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“Probably not in the playoffs,” Holland said. “If we did even make the playoffs, we would’ve been eliminated a long time ago.

“Nick and Hank are two of the best players in the world. [Holmstrom] is the best at what he does in front of the net. Franzen has scored 12 goals in the playoffs. Kronwall is one of the top young defenseman in the league.”

Those five players helped Sweden win gold two years ago at the Olympics.

Lidstrom — whose slap shot lifted his country to a 3-2 win over Finland — has a chance to add to his fame. He will be the first European captain to win a Stanley Cup if Detroit gets past Pittsburgh and will break a tie with Ray Bourque if he wins a sixth Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman as expected this summer.

“Nick is getting more and more attention after not getting the credit he deserves back home,” Franzen said. “He’s never got the headlines until after the Olympics, when he opened the Swedes’ eyes.

“Hank is a bigger target of the media because of his girlfriend. They’re the Swedish version of Beckham and Posh.”

Zetterberg laughed at the comparison to David and Victoria Beckham, saying he and Emma Andersson are much more low key.

“We don’t get followed like crazy here or back home,” Zetterberg said. “But she’s had her own TV show, so she’s known in public, too.”