2010 Olympic Hockey Outlook: Team Sweden

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2010 Olympic Hockey Outlook: Team Sweden

Sweden is the fourth of an eight-part series previewing the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Other team previews can be found here: Russia | Canada | USA | Czech Republic | Slovakia | Finland | Mexico (Satire)

Sweden is the defending gold medalist from the Turin games in 2006, and they will certainly be in the hunt to repeat. The Tre Kronor have been an impressive program for many years, despite being a small country in relation to some of the others.

This team also has a must-win mentality in Vancouver. Most likely, it will be a lot of players final Olympic games and the pressure will be on them to hold the gold medal a little longer.

They are another serious contender, alongside Canada and Russia for the championship.

 

Forwards

First Line

C Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

LW Markus Naslund, New York Rangers

RW Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators

 

Second Line

C Mats Sundin, Vancouver Canucks

LW Kristian Huselius, Columbus Blue Jackets

RW Peter Forsberg

 

Third Line

C Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

LW Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

RW Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings

 

Fourth Line

C Niklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals

LW Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars

RW Tomas Holmstrom, Detroit Red Wings

 

Analysis

The vast majority of the group that won gold in Turin returns for the 2010 games. Henrik Zetterberg will lead a veteran line flanked by high-profile scorer Daniel Alfredsson and Markus Naslund.

The second line is also made up of vastly experienced players. Forsberg and Sundin are most likely playing in their last Olympic games.

Line three will pit the skill of the Sedin twins alongside the grit of power-forward Johan Franzen. Neither of the Sedin twins are big-time goal scorers but the help of Franzen should show immediately.

The fourth line will showcase the future of Swedish hockey in Niklas Backstrom and Loui Eriksson. Both have had incredible years for their respective NHL clubs, and they will be joined by veteran Tomas Holmstrom.

 

Backup options

Mikael Samuelsson, Detroit Red Wings; Samuel Pahlsson, Anaheim Ducks; Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues; Robert Nilsson, Edmonton Oilers

 

Defensemen

First Pairing

LD Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

RD Mattias Ohlund, Vancouver Canucks

 

Second Pairing

LD Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings

RD Kenny Jonsson, HC Rogle BK

 

Third Pairing

LD Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks

RD Henrik Tallinder, Buffalo Sabres

 

Analysis

The defense will once again be lead by world-class defenseman Niklas Lidstrom, who could possibly be playing in his final Olympics. The top four are all veterans that have played in many international tournaments.

Edler and Tallinder are the only two here that really have not played together in the past. Jonsson may end up paired with Lidstrom so that Ohlund and Kronwall can compliment each other.

 

Backup options

Victor Hedman, MoDo HC; Tobias Enstrom, Atlanta Thrashers; Anton Stralman, Toronto Maple Leafs

 

Goaltenders

Starter

G Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

 

Backup

G Jakob Markstrom, Brynas IF

 

Analysis

Lundqvist is the starter for sure and he was the goalie when they won the gold medal in 2006. He is one of the best in the world and will be a major reason for Sweden's success in Vancouver. Markstrom is a young phenom that has torn apart the SEL and deserves the backup role.

 

Backup option

Mikael Tellqvist, Phoenix Coyotes

 

Coaching

Head Coach

Bengt-Ake Gustafsson

 

Final Outcome

Bronze. Defeat the Czech Republic 4-0 in the Bronze medal game.

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