NHL.com’s Aaron Vickers spoke with Red Wings forward and Danish World Championship participant Frans Nielsen regarding the “home-ice advantage” the Danes are enjoying in Nielsen’s hometown of Herning:
A decade ago, Detroit Red Wings center Frans Nielsen couldn’t have imagined standing on the blue line of a sheet of ice in his hometown singing “Der Er Et Yndigt Land,” Denmark’s national anthem, with nearly 11,000 hockey fans.
Even five years ago, he admits, would have been a bit of a stretch.
“Not a few years back, no,” Nielsen said after singing alongside 10,800 fellow Danes to celebrate a 3-0 victory against Norway on Friday. “It’s been exciting. It’s been fun. The whole city has backed us up here. It’s been incredible.
“All we’ve hoped for.”
Nielsen, the first player from Denmark to play in the NHL, truly has home ice advantage. His home country is hosting the 2018 IIHF World Championship, and he’s playing in his hometown of Herning.
“It’s been a joy,” said Nielsen, who has 423 points (152 goals, 271 assists) in 764 NHL games during 12 seasons in the NHL, 10 with the New York Islanders and the past two Red Wings. “We’re having fun every day right now, working hard. It’s been great.”