Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Sweden is, to my mind, the odds-on favorite to win the gold medal. And if they do, it will be because Henrik Lundqvist steals the show.
We all know Lundqvist started the season off rough, and it shows in his 17-17-3 record.
But we also know that January has been quite kind to him, as he's posted a .935 save percentage. He is starting to look a lot like the Henrik Lundqvist everyone is used to.
This is a great thing for Lundqvist, the Rangers and Sweden. But it also means Lundqvist will be ridden hard in Sochi, and that could hurt his play when he comes back to America.
When Sweden won gold in 2006, Lundqvist posted a 2.33 GAA. When he came back to the U.S., he struggled, losing eight of 13 games played in March and April. He gave up 13 goals in three postseason games.
That was eight years ago, and he's obviously a more mature and experienced goalie. But it's something to keep an eye on. If Sweden goes as far as many expect them to, then Lundqvist will play against the world's best.
When he comes back to New York, he may be a bit tired. His focus, which seemingly disappeared in the beginning of the season, could suffer.
The Rangers need Lundqvist if they want to make the playoffs and thrive. Sweden needs him if they want to win gold. It's possible he may be stretched too thin.