He might be coming home with a Silver Medal rather than one of the Gold variety, but Erik Karlsson can be proud of the fact that he has been named the Best Defenseman at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, according to Antti Makinen of Rotoworld on Twitter.
@mfinewaxhockey Award for best goalie: Carey Price, best defenseman Erik Karlsson and best forward Phil Kessel
— Antti Mäkinen (@sirmakinen) February 23, 2014
Karlsson had four goals and four assists for a total of eight points. Technically, Karlsson was tied for the points lead with American Phil Kessel, but because Kessel had one more goal than Karlsson so he gets the top spot.
Karlsson played the same game for Sweden that he does every night for the Ottawa Senators. That is why he was so effective for Team Sweden. He helped them get past nearly all of their competition, as the Swedes were perfect during the competition prior to losing in the Gold Medal Game to Team Canada.
Karlsson was also great on the power play, probably due to, in no small part, to being paired alongside former Senators teammate Daniel Alfredsson. The two were able to bring back their chemistry and it made the Swedes a better team.
The Ottawa Senators will need Karlsson to keep up the same style of play that he’s played all season long and in the Olympics. They are a team that’s fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and Karlsson will be counted on to bring the offense back to the Sens.
Karlsson is the only Senator to be coming home with an Olympic Medal. It might not be the color he wants, but at least he can say that he was the best defenseman in the world during the Olympics.