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Preview and projection: Sweden

With Lundqvist in goal, Tre Kronor a strong choice to take home the gold

Updated: January 22, 2014, 10:16 AM ET
By Timo Seppa | Hockey Prospectus

Olympic Previews: USA | Canada | Russia | Sweden
Finland | Czech Republic | Slovakia | The Rest

The bronze medalist in 2002, Team Sweden bested rival Finland for the gold medal in 2006, powered by its usual stacked lineup and the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist, easily the NHL's top netminder of the past decade. For Sochi, although a host of familiar and new stars will wear the Tre Kronor, the surprising question mark centers on Lundqvist, who has thus far put up the worst numbers of his career in the 2013-14 season.

By quantifying each team's players by their recent performances over the past two "partial" seasons -- meaning the 48 games of the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign combined with the 40-plus games in the books for 2013-14 -- we have come up with top-level projections for each squad, ranking them on offense, defense and goaltending as well as overall.

The metric of choice, as usual, is Hockey Prospectus' goals versus threshold (GVT). Team Sweden, at 2.5 GVT per game, is comparable to an elite NHL team. An average NHL team registers 1.5 GVT per game.

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