds. It’s also worth mentioning that he is playing behind former Ranger Anton Stralman and star Lightning blueliner Victor Hedman.
Before Lundqvist arrived former NHLer Viktor Fasth was Sweden’s starting goaltender. Fasth has a .906 save percentage through 244:17 of hockey. Hank has an .889 save percentage through 120 minutes. Eddie Lack is the only Swede to post a shutout in the tournament.
Sweden’s next game is against Switzerland in the Quarterfinals on the 18th.