Thursday, April 10, 2008

Swedish Hockey Grabs My Attention

SM in ice hockey is going on. That’s the Swedish championship in the highest hockey league in Sweden, Elitserien. It’s a pretty high level of hockey and is well-respected around the world. All kinds of NHL stars have started their careers in the Swedish hockey league and all kinds of hockey stars have ended their career here.

Hell, even the next lowest division is pretty solid. Ed Belfour came over and played in the second division. And did quite well. Which I suppose is to be expected considering he is a future hall of fame goalie but still. Goes to show there is decent amount of respect for Swedish professional hockey.

Anyway, SM. Linköping and HV71. Two games are said and done. Linköping is leading two games to none. They won last night. And I watched the game. And quite enjoyed it. Mostly because I like hockey, and good hockey is even better. But it was more than that. There was so much passion. So much on the line. And it managed to come through even on my free 19 inch TV. And that’s impressive.

My favorite moment actually happened between the second and third period. During the second period, one of HV71’s players, Martin Thörnberg, stole the puck and raced down the ice. He froze the defender as he faked a pass across ice and ended up putting the puck in top shelf. It was pretty. But it shouldn’t have counted. Because in order to steal the puck he had to trip Johan Fransson from Linköping. And it was a blatant trip. Stick between the legs trip. And there was no call. And that’s fine. I have no special affinity for either team so I was just enjoying the game. It was one of those times though that I felt like the refs had a direct impact on the game. But I think it was because of all of this that I so enjoyed the interview during intermission.

The goal scorer was asked what happened and how he ended up stealing the puck while his opponent fell down. He answered simply “han får skylla sig själv,” basically, “he has only himself to blame.” I love it. No way was he going to admit to tripping when it resulted in a goal. So what better way than to place the blame on the guy that fell.

I love sports. And Swedish sports.

By the way, as reported by The Local, and all kinds of other media outlets, Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has nixed an Olympic boycott.


  1. Passionate athletes who never admit to breaking the rules are great!

    Btw, did you see J-VM in ice hockey? it was the first time I followed tre kronor (or int his case, småkronorna) all the way in a world cup and they played really well. They finished as runners up after a tight final against Canada. Really got me interested in hockey. But of course, football is still nummer ett...

  2. Speaking of the refs direct impact on the game:

    I hate the stupid red wings.

  3. @robban - I did not see the J-VM actually. I did read a bit about it though.

    @ John - Red Wings Suck.