Last year, Lars Eller became the first Dane to lift the coveted Stanley Cup as his team, the Washington Capitals, won the NHL title for the very first time.
Now, Eller and the Caps have a chance to do it again as the NHL playoffs kicked off this week – the Dane got his first playoff goal last night as Washington took Game 1 against Carolina.
Nikolaj Ehlers (Winnipeg Jets), Frederik Andersen (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Oliver Bjorkstrand (Columbus Blue Jackets) are the other three still in contention for the world’s oldest trophy. Veterans Frans Nielsen (Detroit Red Wings) and Mikkel Bødker (Ottawa Senators) missed out this year.
The news comes as the Danish national team continues its preparations for the forthcoming IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.
The number of NHL Danes participating this year will depend on how the NHL playoffs progress and whether their teams are knocked out early.
But despite not taking part in the playoff, Nielsen has already stated he won’t play for Denmark, while Bødker said he would. The Danes lost 0-1 to Finland in their first pre-tournament friendly last night.
Homophobic chanting making waves
Since FC Copenhagen forward Viktor Fischer voiced his disgust at OB Odense fans for singing homophobic chants during a Superliga clash last weekend, a number of sports authorities have applauded him and weighed in on the issue. The most prominent was perhaps UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, who praised Fischer and said he was ashamed that homophobic and racist chants continued to be a problem across the European football spectrum. OB and Brøndby, whose fans followed up with some homophobic chants of their own a day after Fischer’s stand, have both been fined by the Danish football association.
Tauson loses first WTA match
Danish tennis sensation Clara Tauson lost her first WTA match at the Samsung Open in Switzerland to Evgeniya Rodina. The Russian world number 69 overcame Tauson in a 7-6, 2-6, 5-7 thriller after the 16-year-old Dane had reached the tournament via qualification. Tauson will be ranked around 380 when the new WTA rankings come out. The youngster can take in the fact that Caroline Wozniacki also lost the first WTA match of her career. Wozniacki, meanwhile, lost her first final of the year at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston last weekend, losing to Madison Keys by 6-7 (5/7), 3-6.
Danish cycling triumph in Belgium
It was good news for cycling fans as two Danes reached the podium at the prestigious one-day classic, the Tour of Flanders. Kasper Asgreen, 24, impressed throughout the day and had enough energy to peddle to a second-placed finish, easily the biggest result of his career. The Quick-Step rider was part of a long breakaway earlier in the race. Meanwhile, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig came third in the women’s version – a race won by Marta Bastianelli from Bjarne Riis-owned Team Virtu Cycling.
MMA bout of the century
Danish MMA fans will be licking their chops following the news that former Olympic wrestler Mark O Madsen and boxer Patrick Nielsen will face off in the cage this summer. The battle, ‘No Way Out’, will take place on June 8 in KB Hallen and the bout will be held in the 75.5 weight class under the umbrella of classic MMA rules.
N’Doye reaches the century
With a goal away against OB Odense at the weekend, FCK striker Dame N’Doye scored his 100th for the club in all competitions. The Senegalese marksman reached his century in only 190 matches, making him one of the most prolific strikers in Danish football history. Check out all 100 goals in the video below.