Sweden is coming off their gold-medal winning performance in 2006 as somewhat of an underdog, with all of the media's attention being paid to the Russians and the Canadians. The Swedish Olympic team, though, does have its fair share of talent and could be a contender for a medal.
If one thing is certain, it's that Sweden is going to ride the play of Henrik Lundqvist, whether good or bad. Lundqvist was 5-1 in the 2006 Olympics with a 2.33 GAA. Expect him to play the bulk of the minutes with both Gustavsson and Liv having very little international experience, especially at the Olympic level.
The Swedish defense is good. They have a lot of experience with Lidstrom and Ohlund who have played in three Olympics a piece and great talent with Enstrom, Kronwall, and Johansson. They will have to be good if they are going to have to rely on one goaltender.
Daniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Backstrom, Loui Eriksson, Peter Forsberg, Tomas Holmstrom, Patric Hornqvist, Fredrik Modin, Samuel Pahlsson, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Mattias Weinhandl, Henrik Zetterberg
The story with the forwards have to be the inclusion of Peter Forsberg. Forsberg has not played an NHL game in two seasons but has resurrected his career with Modo. The Swedes have a fair share of scoring talent with the Sedin twins, and Alfredsson and Zetterberg and will be a force on the scoresheet. The main question is how many of these players are going to make it to Vancouver and how effective are they going to be? Alfredsson will be out for the next six weeks, Zetterberg has had his fair share of injuries this season and Forsberg has dealt with foot problems for the last two seasons.
While the Swedes are the defending gold medalists, they will have an uphill battle. They have a solid defense, but they will have to rely on the health of their forwards and hope that Henrik Lundqvist does not hit a cold streak in the games. Sweden will compete for a medal, although its unlikely that the medal will be gold.