It wasn’t enough for Minnesota Wild rookie Erik Haula to have 27 points in 31 games with Iowa, 15 points and a plus-14 rating in 46 games with Minnesota and an additional seven points and a team-leading four goals in 13 playoffs games with the big club. No–he had to go play some more hockey to scratch that itch. That’s not a bad thing, though.
Upon Minnesota’s elimination from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs in a heartbreaking overtime loss in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals series against the Chicago Blackhawks, Haula immediately jumped ship to represent his country in the 2014 Men’s World Hockey Championships. In four games with Finland, he has an assist, a negative-1 rating and seven shots on goal in assisting his team to a Semifinal berth against the Czech Republic. That game will be played at 11:45 AM ET on TSN (in other words, less than an hour from now) and will then re-air on NBC Sports Network at 12:00 PM CT.
In the meantime, the other Semifinal matchup between Russia and Sweden is playing now on NBCSN, but–SPOILER ALERT–Russia won 3-1. So, if Haula and the Finns get past Jaromir Jagr’s Czechs, they’ll have a date with Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Co. History may be on Russia’s side as the Russians beat Finland 4-2 earlier in the tournament. However, if there’s one thing the Finns have proven in this tournament, it’s that you can never count them out. Haula hopes that continues, at least for another game.