Sweden’s offense has been dealt another major blow. Nicklas Backstrom was initially included on the team’s lineup for the gold medal game against Canada, but he didn’t participate in the pregame warmups and has now officially been scratched, per the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.
Defenseman Henrik Tallinder has been selected to fill the vacant lineup spot.
If Sweden wins the gold medal today, it will have been by overcoming some major injuries. In addition to missing Backstrom, Sweden is also playing without forwards Henrik Sedin, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg.
That being said, the Swedes can still challenge Canadian goaltender Carey Price with the likes of forwards Daniel Alfredsson, Alexander Steen, Loui Eriksson, and Daniel Sedin. Then there’s defenseman Erik Karlsson, who has been explosive in this tournament with four goals and four assists in five games. Canada will have to watch out for him.
Reports from Sweden indicate a migraine…shades of Scottie Pippen circa 1990
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 23, 2014