The defending Olympic champions come into the 2010 Olympics ranked 3rd.
Sweden will be looking to repeat their 2006 performance. They seem to have a Gold, bronze or 5th place mentality when it comes to the Olympics in recent years. They havent finished in a spot other than those three places since 1972. 2 golds, 3 bronze, 3 5th place finishes in that time.
The team will be coming in with a legitimate star studded team that could include the likes of Peter Forsberg if his comeback over in Sweden is coming along as well as he hopes it is. With the Sedin twins, Alfredsson & Zetterberg rounding out the top offensive units, you can expect them to be able to play a run & gun game with any country out there.
In goal, all world star Henrik Lundqvist will be front & centre. The back up role will likely go to NHLer Johan Hedberg. The 3rd string goalie may be NHLer Gustavsson if he is healthy enough to play, but its more than likely going to a SEL goalie, perhaps Markstrom.
On defense they have Nick Lidstrom. Do you really need more? Some of their younger guys like Enstrom, Edler & Stralman have all had terrific years & make their d-core much stronger than it might have been even a year ago.
Henrik Lundqvist- NEW YORK RANGERS (NHL) The top goalie in Sweden is undoubtedly Lundqvist. He'll be given the number 1 spot & even if he stumbles, its unlikely he'll be replaced.
Mikael Tellqvist- KAZAN AK-BARS/LUKKO RAAMA (KHL/FINLAND) A former NHL back up, Mikael started the year in the KHL did well there, but recently moved to Finland to play. I originally had Johan Hedberg in this spot, only to find out he isnt eligible for the tournament.
Jacob Markstrom- BRYNAS IF GAVLE (SEL) Barring injuury, Markstrom is probably just here to watch the tournament.
Nick Lidstrom- DETROIT RED WINGS (NHL) 6 Norros Trophies. Enough said.
Niklas Kronwall- DETROIT RED WINGS (NHL) If hes healthy enough, hes in for sure.
Tobias Enstrom- ATLANTA THRASHERS (NHL) Having an exceptional year offensively. Tobias will very likely be seen as a QB for the PP.
Alex Edler- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) Having the best year of his career so far, Alex has a minor injury right now, but is expected back in plenty of time for the Olympics. Will be primarily 2nd unit ES & PP.
Anton Stralman- COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (NHL) Another player having an exceptional career year, Anton will get some PP time & probable 3rd unit ES time.
Niklas Hjalmarsson- CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (NHL) Expect him out there on most PK situations & ES.
Henrik Tallinder- BUFFALO SABRES (NHL) If the are looking for more defensive responsibility, Tallinder might draw in ahead of Stralman. Another PK option.
Daniel Sedin- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) After an early season injury that kept him out 6 wks, he has returned with a vengeance & has helped his twin brother vault near the top of the leagues scoring leaders.
Henrik Sedin- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) Right now 3rd in the entire NHL in pts. Henrik showed he isnt just an exceptional passer this season, but capable of scoring too. His brother & him will be 2/3 of the top line.
Nicklas Backstrom- WASHINGTON CAPITALS (NHL) One of the top players on one of the top teams, Nicklas has cemented himself as a probable number 2 centre. Only question will be if Forsberg is handed that spot instead.
Daniel Alfredsson- OTTAWA SENATORS (NHL) Whether its Forsberg or Backstrom, Alfie will be the other top end scorer on the 2nd line.
Henrik Zetterberg- DETROIT RED WINGS (NHL) Probable top line linemate for the Sedin twins. Question right now with a recent injury. If it is long term, he might not be added.
Peter Forsberg- MODO ORNSKODLSVIK (SEL) Absolutely dominating the Swedish league since returning. Peter could be the #2 centre, if not he'll at the least have the 3rd line spot.
Tomas Holmstrom- DETROIT RED WINGS (NHL) One of the best 2 way players in teh game, Tomas will be looked upon for offensive support, and defensive responsibility. A 3rd line lock who could fill in 2nd line duties if someone struggles.
Loui Eriksson- DALLAS STARS (NHL) An offensive contributor, will likely get 3rd line duties here.
Samuel Pahlsson- CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (NHL) A checking forward who is a near lock for the teams checking line.
Mikael Samuelsson- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) I'm not sold on him being there, but due to a lack of other options (Bergfors ineligible & Franzen still injured) Samuelsson will probably make hiw way onto the team. If Franzen is healthy, he'll bump Samuelsson most likely.
Tom Wandell- DALLAS STARS (NHL) Will probably be another checking line addition with Pahlsson.
Mattias Weinhandl- MOSCOW DYNAMO (KHL) Strong contributor in the KHL offensively, Mattias might sneak into a top line spot with the Sedins where he has played & had success before.
Tony Martensson- LINKOPING HC (SEL) The top scorer in the SEL, Tony will probably be here more for image in Sweden than actual playing time. Might get into the line up, but will more likely be scratched most nights.
maybe- Jonas Gustavsson, Johan Holmqvist, Viktor Hedman, Doug Murray, David Petrasek, Johan Franzen.
One of my most detested teams was in town. Bringing with them the rotting feces underbelly of hockey like Sean Avery & Donald Brashear. Two of the most pathetic losers to ever become contracted pro athletes. Even with shedding underachieving whiner Markus Naslund, this is still one of the most detested bunch of people ever.
So maybe this is why I didnt do well with them as a whole, I didnt like them....or, perhaps its because the team has too much ego?
HENRIK LUNDQVIST- 2 autographs. Still an ok signer, Henrik has become much harder than the happy to sign star he was last time he was here. He how treats it like a chore & Theres only a 70-30 chance you'll get him if the crowd is more than 6 or 8 people. Still, for a team full of unenthusiastic signers, he was ok.
STEVE VALIQUETTE- 0 autographs. I was impressed to hear he signed for a handful of people. This was a HUGE step up from the non-signing (WHAT?) career back up, lucky to have a job goalie that was here last time. He still didnt sign a lot though & didnt seem to go out of his way to do it.
MICHAEL DEL ZOTTO- 2 autographs. Quite accomodating. One of the brighter lights with the team. Michael generally seemed willing to do multiples, even in moderate sized groups. Once the group gets too large though he does trim back to 1 understandably, and the signature, which is already abbreviated, becomes even moreso.
WADE REDDEN- 2 autographs. His last couple years in Ottawa he had soured on signing some. Seems the sourness has worn off, he was once again willing to do multiple items.
MICHAL ROZSIVAL- 1 autograph. Didnt generally go out of his way to accomodate, but if you caught his attention & could get infront of him, he would do it. Not terrible, but certainly didnt look thrilled to do it.
DAN GIRARDI- 0 autographs. Had nothing for him, but can tell you he was more than willing to sign multiple items without hesitation.
MARC STAAL- 1 autograph. Didnt seem overly thrilled to sign, but put in a 1/2 assed effort after practice the day of the game to get everyone. Outside of them, he did seem to put in an effort to not sign.
MATT GILROY- 2 autographs. Willingly signed multiple items.
MARIAN GABORIK- 2 autographs. Started off good, but cooled quick. On gameday he claimed he signed "Thousands" for me the day before. Apparently "thousands" is Slovak for "2". Nowhere near as good as he was in his Minnesota days.
VACLAV PROSPAL- 0 autographs. Was only sporadically asked, and willingly did it when asked.
BRANDON DUBINSKY- 1 autograph. Jekyl & Hyde. One interaction he was fine & respectful, next interaction he was evasive & griping about people asking him.
ENVER LISIN- 2 autographs. Happily did multiples.
ARTEM ANISOMOV- 3 autographs. Willing to do multiples still for now.
CHRIS DRURY- 2 autographs. Usually always friendly. Chris had a touch of Jekyl & Hyde this trip. Pleasant & did multiples day before. But game day he was non-responsive & beelined for the bus.
CHRIS HIGGINS- 0 autographs. For such an average player he certainly carries the attitude of a multiple time all-star. Signed a few, but more often than not, avoided signing where he could.
BRIAN BOYLE- 2 autographs. Very nice, did multiples without hesitation.
DONALD BRASHEAR- 1 autograph. I literally couldnt believe he signed. I mean its not impossible, he has signed other trips. But hes generally non-responsive to such requests. Still an utter trash scrawl of a signature.
AARON VOROS, DAN BYERS, PA PARENTEAU, ALES KOTALIK, RYAN CALLAHAN & EUNICH AVERY- no reports
Total autographs for NY Rangers- 21
+ 1 Luongo autograph
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From time to time I have something to say on hockey. Whether its the Vancouver Canucks, NHL in general, Womens Hockey or International Hockey...if I have something to post, it will be in here.