Niklas Edin: On a roll
By Dean Gemmell
HALIFAX – So it was a Canada-free afternoon draw in Halifax. At least on the ice. Considering the fact that Canada had a bye, there was a reasonable crowd. Lots of students of the game in the seats watching the Finns, Czechs, Scots et al. Watching a bit silently, I’m afraid, but intently.
I think the number of teams that record games on video is fewer than those who don’t. I’m not saying this to be pro or con. But I wonder about all those hours of video. Do they end up like so many family camcorder videos, buried on hard drives and left unwatched? It seems to me that it might be helpful if you were simply clicking record at key moments to review later. But even the fastest fast-forward might not be enough to get teams through to the key points of a game they already played. I don’t see the Curling Canada stuff running a camera. Nor Canada’s Bob Ursel, the coach of the Russian men. The the Swiss and the Scots aren’t videographers either (that’s not a particularly scientific survey but it’s what I saw from the bench this game).
[Actually, Scotland always records their matches; one must sometimes look way high up in the rafters to find them! –Ed.]
Sweden and Niklas Edin seem to be getting into a groove and dispatched Japan with Nordic efficiency. I caught up with Edin, his Swedish teammates and coach Freddy Lindberg — alarming when coaches are decades younger than me — for a bit in the Patch last night. Shouting over the band, they told me they were pleased with how things are coming together in their first year together. Reasonable assessment, I would say.
I feel like the whole tournament was on the line for the young Swiss team in their match against Scotland. The Scots and Ewen MacDonald had a couple of chances to win the game in regulation, including a draw to the side of the lid on his last in 10, but couldn’t close the deal until Pfister missed his draw for the win in the extra. Winning would have kept them believing they can get into the playoffs and make some noise. Losing means they’ll probably still be thinking they can — but maybe not really believing it. That’s the head space in curling.
After a fast start, Joel Retornaz of Italy has pulled a Simmons/Morris and left the rings. Amos Mosaner called the game and threw last rocks, after the team started the event Ferbey Four-style. Mosaner skipped as a junior so it’s not a big adjustment. Retornaz threw second and held the stick on skip rocks in their win over the Czech Republic.
Speaking of the Czechs, I’m sensing they’ve hit a plateau. A game away from the Olympics in Füssen and I expected more improvement after playing them in Basel in 2012. They seem stuck at the moment.
I could tell you about Russia-Finland but I have to admit I largely ignored it. Nothing against them. Just the far sheet and I don’t have enough focus to watch every game. I’ll just mention, again, that there’s a lot of hair on that Finnish team.
[Curling Canada/WCF photo by Michael Burns – click on image to increase viewing size]