norway hockey

It’s finally here. With the Olympics getting under way and the hockey starting soon, it’s time to roll out our preview of each team between now and puck drop. May the best team win.

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The basics

The Norwegians are ranked 9th overall by the IIHF. They’re heading into the games with one NHLer on their roster, are coached by Roy Johansen, and finished 10th at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.norway-2

Member Since January 20, 1935
Total Players 6,899
Male Players 2,284
Junior Players 3,972
Female Players 643
Total Referees 216
Indoor Rinks 44
Outdoor Rinks 2
Nation Population 4,722,701
President Ole-Jacob Libaek
Men’s World Ranking 9
Women’s World Ranking 11

Group

B, with Canada, Austria and Finland.

Roster

Goaltenders NHL Team
Lars Haugen
Lars Volden
Steffen Søberg
Defensemen  
Alexander Bonsaksen
Jonas Holøs
Henrik Solberg
Daniel Sørvik
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
Mats Trygg
Henrik Ødegaard
Forwards  
Morten Ask
Anders Bastiansen
Robin Dahlstrøm
Kristian Forsberg
Mads Hansen
Marius Holtet
Sondre Olden
Ken Andre Olimb
Mathias Olimb
Mats Rosseli Olsen
Niklas Roest
Martin Røymark
Per-Age Skrøder
Patrick Thoresen
Mats Zuccarello New York Rangers

Biggest names

Mats Zuccarello. Ex-NHLers Tollefsen and Thoresen can play too. (…And Tore Vikingstad, based entirely on his awesome name. He was on the team in 2010…not so much this time around, sadly).

Depth

The nicest thing I can say is that the drop-off from the top players to the bottom ones isn’t comically bad. A number of international teams have an absolute stud or two at the top (think Kopitar and Slovenia), but by the time you get to the bottom you’ve plummeted clear past the barrel’s bottom and into the bedrock (keep thinking about Slovenia).nor_2-2

Strengths

Mats Zuccarello is quite good at hockey, and is apparently quite a charming fellow as well.

Weaknesses

It depends how you look at “weaknesses.” This is a team that hasn’t beat Canada in 30 years, so it’s safe to say they’re weak everywhere if you stack them against the best. With teams like this, the biggest problems tend to be on defense. There are a lot of players out there who can stickhandle and shoot a puck in the net. Not so many who can handle Phil Kessel bearing down on them on the wing.

Route to the Olympics

Rob the Hockey Guy explains here:

As one of the top nine countries in the IIHF world rankings, Norway received an automatic spot in the Olympic tournament. They were able to achieve this ranking with some notable upsets in the last few World Championships. They beat the Czech Republic in 2010 and Sweden in 2011 (they also narrowly lost 3-2 to Canada). In the 2012 World Championships they beat up on the minnows of the hockey world. They beat Italy (6-2), Latvia (3-0), Germany (12-4) and Denmark (6-2). While they didn’t beat any of the super powers in 2012, they were respectable in every game, losing to Sweden (3-1), Russia (4-2 & 5-2) and the Czech Republic (4-3). So watch out for Norway, they are certainly capable of a lot more than most hockey fans might think.

(Check out Rob at VanCityBuzz)

Prediction

I’ve got Norway in 9th. They tend to hover between being Swiss-like pesky, and being truly bad. (And by the way – when I say “bad,” I mean compared to teams in the Olympic tournament.)

Schedule

Times are GMT+4, (MSK – Moscow Standard Time)

Thursday, Feb. 13th: CANCanada 21:00 NorwayNOR
Friday, Feb. 14th: NORNorway 21:00 FinlandFIN
Sunday, Feb. 16th: AUTAustria 12:00 NorwayNOR

Video

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Other Previews

Canada

Sweden

USA

Russia

Finland

Czech Republic

Slovakia

Switzerland

Latvia

Austria

Slovenia

Comments (4)

  1. I don’t want to be “that guy” but I thought Norway was in a group with Canada, Finland and Austria?

  2. “Bad” compared to the rest of the Olympic teams… so you’re looking for a word like “overmatched” or “outclassed.” It’s not their fault, it’s just that the hockey powers are ridiculously stacked for a best-on-best tournament like this.

  3. Justin,

    Why aren’t you mentioning the former NHL players when talking roter depth?

    Not like it will add much writting time to these breif previews.

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