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Lundqvist, Sedin twins headline talented Swedish roster

Jan 7, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT

sedintwins1000

Sweden is one of the heavyweights going into the 2014 Winter Games and it shows with a roster almost completely compromised of NHL talent, including plenty of star players.

Sweden’s offense will likely be its greatest strength with Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, and Nicklas Backstrom leading the charge. They also have some question marks in that regard as both Loui Eriksson and Alexander Steen are recovering from concussions. Having both of them available for the Olympics would be a huge boost for Sweden.

On the other end of the spectrum, the team’s goaltending is a potential area of concern. Henrik Lundqvist has struggled with the New York Rangers this season and Sweden will just have to hope that he fares better in the international tournament. If not, they’ll have to rely on Jhonas Enroth and Jonas Gustavsson.

As far as snubs go, this team has plenty including forwards Patric Hornqvist, Marcus Johansson, and perhaps most notably, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. They also chose not to go with Ottawa’s Robin Lehner or Mika Zibanejad, Boston forward Carl Soderberg, Detroit’s Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist, Nashville’s Viktor Stalberg or Toronto’s Carl Gunnarsson.

Here’s the Swedish roster in full:

Goaltenders: Jhonas Enroth, Jonas Gustavsson, Henrik Lundqvist.

Defensemen: Alexander Edler, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall, Johnny Oduya, Henrik Tallinder.

Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Backstrom, Patrik Berglund, Jimmie Ericsson, Loui Eriksson, Johan Franzen, Carl Hagelin, Marcus Kruger, Gabriel Landeskog, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Jakob Silfverberg, Alexander Steen, Henrik Zetterberg.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Sweden won’t end up with both of the Sedin twins. Henrik is sidelined and has been replaced with Marcus Johansson. Sweden also lost Johan Franzen and consequently swapped him out with one of his Detroit Red Wings teammates, Gustav Nyquist.

  1. lowenni - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Very talented roster. As the article said, I think Lundqvist is the x-factor. I have them finishing 2nd or 3rd, just a very well rounded roster. The thing I love about the Swedish development of players is they always produce well-rounded, smooth, top-end talent. Look at Backstrom, Zetterberg, Landeskog, and Steen. All great two way forwards who can score with aplomb. I also just love the idea of Ekman-Larsson and Karlsson on a line…

    • thailer35 - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Agreed, an Ekman-Larsson/Karlsson pairing would be so much fun to watch. They could make people forget all about the old Weber/Suter pairing.

  2. charastein - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Evil twins make great meatballs. Film at 11.

  3. xdj511 - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Well maybe Hank will find his game in the olympics. Hopefully the Swedes will manage to keep the breakaways to a minimum since Hank has apparently forgotten how to stop them.

  4. beelza - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    With Zetterberg and Alfredsson, two of the best 2-way players on the planet. The Swedes will need it.

  5. blomfeld - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    HEJA SVERIGE !!! :)

    • sportsfan69 - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      Classic! Nice selection of music conrad.

      • blomfeld - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:29 PM

        hello friend !

        true story: I went to Agnetha’s house (Lidingö) back in ’81 when my Swedish ex and I were vacationing in the Stockholm area … she wasn’t home and so I had to settle for a photo in her front yard ! … needless to say, my Swedish ex wasn’t very pleased with me at the time ! :)

  6. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Are the goalie equipment rules for the Olympics the same as the NHL?

  7. hockeydon10 - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    I’m going to say this is the gold medal team. They really look as loaded as Canada and USA.

    Of course it’s an easy prediction to make because one man’s opinion doesn’t mean that much plus I really have nothing to lose by saying it.

  8. micasa81 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    That’s gonna be a hard team to play against. Chock full of hard-working, 2-way forwards, and what a blueline. I can’t bet against Canada or the USA for 1-2, but this lineup looks more balanced than Russia’s and deeper than Finland’s. Bronze is what I expect for Sweden, but gold or silver wouldn’t be a surprise at all.

  9. elvispocomo - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Surprised about Hedman as it appears he’s having a great year, but perhaps someone who watches him more closely can point to why he’d be left out.

    A little less surprised about Lehner since the other choices are ok, but with Lehner being a future starter (potentially) for Sweden I’m not sure how they wouldn’t try and bring him in for the experience at least.

  10. budzo83 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Completely baffled as to why Jonathan Ericsson makes this team and Hedman doesn’t. Comparable +/- (edge to Ericsson), comparable minutes (edge to Hedman), but a much better offensive upside to Hedman who plays on the PP as well as the PK. The eyeball test also goes to Hedman who looks much more comfortable with the puck and makes a good first pass out of the zone. Ericsson struggles with the latter and has a history of caughing up the puck/commiting turnovers/mental mistakes (see: puck over glass, delay of game) at critical junctures of a game.

    I don’t really have a horse in this race; Team USA supporter and not a fan of Wings or Bolts. I just happen to think that Ericsson is a bit over-rated in Detroit and it wasn’t as though a better option available in Hedman. With that said, here’s to hoping for a costly Ericsson turnover against USA.

    • hockeydon10 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      As a Wings fan, I can’t disagree with you. Ericsson has been better this year, but that’s still a questionable decision.

  11. 19to77 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Ericsson and Tallinder over Hedman and Gunnarson? A little odd. Expected Lehner too, but that’s not really much of a snub in my mind. Just mildly surprising. Still, this roster is stacked as hell, especially in terms of defensive talent both at forward and defense. If Hank is on his game this team’s going to be a nightmare to score on.

  12. sportsfan69 - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    Unfortunately for the Swedes their goaltending will be their downfall. Unless they start Jhonas Enroth or Jonas Gustavsson.

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