MINSK, Belarus -- Appearing in his second straight IIHF World Championship for Canada, Matt Read shone with two goals in a 6-1 romp over Denmark on Thursday.
Read, 27, is one of three Flyers wearing the red Maple Leaf at this year’s tournament. He’s joined by Brayden Schenn and Braydon Coburn. Read, playing on a line with Ottawa’s Kyle Turris and Washington’s Jason Chimera, scored Canada’s third goal by banging in a rebound high and added the fourth on a shorthanded one-timer set up by Turris.
Canada is seeking its first World Championship gold medal since 2007 and first medal since 2009. At present, the country that won Olympic gold in Sochi is vying for top spot in Group A with Sweden, the defending World Champions.
We caught up with the three-season Flyer afterwards for his thoughts.
On his offensive breakout against Denmark:
Obviously scoring goals is fun. As a forward, when you score goals, it makes you a little happier. I think we played very well defensively tonight and it created offense for our team. I think that’s one thing we’ve got to keep focusing on. We took care of our defensive zone, creating turnovers and getting pucks deep when we got the chance. That’s how you’re going to create offense in this tournament.
On Canada’s penalty kill, which entered this game at a tournament-worst 60 percent:
We’ve been focused on our penalty kill the last couple of days. A lot of teams rely on a good power play. They know how to move the puck very well. If our penalty kill does its job, we break even on the night, not allowing a goal or getting a goal, that’s just a plus for us. First off, you gotta take care of that defensive zone and do all the little things back there and gain momentum off the penalty kill.
On playing against Oliver Lauridsen, a Danish defence prospect for the Flyers:
He’s an ox out there. You see him in training camp, and he’s played a couple of games. He’s a good player. It’s fun to go out there and say a couple of jokes to get him off his game or something like that. It’s good to see him out there. He’s doing well and I think he’s playing over 20 minutes a game for them. He’s getting a lot of ice time in this tournament.
On the overall World Championship experience:
It’s fun. Representing your country is a dream come true. For me, I never had a chance when I was younger. I was lucky enough to come last year in Stockholm. Getting another opportunity to put my red-and-white jersey on, you’ve got to love coming over here. You can’t turn it down. I’m proud to put on the red-and-white.
On his Team Canada roommate:
Schenner’s my roommate. So we’re good friends and it makes it easier, just sitting in the room. You can just talk about anything.
On Russia’s bringing in Evgeni Malkin to join Alexander Ovechkin up front:
You know, it’s kind of like the regular season in Pittsburgh. Two superstars. You gotta find ways to shut them down. When they’re out on the ice, I wouldn’t say they’re the best defensively, so you gotta take advantage of getting pucks deep and going to work, kinda just grinding them out a little. You don’t want to give them open ice or time and space to make plays, because they will. They’re top players in the world. It’ll be a challenge if we ever get to face them. It’ll be a fun game.
On facing Sweden, where Read played with Sodertalje during the NHL lockout, on Sunday:
I know they won last year. They have a good overall team. They play very well defensively and move the puck well. They’re good skaters. You can’t make too many mistakes against them because they’ll end up in the back of your net. You’ve got to play the best you can and not allow them any time and space, just be smarter than them.