Hey, everyone. It’s Dan Mount and I’ve got another Olympic team roster. This time I have one of the dark horse gold medal contenders in Sweden. I also have rosters for Team USA, Canada and Russia. (Although the Russian roster is not updated with the addition of Alexander Semin.)
I’ll have Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other rosters in the coming weeks before Sochi. I’ll also have a brief update John Tortorella’s suspension for the incident after the melee on Saturday.
If you have any comments, leave them below or tweet me @DanMountSports. I love getting feedback from readers.
Daniel Alfredsson (Detroit Red Wings); Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals); Patrik Berglund (St. Louis Blues); Jimmie Ericsson (Skellefteå AIK); Loui Eriksson (Boston Bruins); Johan Franzen (Detroit Red Wings); Carl Hagelin (New York Rangers); Marcus Kruger (Chicago Blackhawks); Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche); Daniel Sedin (Vancouver Canucks); Henrik Sedin (Vancouver Canucks); Jakob Silfverberg (Anaheim Ducks); Alexander Steen (St. Louis Blues); Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Red Wings)
Breakdown: The Sedins, Alfredsson and Zetterberg are all returnees from the 2006 tournament that won the gold medal. The Swedes have a dynamic group of playmakers that will want to erase the taste of a disappointing fifth place finish from the Vancouver games in 2010. The forward group is pretty much as I predicted. However, there are a couple of nagging injuries to Franzen, Steen and Henrik Sedin.
Alex Edler (Vancouver Canucks); Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Phoenix Coyotes); Jonathan Ericsson (Detroit Red Wings); Niklas Hjalmarsson (Chicago Blackhawks); Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators); Niklas Kronwall (Detroit Red Wings); Johnny Oduya (Chicago Blackhawks); Henrik Tallinder (Buffalo Sabres)
Who may have gotten snubbed: With this being a deep group (I’ll get to that later), guys like Victor Hedman and Jonas Brodin were going to get left off the roster. Hedman and Brodin are probably going to be alternates for the team, but this is one of the strengths of the team.
Breakdown: I’ve said it earlier, but the blueliners are the best part of this squad. There are mobile, fast and are can jump into the offensive rush. They also can do their original job of making life easy for whoever is between the pipes. Niklas Kronwall has a lot of experience and won the gold in Torino.
Jhonas Enroth (Buffalo Sabres); Jonas Gustavsson (Detroit Red Wings); Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)
Breakdown: Sweden could arguably have the best netminder in the tournament in King Hank, but the level of talent drops off when you get to Gustavsson and Enroth. Don’t get me wrong, they are decent goalies. However, Lundqvist is going to have to start every big game if they have designs on the gold or any other medal. Lundqvist does have experience in winning big international tournaments as he was the starting goalie when they won in 2006.
Final analysis: I’m really sold on this team. Everyone is talking about Russia, Canada and the Americans, but we can’t deny how talented the Swedish are. They are in an interesting Group C with the dangerous Czech Republic, the rising power of Switzerland and a pesky Latvia. They are a good bet to finish on top of the group and earn a coveted bye into the quarterfinals.
Sweden usually does well when the Olympics are in Europe and I expect anything less than a medal will be a disappointment.
Tortorella suspended 15 days
After Saturday’s mayhem, Vancouver Canucks head coach John Totorella was suspended for 15 days without pay after trying to charge into the Flames' dressing room. The incident was caused by a line brawl with the Flames.
There is no doubt that Tortorella deserved to be suspended and that his outburst was a black eye on the league. However, let’s not let Calgary coach Bob Hartley off the hook. He did get fined $25,000 or putting out his fourth line. Tortorella and Hartley have a history between them that stems back from their American Hockey League days.
Tortorella shouldn’t have gone after Hartley and Flames in between periods. He deserves to get punished for that. However, you can’t blame Tortorella for putting his fighters out there. It would be idiotic to be the Sedins out there. In my opinion, Torts could’ve lost his team if he did that.
That’s it for today. I’ll be back later in the week with more NHL headlines and Team Finland’s roster. Take care.
Dan Mount is an NHL writer for TJRSports.com. He is based out of Watertown, NY.