ELITSERIEN 2012-2013


Swedish ice hockey: five fun Elitserien facts

As Sweden's top ice hockey league, the Elitserien, kicks off play for the 2012-2013 season on Thursday night, The Local unveils the top five little-known facts you and your puck-buddies might not have known about the league.

Swedish ice hockey: five fun Elitserien facts

Hockey fans in Sweden have been salivating all summer for the start of the new Elitserien season.

The reigning league champions, Brynäs, based in Gävle in eastern Sweden, will have tough competition defending their title, with many analysts pegging runners-up Skellefteå as the league’s next champions.


Also in contention is another team from the north, Luleå, which topped the league tables last year at the end of the regular season and finished with the best record after pre-season play, which wrapped up a few days ago.

The impending NHL lockout could also have repercussions for the Elitserien should the league be forced to lift its current ban on short-term contracts for Swedish NHL players who may find themselves looking for a place to play.

Of course, a lot can happen once the Elitserien’s twelve teams square off against one another on Thursday to kick off the 2012-2013 season.

But whether you are a diehard puck fan or just an unsuspecting expat from warmer climes who is trying to fend off a bout with Swedish hockey fever, The Local is here to offer up a few fun facts that can help you sound like an Elitserien expert.

For example, which film director introduced hockey to Sweden?

Or, how does Sweden’s Elitserien rank when it comes to being a “balanced” league? What is a balanced league, anyway?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions – or you feel like you might like to glean some such knowledge from our pages – then this list is just what you need.

So, lace up your skates and grab your stick cuz the Zamboni has left the ice. It’s time to aim for the five hole as you try to put the biscuit in the basket with The Local’s top five random facts about Sweden’s Elitserien.

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It’s official: Sweden’s Lundqvist is the NHL’s best goalie

Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist made 12 straight saves to win the goaltender competition at the NHL all-star game's skill night.

It's official: Sweden's Lundqvist is the NHL's best goalie
Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers celebrates winning the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak during the 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills contest on Friday in San Jose, California. Photo: Thearon W. Hender
The New York Rangers goalie knocked off Russian Olympian Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who held the lead through several rounds after stopping the first eight shots he faced. 
The skill contests held on Friday night in San Jose, California also saw Edmonton Oilers speedster Connor McDavid win his third straight fastest skater title in a competition that included a female participant for the first time.
Canada's McDavid charged around the rink in just 13.37 seconds to eclipse Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel, who finished in 13.58 seconds at the SAP Center arena.
Kendall Coyne, who plays on the American women's national team, was invited to take part and finished seventh out of eight skaters, beating out Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller. Coyne cruised to a time of 14.34 seconds while Keller, who has 11 goals and 35 points with the Coyotes this season, finished in 14.52. 
“I thought she was unbelievable,” McDavid said. “She was absolutely flying out there.” 
Last year, Coyne's teammate Hilary Knight did the accuracy shooting drill, but her impressive time wasn't included in the official results.
Johnny Gaudreau defended his title in the puck control contest with a time of 27.045, and John Carlson, who captured a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals last season, won the hardest shot contest with a blast of 102.8 mph.
The NHL all-star game will take place on Sunday.