2010 Olympic Hockey Rosters
If you looked at the 2010 Olympic hockey rosters before a game was played, the Russian team would’ve come away with the gold and the U.S. team would have failed to medal. That’s according to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) rankings before the Olympics. But, as they say, that is why you play the game. The surprising United States squad was one goal away from a gold medal, and the Russian team failed to medal and finished sixth. So now, after the fact and with perfect twenty-twenty hindsight, here are the best 2010 Olympic hockey rosters.
- Canada – The Canadian team looked off their game while playing in the preliminary round group (won easily by team U.S.A.) but they came storming back to win the gold medal by beating the Americans in a fantastic finale that was won with an overtime goal by the great Sidney Crosby. Jonathan Towes (from the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks) emerged as Canada’s best player and led the team in scoring. Duncan Keith and Shea Webber excelled as defensemen while Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Dany Heatley and Ryan Getzlaf added the scoring punch to go along with Towes. Roberto Luongo played solidly in goal and had a shutout.
- United States – The American team took home a surprising silver, but the gold was oh-so-close that the silver was a bit of a letdown. The team was led by the out-of-this-world goaltending of surprise star Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres. The Olympics MVP had a .946 save percentage that was the best of the tournament and his 1.35 goals against average was just .01 behind Sweden’s Henrik Lundqvist for first. Forward Zach Parise and defenseman Brian Rafalski provided the scoring punch and both made the tournament’s all-star team.
- Finland – Once again, the team from Finland exceeded expectations and took home a bronze medal. The steady goaltending of Miikka Kiprusoff helped lead the Fins to their third-place finish. The Fins also had a roster that included the 39-years-young Teemu Selanne and outstanding young forwards such as Miko Koivu and Valtteri Fippula. The team from Finland seems to surprise because they play more as a team than perhaps any other nation does. The roster isn’t comprised of huge stars, but of hardworking, talented teammates.
- Slovakia – Slovakia was way down at ninth in the IIHF rankings coming into the Olympics and just missed taking home the bronze medal. They were the surprise team of the Olympics, but closer inspection of their roster indicates that it wasn’t so surprising after all. Forward Pavol Demitra led the tourney in scoring with eleven points while fellow winger Marian Hossa (Chicago Blackhawks) was just a point behind and in second place with ten points scored. The high-powered offense of the Slovakia team enabled them to make a run at a medal.
- Sweden – The Swedes finished fifth in the 2010 Olympics and got that far largely on the superior goaltending of Nenrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers of the NHL). “King Henrik” posted two shutouts in leading Sweden to the quarterfinals in the medal round before succumbing to the Slovakian team. However, an aging roster of offensive players led by the great Peter Forsberg (now retired) couldn’t provide the offense to spark the Swedish team any further.