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Sochi 2014 Olympic Hockey Preview: Team Switzerland

Swiss

As we start to wind down our previews of the top contenders taking part in the Sochi Olympics, I tackle my toughest task: projecting Team Switzerland.

Recent History

Switzerland finished 8th in Vancouver and were eliminated by the United States in the quarterfinals. Switzerland’s last medal was a bronze all the way back in 1948. Switzerland is a hockey nation on the rise. They beat Canada and the Czech Republic in the 2006 Olympics. In 2010, it took a shootout for Canada to beat them. In the World Championships this year, the Swiss won the silver medal.

Round Robin Opponents

The Swiss will be competing in group C along with Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Latvia.

Roster Prediction

Forwards

Suri Swiss

The Swiss are young and outmatched up front. Much of the old guard from past Olympics looks to be stepping aside for a new generation of Swiss forwards to take the reins. The bulk of the scoring should fall on a trio of young NHL forwards: Sven Baertschi, Damien Brunner, and Nino Niederreiter. Also leading the charge for the Swiss will be long time national team member Martin Pluss, who will likely be competing in his final Olympics. Former Lightning draft pick Luca Cunti and Preds farm hand Simon Moser also look to be big pieces of the Switzerland attack. The Swiss have a few promising young forwards, but are clearly outgunned against every major contender in the tournament.

Sven Baertschi – Martin Pluss – Damien Brunner

Nino Niederreiter – Luca Cunti – Simon Moser

Denis Hollenstein – Andres Ambuhl – Roman Wick

Morris Trachsler – Julian Walker – Reto Suri

Thibaut Monnet

Julien Sprunger

Defence

Streit Swiss

The Swiss back end should be the strength of the team. Led by Flyers rearguard Mark Streit, Switzerland has a decent defence that should fly under the radar when stacked up against the more prominent countries in the tournament. Along with Streit, NHLers Raphael Diaz, Roman Josi, and Luca Sbisa will be locks for the team and should provide the Swiss with a stable top 4 on their back end. The defense is rounded out by a couple of Swiss League stars, Mathias Seger and Severin Blindenbacher.

Raphael Diaz – Roman Josi

Mark Streit – Luca Sbisa

Mathias Seger – Severin Blindenbacher

Yannick Weber

Patrick Von Gunten

Goaltending

Vancouver Olympics Ice Hockey

If healthy, Jonas Hiller will be the undisputed number one for team Switzerland, and should keep them competitive. Fighting for the backup job to Hiller will be Flames goalie Reto Berra and former Stars goalie Tobias Stephan. If Hiller is indeed good to go come February, the Swiss have stable goaltending. If he’s not healthy, it could become a bit of a disaster.

Jonas Hiller

Reto Berra

Tobias Stephan

Most likely to get snubbed

There are a few long standing members of team Switzerland that look to be passed over this time around, most notably Sandy Jeannin, who was an assistant captain for Switzerland in 2010. Another notable that will likely get left off the team is former NHL netminder Martin Gerber.

Outlook

The Swiss are always surprisingly competitive, and that will not change in Sochi. They still, however, lack the talent to be a medal threat. They will ultimately surprise one of the top contenders by making them play a game closer than it should be, or even by winning, and that will be a victory in and of itself for the Swiss.

Other Roster Previews:

November 11: Russia

November 12: USA

November 13: Sweden

November 14: Czech Republic

November 18: Slovakia

November 19: Switzerland

November 20: Finland

November 21: Canada

November 26: Latvia

November 28: Austria

December 2: Norway

December 3: Slovenia

Follow Tyler Wilde on Twitter @WildeCanucks

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7 Response to Sochi 2014 Olympic Hockey Preview: Team Switzerland

  1. Will Swiss Hockey Make an Impact at Sochi? | Thrive Sports on December 4, 2013

    […] Read More at robthehockeyguy.com […]

    Reply
  2. Marc on January 7, 2014

    Big disapointement for sven beartchi! He is not even in the team this year and you put him in first line !! He is too young but a real good prospect for the next olympics

    Reply
  3. Marc on January 7, 2014

    Watch out for swiss team this year they look bad on paper but they play as a team not like the unselfish russian!!!

    Reply
  4. Roman on January 13, 2014

    Hiller won the last 14 match he played with Anaheim… How many victory do we need to be olympic champion ?

    More seriously we're not Canada or Russia but since our silver medal in WM last spring, each swiss player is preparing the olympic tournament (some decline NHL offer for this year in order to build the team…)

    Be sure that every team thinking it's going to be easy again Switerland is going to loose his pride ^^

    The swiss team is the best I have ever seen and if the system works in Sochi as it did during the last world championship, even a medal is possible. We just need a hero in front of the net, but we have three grat goalies so…

    Reply
  5. jimi on January 19, 2014

    Roman will definitly be our fist D Man and have a close look on Suri, he's going to play for the Lighning next year.

    Anyway our won't be on the ice but on the bench… If you don't believe me have a look on this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86nSPvDmHGw

    Reply
    • Roman on January 19, 2014

      …Our ace of spades I mean… Sorry

      Reply
  6. Sven on February 4, 2014

    I actually think Switzerland will be the gold medal winner, and they will win it against Sweden. Both of these teams are wayyyy more complete than Russia and Canada (Canada won't be cohesive at all, lacks veteran experience and has Roberto Luongchoke and Carey Choke for netminders (And Smith is either hot or not hot at all) , and Russia has a few superstars but a terrible overall team IMO). The Swiss has the second strongest D brigade after Sweden, but I like to give the underdog the win in this case. The only other big threat to the Swiss are the Americans, but they don't practice much on the international ice.

    My predictions are:

    Gold: Switzerland
    Silver: Sweden
    Bronze: Finland
    Bronze runner-up: United States.

    Reply

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