Team Sweden has only medaled twice in the last seven years, and it’s been nine years since they won gold. In 2018, when they won a silver medal, captain Lias Andersson threw his into the crowd. Can this team end the frustration?
Simon Edvinsson (Red Wings) must control the play. Let everything start with him. He’s so calm with the puck, and his short-handed goal against Russia derailed them. He’s going to pile up the points, so make them count. Make sure he’s out on the ice as much as possible for every important moment.
Alexander Holtz (Devils) must get the puck on the power play. He has the best shot on the team and is one of the best in the tournament. His sliding one-timer on the 5-on-3 against Russia emphasized what kind of a weapon this winger can be and his two points showed that. The same goes for 5-on-5, get him the puck. He needs to shoot. You can’t score if you don’t have the puck.
Emil Andrae (Flyers) is the key cog on the power play and walked away with two points against Russia. Edvinsson can play the power play, and he was on the top unit, but when he crossed over and gave the puck to Andrae, that’s where he shined. He scored on a very skillful wrist shot to make Russia pay on that 5-on-3. His skating has improved a lot, and besides being a good puck rusher, he’s now a weapon on the power play as well.
Oskar Olausson (Avs) scored on a sweet wrist shot on his power-play goal. He stepped into the shot short-side, and Holtz made a nice pass with William Eklund net-front. Olausson has been ascending over the past year and the player he is today is greatly improved over the player who was drafted 28th overall in 2021.
Helge Grans (Kings) played over 21 minutes. He was third on the team, and he had two points – – quietly done. Grans skates great and makes plays at speed, and many times you don’t notice him out there, and that’s a good thing. This tournament is won with defense and goaltending. Jesper Wallstedt is one of the best, but only if his defenseman transports the puck up the ice after a save or two.
Don’t count Sweden out over past failures. Look at the team they have today, and let’s see what they can accomplish.
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