This should be a mismatch. Yet, because the Swedes only won by two goals (2-0) vs. Germany, the line remains reasonably low, relatively speaking. Let’s not forget that the Swedes are the defending champs and that they returned 13 players from that team. Also, keep in mind that they have six players on their roster who have won the Stanley Cup.
On the other hand, Belarus doesn’t have much talent at all. The Belarusion team lost its opener by a score of 5-1 (vs. Finland) and it could have easily been worse.
Captain Ruslan Salei acknowledged as much. He was quoted as saying: “If we don’t have a goalie, we don’t have no chance. It’s tough to compete with their skill level and pretty much everything else. Obviously, we don’t have that horsepower that they have.”
Making matters worse for the Belarusions, they’re playing without NHL players, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski, both out with injuries.
The defending champs got off to a slow start vs. the Germans but eventually got it together. Goalie Henrik Lundqvuist noted: “At the beginning of the game, we were nervous and anxious. But we didn’t panic…”
I expect them to put together a full effort here, winning with relative ease. Consider Sweden