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Sweden’s Nicklas Backstrom a late scratch for gold medal game

Feb 23, 2014, 7:07 AM EDT

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 14: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of Sweden handles the puck in the second period against Switzerland during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group C game on day seven of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Getty Images

Sweden’s offense has been dealt another major blow. Nicklas Backstrom was initially included on the team’s lineup for the gold medal game against Canada, but he didn’t participate in the pregame warmups and has now officially been scratched, per the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.

Defenseman Henrik Tallinder has been selected to fill the vacant lineup spot.

If Sweden wins the gold medal today, it will have been by overcoming some major injuries. In addition to missing Backstrom, Sweden is also playing without forwards Henrik Sedin, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg.

That being said, the Swedes can still challenge Canadian goaltender Carey Price with the likes of forwards Daniel Alfredsson, Alexander Steen, Loui Eriksson, and Daniel Sedin. Then there’s defenseman Erik Karlsson, who has been explosive in this tournament with four goals and four assists in five games. Canada will have to watch out for him.

  1. desertfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Crosby already unreal!!!

    • pensswag91 - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:22 AM

      So much great puck movement on both ends, both teams look ready!

  2. desertfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    If Crosby had a different winger than Berg we would be up 5

  3. desertfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    St Louis

    • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:51 AM

      Only 3 shifts in the 1st period and was very efficient.

      • desertfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:03 AM

        Rest my case- who is on Crosby line now??

      • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        I agree. But he was just one with Nash and Duchene and got a great scoring opportunity.

    • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:08 AM

      Gir-who?

  4. rockthered1286 - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    All hail Crosby! he is God and it’s only everybody else’s fault when he’s kept off the scoreboard!! Retire his number now so that nobody current or future can ever wear it! Every major Canadian city must build a Crosby statue in town made of pure gold!! All baby’s born in the 2014 calendar year must be named Sidney whether male or female!! May all the refs now down to his greatness when he graces them with his presence on the ice!!

    Did I miss anything?

    • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      LOL! Did you see how he played the puck out of mid-air and setup Bergeron on a 2 on 1? He took his eyes of the puck while it was in mid-air to survey the landscape before knocking it down.

      BTW, I expect St. Louis to score today. He’s finally playing with Kunitz and Crosby as I advocated he should even before he was officially asked replace Stamkos.

      • isithockeyseasonyet - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        Don’t you get tired of being such a tool Joey? I advocate you get out of your moms basement and stop tugging it to pics of cindy crosby

      • joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        This just in directly from my mom’s basement; “Joey knows hockey” ;-)

        BTW, mom won’t let me out, and it’s dark down here.

    • theageofquarrel - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      Yeah you did!!! That sweet breakaway goal he just scored!!! Crying Craps fan

      • rockthered1286 - Feb 24, 2014 at 8:35 AM

        You know who else had a goal and 2 assists in the Olympics? About 15 other players. Including Ovechkin. Crying? Nah… just enjoying the fact that people treat this man like a God even when he has zero production. Shows up finally in the last game on an unforced turnover and scores (which he should on a breakaway, not denying that) and suddenly it’s GOAT all over again…

  5. joey4id - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Not a very good defensive period by Canada. Sweden has to close the gap between their d and o in the neutral zone. Playing the stretch pass is only giving 3 on 2s for Canada.

    Where are the fans who were criticizing the player selection? Especially those who specifically called out Carter’s selection. I’ve only seen 4 periods of Canada’s game and it’s easy to see that he’s has been very efficient.

  6. coldplay519 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    The Score is reporting he tested positive for a banned substance and was pulled from the lineup.

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