For the second straight game, Sweden won’t be facing the opponent’s No. 1 goalie.
According to multiple sources (here, here and here), Switzerland will start Reto Berra against the Swedes on Friday, putting Jonas Hiller — who recorded a 21-save shutout against Latvia in the Olympic opener — in a reserve role.
Berra, 27, is in his first NHL season with Calgary and has played quite a bit, going 8-16-2 with a .896 save percentage and 3.02 GAA. But he’s clearly the second-best goalie on the Swiss roster, as Hiller has performed extremely well with Anaheim this season and for the national team in the past, including several quality outings at the ’10 Games in Vancouver.
As mentioned above, the decision to start Berra could have something to do with the opponent.
Sweden looks to be the powerhouse of Group C and jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead on the Czechs on Wednesday en route to a 4-2 victory. In that game, Czech head coach Alois Hadamczik opted to scratch Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec, only to later confirm that Pavelec was the team’s No. 1 goalie and was simply “rested” to adjust to the time zone change.
(A dubious claim, to say the least. Pavelec will play against Latvia on Friday.)
It’ll be interesting to see how Berra fares against the Swedes. He has shown an affinity for thriving in games with high shot totals — he stopped 42 of 44 in a win over Chicago and 43 of 47 against Winnipeg in a pair of wins earlier this season.