Sweden vs. Germany: Swedes Start Out on Right Foot with Shutout Win

Ryan PickardCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2010

Five games have not been played at the 2010 hockey Winter Olympics. One game remains to be played between Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The first five games have played out just as expected with the stronger teams winning although a few of them have been a bit closer than expected.

One of those games was Sweden vs Germany. The game just finished a few minutes ago and although Sweden came away with the victory it was less than an impressive victory.

The Swedes who are coming off of their Gold Medal win at the 2006 Winter Olympics won the game 2-0 but most figured they would have won by more. Henrik Lundqvist had the shutout which was Sweden's first since the 1994 Olympics which coincidentally was against Germany.

The game got off to a slow start as neither side could find the back of the net. Most of the excitement was the big hits that each team was dishing out.

As the second got underway the teams began to take more chances and Sweden were able to strike first.

Mattias Ohlund took a shot from the point that beat German goalie Thomas Greiss. Further review would show that Daniel Sedin made contact with Greiss and the goal should have been waived off but the goal stood anyways.

The second period also saw a vicious hit dished out by Johnny Oduya on Marco Sturm. Oduya who hit Sturm in the head was given two minutes for roughing and a 10 minute misconduct.

The NHL has been trying to crack down on these hits and it will be interesting to see what if anything the Olympic Committee does to try to cut down on these kinds of hits.

Play continued with the Swedes picking their game up and they finally broke through again when Niklas Backstrom put a perfect pass right across the crease to Loui Eriksson to make it 2-0.

The rest of the game was pretty much all Sweden although Germany did have their chances but Lundqvist was up to the task for every one of them. The Germans hit the post about three times but just couldn't find the back of the net.

Sure Sweden won but they should have won by much more. The Swedes are a team loaded with NHL talent. They have just four players who don't play in the NHL as opposed to Germany who has just seven players currently playing in the NHL.

The Swedes can feel good knowing that they are in probably the easiest group at the Olympics right now. All they have to do now is beat Belarus and they will most likely wind up in at least second place in the Group and be able to move on.

They can't play like this though if they want to beat Finland and then possibly have a chance at repeating Gold. Teams like Russia and Canada are loaded with talent and won't hit the post all the time like Germany did today.

So for now Sweden can take in solace in their victory but they have to forget about it tomorrow and get ready for their next game.