The Swedish Olympic roster was announced this morning, and it’s somewhere between scary and entirely terrifying for other countries. Things of note:
* Their d-corps is going to be pretty incredible at moving the puck. Between names like Erik Karlsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Edler and Niklas Hjalmarsson, I’d be willing to bet the Swedes won’t need too many touches to successfully break out of their own zone. The big Olympic ice will work in their favor.
With a couple of those names you’re also looking at a more high-risk, high-reward group, so they should be fun to watch either way.
* The notable snub, for me: Victor Hedman (and Jonas Brodin to a lesser extent). They took Henrik Tallinder, Johnny Oduya and Jonathan Ericsson – I can’t think of too many GMs that wouldn’t pick Hedman if given the chance to scoop one of those four up.
* The forward group is a really great mix of young and old, fast and smart, gritty and skilled. Young speedsters like Carl Hagelin and Gabriel Landeskog are nicely complimented by savvy veterans like the Sedin twins and Henrik Zetterberg. With a couple other forwards right in their offensive primes ala Alex Steen, Nicklas Backstrom and Loui Eriksson, this team can play you anyway you want and give you a tough game.
If this Swedish team is able to get quality goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (and we all know they very well could get that and beyond), they’ve got as good a chance as any team of bringing home gold. Yikes.