OTTAWA — Lightning D Victor Hedman has been in Lias Andersson’s shoes.
Hedman lost in two World Junior Championship finals (2008, 2009), his Swedes settling for the silver medal.
Andersson, this year’s Swedish captain, was so frustrated after losing to Canada in Friday’s final that he tossed his silver medal into the stands. Andersson said he didn’t want the medal and fans would cherish it more. The moment went viral, with Andersson getting criticized and praised.
"You’re frustrated, you’re disappointed. Stuff happens," Hedman said Saturday. "What I’ve read about (Andersson), he’s one of the best captains the (Swedish) coach has had. He’s going to have a long future in this league (Andersson was a Rangers first-round draft pick last year), and obviously he was close to making the Rangers this year.
"I think it’s going to take a few days before they can really cherish this tournament, and obviously they put their best foot forward. It wasn’t good enough. You don’t want a guy that likes losing; you hate losing. But at the same time, you’ve got to be able to kind of swallow it for a little bit."
The medal was returned to Andersson.
"He’ll probably take it home anyhow," Hedman said.
The Lightning was thrilled to see four of its prospects win gold for Canada at the World Junior Championship on Friday. Forwards Brett Howden, Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, and defenseman Cal Foote were on the team that beat Sweden 3-1.
"I was so excited for those kids," said coach Jon Cooper, who led Canada to silver at last year’s World Championship. "I remember the pride every time the Canadian flag went up after we won a game at worlds and how crushing the defeat was to lose to Sweden (in the final). So I just know how they felt."
Quipped Cooper: "Canada finally found a coach that could beat Sweden in a gold-medal game, cause I surely couldn’t do it." Swedish D Victor Hedman said there was trash talk Saturday from Canadian teammates: "When you have those Canadians around, you know you’re going to heart it."
G Andrei Vasilevskiy started the 6-3 loss to the Senators, his 34th start in 41 games. Coach Jon Cooper said he is "extremely comfortable" with Vasilevskiy’s workload. … Cooper made one change on the blue line. Braydon Coburn was a healthy scratch for the first time this season, and Slater Koekkoek was back in the lineup. Koekkoek grew up outside Ottawa, so he had friends and family at the game, and they got to see him score in the second. F J.T. Brown and D Andrej Sustr were also scratched.
The Lightning doesn’t have a better idea whether G Peter Budaj (lower body) will return before or after the Jan. 27-28 All-Star Game in Tampa. … Lightning F prospect Taylor Raddysh was traded in juniors from Erie in the Ontario League to Sault Ste. Marie, the team of F prospect Boris Katchouk. … F Matthew Peca will represent AHL Syracuse at the All-Star Game on Jan. 29.