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International Tournaments Discuss international tournaments such as the World Juniors, Olympic hockey, and Ice Hockey World Championships, as they take place; or discuss past tournaments.

Sweden, Dark Horse for Gold?

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Old
08-17-2013, 04:28 PM
  #1
Fataldogg
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Sweden, Dark Horse for Gold?

I've been looking at the potential Olympic Rosters, and I see the constant reference to Canada and USA taking the top two spots. I also see a lot of people claiming Russia won't be held from a medal in their home country.

But Sweden, traditionally a power house, seems to be getting overlooked.

I don't think there is anything separating Sweden from those top teams, and I think Sweden has equal chance of going all the way.

You're likely going to see quality young talent like Landeskog and Berglund play in the Olympics. You're going to have quality role players like Stalberg in the line up.

Despite Lidstrom's absence, I think Sweden's defensive core is really rounding out, with Karlsson (top-5 defense man in the NHL), and OEL (~ top-10 defense man in NHL) be injected into the line up, with players like Hedman coming off a solid season. Than you are going to have top notch veteran defense men like Edler, Kronwall, and Enstrom lead by example. I think their defensive core can head to head with any major team.

You're going to have some of the best elite talent in the world up front with Zetterberg, H. Sedin, D. Sedin, N. Backstrom, and quality depth players like Eriksson, and Franzen (Zetterberg, Eriksson, and Backstrom, all whom I view as top tier two way players).

And then you have Henrik Lundqvist in net, already a gold medalist knowing what it's like to play in the big games, is in his prime and widely considered the best in the business and therefore you can't put them at a disadvantage in net.

I think they have a great blend of elite veteran talent, elite youth, and an elite goaltender to anchor the back end, and I just view them as a force to be reckoned with.

Am I the only one who see's Sweden's influx of top young talent being a major X factor in this upcoming Olympics?

And I'm not from Sweden. I live in the USA. I'm just surprised how they can't be considered a top-3 favorite at this point. Honestly, if they don't get a medal with their team, I'd be shocked.

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08-17-2013, 04:32 PM
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I'm a Swede, so I'm probably biased, but I think Canada is the only team that will look better on paper.

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08-17-2013, 04:34 PM
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How the hell Sweden would be a considered a dark horse? They are one of the favourites. Dark horses are teams like Switzerland and Slovakia.

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08-17-2013, 04:38 PM
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I think the Swedes are really the favourites this year. Canada notoriously does very poorly on the big ice. See 1998 and 2006 where the team didn't even medal.

Russia is either sink or swim...with guys like OV and Malkin you would think they would be a lock for the medal rounds...but low and behold, they didn't make it in either.

I dont expect US to fair well either because of the big ice. The US are a great two way team that brings great goaltending and a defensive/physical aspect but lacks the high end skill that is typical of euro hockey. Brown, kes, Praise, etc are great players but they do lack finesse.

It will also be interesting to see how the US goalies stack uo against the wide angles of the big rink.

I expect Sweden, Finland and the Czechs to do especially well...but I wouldn't count out Switzerland either.

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08-17-2013, 04:38 PM
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Fataldogg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuomaz View Post
How the hell Sweden would be a considered a dark horse? They are one of the favourites. Dark horses are teams like Switzerland and Slovakia.
Simply because everyone is putting Sweden behind Canada, USA and Russia.

I think in the last poll on HF they finished a distant 4th behind those three teams.

Obviously they're a "favorite" but amongst the "favorites" they're on the outside looking in, at least that is the reception I've gotten from the fans on here.

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08-17-2013, 04:43 PM
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Flair Hay
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I think they're lineup is 2nd best in the tournament to Canada and they're my pick for Gold ATM.

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08-17-2013, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fataldogg View Post
Simply because everyone is putting Sweden behind Canada, USA and Russia.

I think in the last poll on HF they finished a distant 4th behind those three teams.

Obviously they're a "favorite" but amongst the "favorites" they're on the outside looking in, at least that is the reception I've gotten from the fans on here.
HF polls =/= reality. Sweden has a good chance as anyone to win it all. Even Finland or Czechs have a good chance to win gold. The definition of "dark horse" is a competitor or candidate who has little chance of winning, or who wins against expectations. So that closes every country in the top6.

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08-17-2013, 04:44 PM
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Sweden is the favourites for me to win.

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08-17-2013, 04:47 PM
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Fataldogg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuomaz View Post
HF polls =/= reality. Sweden has a good chance as anyone to win it all. Even Finland or Czechs have a good chance to win gold. The definition of "dark horse" is a competitor or candidate who has little chance of winning, or who wins against expectations. So that closes every country in the top6.
Fair enough.

Perhaps I should have made it "Sweden, Overlooked for the Gold?"

Technically they aren't a Dark Horse.

In that respect, what you initially posted would reign true. Switzerland is a team I always think has a chance to play spoiler and take a medal. They're always a tough team to beat.

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08-17-2013, 04:49 PM
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I think the Czechs are definitely the Dark Horse to do some damage, not Sweden.

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08-17-2013, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuomaz View Post
How the hell Sweden would be a considered a dark horse? They are one of the favourites. Dark horses are teams like Switzerland and Slovakia.
Pretty much this. Canada is the favorite, Sweden, US are probably 2and 3 then Czech, Slovakia, Russia, Finland in any order followed by Switzerland Germany and whoever else there might be.

Russia is a real wild card. They could medal or totally bomb out. Remember, this is a one game elimination tournament. Lose two games at the wrong time, team is out of medal contention.

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08-17-2013, 04:51 PM
  #12
that is unfortunate
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I wouldn't say they're a dark horse

1. Canada
2. USA
3. Sweden

4. Russia
5. Czech Republic
6. Finland
7. Slovakia

8. Switzerland

Those are the power rankings imo, bolded are interchangable


Last edited by that is unfortunate: 08-17-2013 at 05:05 PM.
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08-17-2013, 05:57 PM
  #13
stevo61
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In tournaments like this Sweden is never a dark horse, a hot goalie can steal it for you and Sweden has the best. Whenever I think of the top teams I think Canada, USA, Russia and Sweden all in the same group. I'd call teams like Finland or Switzerland (even though Canada seems to be the team they bring their best for) dark horses and maybe even Slovakia but they are all getting older and not really bringing up as much talent as before

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08-17-2013, 06:00 PM
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Paul4587
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Sweden should be the 2nd favorite and have easily the 2nd best team on paper, how on earth is that being a dark horse?

In my opinion the teams rank something like this:

Canada
Sweden

Russia
USA

Finland
Czech Republic
Slovakia
Switzerland

The rest

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08-17-2013, 07:21 PM
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tututooter21
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As a Canadian, I think Sweden will take it, Big ice is what separates them from Canada

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Old
08-17-2013, 07:32 PM
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Sweden is one of the favourites. In fact, since best on best with nhl players began in 1994, only Canada, Sweden, and a country that doesn't exist anymore (Hasek) have won gold.

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08-17-2013, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitlick View Post
Sweden is one of the favourites. In fact, since best on best with nhl players began in 1994, only Canada, Sweden, and a country that doesn't exist anymore (Hasek) have won gold.
Uh what? Best on best began in 98, and Czech Rep won that year. Russia , Finland and USA has also made the finals during those Olympics, anything can happen.

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08-17-2013, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by RedLeader View Post
Uh what? Best on best began in 98, and Czech Rep won that year. Russia , Finland and USA has also made the finals during those Olympics, anything can happen.
Finland has most medals in best vs best tournaments. But this year i have slim hopes for medal. But thats the feeling i have about every olympics.

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08-17-2013, 08:18 PM
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that is unfortunate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitlick View Post
Sweden is one of the favourites. In fact, since best on best with nhl players began in 1994, only Canada, Sweden, and a country that doesn't exist anymore (Hasek) have won gold.
Czechslovakia separated in 1993, cmon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomast View Post
Finland has most medals in best vs best tournaments. But this year i have slim hopes for medal. But thats the feeling i have about every olympics.
I don't see Finland winning a medal either, this is probably the weakest Finnish team since 98. 2018 should be a good year for the Finns though.


Last edited by that is unfortunate: 08-17-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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08-17-2013, 10:11 PM
  #20
ReginKarlssonLehner
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If Karlsson is at 100%

Sweden will win Gold.

That defense on the big ice will be unstoppable.

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08-17-2013, 11:19 PM
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TaLoN
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Nothing Dark about Sweden's horse. They're my pick for Gold. They're easily a top 2 favorite.

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08-18-2013, 08:55 AM
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LiveeviL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReginKarlssonLehner View Post
If Karlsson is at 100%

Sweden will win Gold.

That defense on the big ice will be unstoppable.
One can argue that Sweden got the best core of D-men overall and also the best starting goalie. The problem is that most of the D-men are bets in their offensive role. Sweden drop a bit taken pure defensive capability. Anyway, Sweden have never been able to muster such a good core of D-men ever in history even if the forward side have been stronger before.

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08-18-2013, 11:40 AM
  #23
Lollipop
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Sweden, dark horse for gold? No way! Sweden is the favorite for the gold IMO.

The hockey sites are dominated by North Americans. As HF for example. They vote for their own teams. This doesn't mean that they are bigger faves than Sweden.

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08-18-2013, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollipop View Post
Sweden, dark horse for gold? No way! Sweden is the favorite for the gold IMO.

The hockey sites are dominated by North Americans. As HF for example. They vote for their own teams. This doesn't mean that they are bigger faves than Sweden.
If you want the black and white favorite without bias there's no need to look further than the bookies.

Right now it looks something like this:
Canada, Russia
Sweden
USA
Czech Republic, Finland

Slovakia, Switzerland

Norway
Latvia

Austria, Slovenia

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08-18-2013, 12:44 PM
  #25
Mehar
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The reality is that 6 teams have a shot at Gold. Sweden winning the Gold is not a crazy thing. Any of the Big 6 Hockey Teams can make a case for Gold, especially with Sweden's stellar Goalie manning the pipes.

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