Swedes Time to Shine at the World Cup

StuWild writes- With the likes of Forsberg, Sundin, Lidstrom and Naslund, Team Sweden knows it can compete with the best the world has to offer and I look for them to win the World Cup which gets underway August 30th.

Sweden’s forwards are right up there with the other seven nations taking part in the competition.
Leading the way is Peter Forsberg, the Colorado Avalanche’s dynamic forward along with Mats Sundin, the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs who will also captain this Swedish squad. Now add Ottawa Senators’ captain Daniel Alfredsson and Markus Naslund, the captain of the Vancouver Canucks and you have a great start to the core that will lead this group of talented forwards. Naslund is joined by two other Canucks forwards, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, the twins. Then throw in Henrik Zetterberg of the Red Wings who adds speed and skill and Head Coach Hardy Nilsson will be able to create a couple of very formidable forward lines.

Sweden’s defensive corps are very strong, skilled and versatile, led by three-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings. Lidstrom’s tremendous all-around game makes him one of the most feared backliners in the game. Then you add in Kim Johnsson, Mattias Norstrom and Mattias Ohlund and you have a real solid top 4.

In goal, I think the Swedes will have a real tough decision to make. They can turn to a veteran in Tommy Salo who certainly has a lot to prove. The international veteran split last season between the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche. Their roster also posesses Mikael Tellqvist of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Henrik Lundqvist of Vastra Frolunda HC of the Swedish Elite League. He is a New York Rangers’ prospect.

I think that Nilsson should turn to either Tellqvist or Lundqvist rather than Salo who no question would have to be entering this tournament with a low self confidence. They can go with youth and then turn to the veteran later if needed.

The Swedes are always very strong in International play and I personally think this is their time.

Think of the top powerplay unit that this team can posess. Lidstrom and Alfredsson quarterbacking on the point. Sundin, Naslund and Forsberg up front. That’s scary!

Who’s your pick to win and why?