Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson was 15 years old when he watched Sweden win the gold medal at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Eight years later, he still remembers the goal that set off celebrations throughout his homeland. "I remember the drop pass from [Mats] Sundin to [Peter] Forsberg to one-timer [Nicklas] Lidstrom," Karlsson recalled when asked about the deciding goal in the championship game against Finland. "[Cross]bar-in, pretty much. The save in the end by [goaltender Henrik] Lundqvist. That's probably what I remember the most." Karlsson, now 23, will be making his first Olympic appearance for Sweden. He knows the competition will be stiff in Sochi when round-robin play starts on Feb. 12. "I think there are a lot of teams that have pretty good teams, and we're definitely one of them," Karlsson said. "We have a lot of guys that have been around for a while and even won in the past. We have some younger guys that have been playing really good lately and we've got solid goaltending, and we should expect nothing else than to go to the gold-medal game." Sweden joins gold-medal favorites Canada, Russia and the United States as those with the most pressure to win, but Karlsson doesn't see it that way. "Canada obviously is always under very high pressure," said Karlsson, the 2012 Norris Trophy winner. "If they don't win [gold, then they didn't] do good; that's pretty much how it's always been and how it always will be. Russia is playing at home, and they've got a really good team as well. They expect nothing else from those guys either.
Karlsson confident in Swedes' hopes for gold at Sochi
NHL.com | Feb 5