|Photo by: Anders Wiklund|
All three Nashville Predators who went to Scandinavia to play for their respective countries were rewarded with a medal Sunday afternoon. A Roman Josi led Switzerland team played an excellent tournament, but fell to one of the host countries, Sweden, 5-1 in the gold medal match.
Meanwhile, Predators forwards Craig Smith and Bobby Butler fell to the Swiss 3-0 in the semifinals, but won their bronze medal match against Finland, another host country in the 2013 IIHF World Championship tournament.
|Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images|
Roman Josi, a number two defenseman for the Predators, was the number one defenseman for Team Switzerland. Due to his excellence throughout the tournament, Josi was named the 2013 IIHF WC's Most Valuable Player, best defenseman and was named on the All-Star team.
To add to the accolades, in a preliminary match against the Czech Republic, Josi was named player of the game in appreciation to his shutdown play at defense.
In 10 games, Josi led the team in points at nine (4g, 5a).
Josi scored the lone goal in his team's 5-1 loss to the Swedish at their home ice in Stockholm.
This was certainly great experience for the young defenseman and luckily for the Predators, Josi didn't get injured at all, opposed to Eric Staal for Team Canada. Josi is big in Switzerland and fans in Nashville can only hope he becomes just as big in North America.
Josi's teammate Craig Smith had a great outing for Team USA in Stockholm and Helsinki. Smith found excellent chemistry at the top line with Colorado Avalanche forward and captain of the Americans Paul Stastny. It is something that should be looked at by the General Managers of Colorado and Nashville this summer, but will probably not amount to anything.
Smith finished fifth in scoring with fourteen points and led in assists with ten, in as many games.
In a preliminary match against Finland, Smith was awarded player of the game for the US.
Fellow teammate and countryman Bobby Butler had an impact in the early part of the tournament. Unfortunately for Butler, he found himself to be a scratch in two of the final three games because of American players joining the team after losing in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
In 8 games, Butler had three goals and one assist.