Raphael Diaz Joins Swiss at World Championships

Raphael Diaz Joins Swiss at World Championships

Canadiens defenceman Raphael Diaz has been cleared by the Canadiens to play for undefeated Switzerland and is expected to arrive in Stockholm Monday.   Swiss head coach Sean Simpson stated that Diaz will be in the lineup when the Swiss play Belarus in the final preliminary round game Tuesday.  Why the Canadiens delayed permission for Diaz’s participation in the tournament is not known.

Alexander Galchenyuk was on the ice for the pre-game warmup Sunday but was not included in the lineup as the United States shut out Germany 3-0.  He is expected to play when the US plays Slovakia Tuesday in the final game of the tournament’s preliminary round.  The Americans have already clinched a berth in the quarterfinals.  This has been an extraordinary year for Galchenyuk who started the year with Sarnia, won a gold medal at the World Junior Tournament, made the Canadiens out of their January training camp and now the World Championships.    Including Galchenyuk, the US has three 19-year olds in it’s lineup.

Tomas Plekanec will be joining the Czech Republic tournament entry Monday as well.  This will be Plekanec’s eighth trip to the World Championships.  He also represented the CzechRepublic in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  The Czechs are having a difficult time.  Their 2-1 loss to Canada on Sunday was their third in six games and they face a must-win game against Norway in order to qualify for the quarterfinals.  If they fail, it would be the first time since their first appearance at the tournament in 1930 that a Czech team would fail to finish in the top eight.  With the addition of Plekanec and Devils defenceman Marek Zidlicky, the Czechs now have 12 NHLer’s in their lineup.