An eye toward Vancouver, 2.0

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Last year about this time, we projected what the rosters for the top seven hockey-playing countries would look like for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics (and reposted it in October). Well, now is a pretty good time to take a second look at those roster projections and make any necessary adjustments.

Instead of doing all seven teams (eight counting a Canada “B” team) in one gargantuan blog post, we are doing this over the course of a few days. We’ve covered the Czech Republic and Slovakia — up today is the great country of Finland, which is always a bit of a wild card in these tournaments.

FINLAND

Forwards

Niklas Hagman-Mikko Koivu-Teemu Selanne

Jussi Jokinen-Olli Jokinen-Tuomo Ruutu

Sean Bergenheim -Saku Koivu-Antti Miettinen

Vile Leino-Valtteri Filppula-Jere Lehtinen

Lauri Korpikoski-Jarkko Ruutu

Defensemen

Kimmo Timonen-Sami Salo

Joni Pitkanen-Ville Koistenen

Toni Lydman-Teppo Numminen

Ossi Vaananen

Goaltenders

Mikka Kiprusoff

Niklas Backstrom

Pekka Rinne

Skinny: There is enough talent here to win a quarterfinal game and get into the medal conversation. The big questions are Kiprusoff or Backstrom in net and how much will the smaller ice be a detriment? There could be three sets of brothers on this team, and that’s leaving off the Kapanen boys. There are some old guys who could pass on playing (Selanne, Numminen, Lehtinen) but if they aren’t out-muscled on the NHL ice a silver repeat of 2006 isn’t out of the question if they pick the right goaltender.

Monday: It is Big Four time, and first up is Tre Kronor (that’s the team Nicklas Backstrom will play for).

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