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More on the Maple Leafs at the World Championships

Some Maple Leaf nuggets from the World Championships in Germany after Tuesday’s action:

 Jonas Gustavsson didn’t play in Sweden’s last qualifying-round game, after earning the win against Canada 3-1 earlier this week. I’m guessing, though, that he gets the nod in the elimination game on Thursday against Denmark.

 Leaf fans will get to see Nikolai Kulemin in action when Canada and Russia play in the quarter-finals on Thursday. So far, Kulemin, playing a third/fourth-line role, has accumulated 5 points and is a +5 in six games.

 Team Canada assistant captain Francois Beauchemin played 15+ minutes in the tune-up loss Tuesday against the Czech Republic. He’s averaging 16 minutes a game and is a +1 in the tournament through 6 games.

 Gustavsson’s save percentage heading into the playoff round is .945

 Carl Gunnarsson is +3 and has averaged 13 minutes a game on defense for the Swedish national team

Based on what we’re seeing so far, the winner of the Russia-Canada tilt will likely eventually face Sweden to earn the championship. One game can change everything at these events, but to date, Russia and Sweden are the teams that have showed the best.

It should not be surprising that Canada has struggled a bit, given how youthful this team is. But Canada has some outstanding young talent on the roster like Stamkos, Del Zotto, Kane, (Marc) Staal, Tavares, Duchene and Eberle. Many of those youngsters will play in the 2014 Olympics for Canada, assuming NHL players attend.

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