Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Sochi 2014 Olympic Hockey Preview: Team Norway

team_norway

For the last month we have been previewing the teams that will be competing in the men’s ice hockey tournament at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. You’ve seen the best, now see the rest! Today’s team is a hockey country on the rise. Team Norway has outplayed Germany on the world stage in the last few years, despite a much smaller population (about 5 million) and less of a hockey history. No word yet on if their uniforms will be inspired by Norway’s curling team in 2010

Round robin opponents

Norway will compete in group B with Canada, Finland and Austria.

How they got here

As one of the top nine countries in the IIHF world rankings, Norway received an automatic spot in the Olympic tournament. They were able to achieve this ranking with some notable upsets in the last few World Championships. They beat the Czech Republic in 2010 and Sweden in 2011 (they also narrowly lost 3-2 to Canada). In the 2012 World Championships they beat up on the minnows of the hockey world. They beat Italy (6-2), Latvia (3-0), Germany (12-4) and Denmark (6-2). While they didn’t beat any of the super powers in 2012, they were respectable in every game, losing to Sweden (3-1), Russia (4-2 & 5-2) and the Czech Republic (4-3). So watch out for Norway, they are certainly capable of a lot more than most hockey fans might think.

Notable players

Forward Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers is the only Norweigan playing in the NHL. Zuccarello will be counted on to score for the Norweigans, as will former Philadelphia Flyer, Patrick Thoresen, who led the Norweigans in points in the 2012 World Championships (he had 18 points in 8 games!). Some other names you may recognize are former NHL defencemen Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and Jonas Holos.

Outlook

I have been very complimentary to the Norweigans thus far, but they will have a tough time beating any of the world hockey powers. Their group sets up well for them, as they enter as the third ranked team, ahead of Austria. If they can take care of business against Austria, they will still need a major upset in the round robin or the qualification round in order to make the quarterfinals. For the Norweigans, this is another step in the development of their program and proving that they can hang with the world’s elite should be considered a success.

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

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.