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Sweden must fill void on blue line with Edler injury

by Brian Compton

The rosters for the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be announced shortly, but Sweden still has time to make adjustments in an attempt to improve off its fifth-place finish in 2010.

While it's unlikely there will be anything surprising or drastic, injuries could force unforeseen changes.

For instance, Sweden received some bad news earlier this month when Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler sustained an undisclosed injury that will keep him out indefinitely. Edler, who was projected to be in Sweden's top six, has not played since Dec. 3. takes a closer look at who is likely to represent Sweden at the Olympics.

Daniel Sedin Henrik Sedin Loui Eriksson
Gabriel Landeskog Henrik Zetterberg Alexander Steen
Johan Franzen Nicklas Backstrom Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin Patrik Berglund Daniel Alfredsson
Jimmie Eriksson Marcus Johansson

This remains the group of players who should be chosen. Sweden will possess plenty of scoring ability, which will be necessary as it goes up against the likes of Canada and Russia.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson Erik Karlsson
Jonas Brodin Niklas Kronwall
Victor Hedman Niklas Hjalmarsson
Johnny Oduya

Edler's absence leaves a void on Sweden's blue line, one that is likely to be filled by Hjalmarsson, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks. Oduya gets the nod over Douglas Murray for his ability to create offense and he can play on the power play, if needed.

Henrik Lundqvist Robin Lehner Jhonas Enroth

Lundqvist hasn't put up the numbers we've come to expect from him this season with the New York Rangers (10-15-2, 2.77 goals-against average, .905 save percentage), but he undoubtedly remains Sweden's No. 1 goaltender. Of course, Sweden would like to see Lundqvist's numbers improve as he attempts to be on top of his game in February.


If Edler is unable to participate, it opens the door for Oduya, who has represented Sweden at the Olympics in 2010. The 32-year-old has two goals and eight assists in 40 games this season for the Chicago Blackhawks.

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