Olympians return for the stretch run

We'll talk to gold medalist Brenden Morrow and bronze medalist Jere Lehtinen this morning as they prepare for a difficult and compact schedule in March that includes games every other night. But Loui Eriksson was at practice on Monday.

He talked about the Olympic tournament overall.

“We played good in our group; we won all three games," Eriksson said. "I didn’t think we had the best game against Slovakia and we lost that one. It was a bad loss, but you have to win to make it to the semifinals, so it was an important game and we lost.”

Eriksson was able to some confidence in the process, though.

“I think our line, with [Nicklas] Backstrom and [Daniel] Alfredsson, we did real well," Eriksson said. "We had a lot of chances and we created a lot when we were on the ice. It felt good when I was out there.”

Stars coach Marc Crawford thinks the Olympics helped Eriksson.

“I think on the positive side, he’s shown that he’s amongst the elite players in the world now," Crawford said. "A lot of people thought that maybe he was the best player that the Swedes had in the tournament. I know in talking with him this morning, he comes back with such a favorable impression of people like Nick Lidstrom. It’s probably the first time that he’s had the ability to be around him, to be around the great Peter Forsberg.

"I know he talked to me today about how good [Nicklas] Backstrom is. It’s nice when you see your players start to have the realization that, ‘You know, I’m pretty good too.’ He’s a very humble guy, but he shows that he’s got the ability to play at that level, which is at the elite level of the world.”