Team Sweden sticks to a proven formula with Olympic roster

Sweden decided to stick with familiar names and a veteran squad as 13 players from the team that won gold in Turin four years ago again grace the roster for Team Sweden as they attempt to defend their gold in Vancouver next year.

The dynamic Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, head up the offense on a roster that also includes  former NHL All-Star Peter Forsberg (pictured), who currently plays in the Swedish Elite League. Forsberg has dealt with foot problems in recent years but decided to make a comeback attempt earlier this year iOlympics+Day+16+Ice+Hockey+1yUpk-LJVTTln Swedin.

Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg brings a strong two-way presence to the team. Known for strong offensive play, Zetterberg plays a strong defensive game as well and is often called upon to shut down the oppositions top talent. Teammate Tomas Holmstrom will work his magic in front of the net for Sweden as well.

Rounding out the offensive threat are set-up man Nicklas Backstrom, who currently has 15 goals and 30 assists for the Washington Capitals, and Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who currently sits on the IR with a separated shoulder but should be fine in time for the Olympic break.

Veteran defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and Mattius Ohlund highlight the defensive selections in addition to the always-dangerous Niklas Kronwall and up-and-comer Tobias Enstrom, who has tallied 26 assists and a plus-7 rating this season with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Henrik Lundqvist will most likely carry much of the load in goal. He will be backed up by Stefan Liv, who also played on the 2006 team, and by first-time Olympian Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson, one of the most sought-after free agents from this past summer due to an uncanny mixture of size and agility.

Nineteen of the 23 selections for Team Sweden currently play in the NHL. The Sedin Twins will certainly play together, and Tomas Holmstrom would be a perfect fit to play in front of the net on a line with Henrik and Daniel. If healthy, Zetterberg and Alfredsson should both provide strong on-ice play on both ends of the rink. Forsberg could be a gamble, but he stated that his past foot problems are currently not an issue. If that is true, Forsberg could be one of the most dangerous players on the ice night in and night out. Lundqvist is a solid goaltender, but he has played a majority of the games for for Rangers this season, and for past seasons, and fatigue may become an issue if he is relied upon too heavily to carry the load.

Veteran leadership and players who work hard at both ends of the rink stock Sweden’s roster and will give them a great chance to grab gold again in Vancouver.

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