For the most part, the preliminary round of men’s hockey in the 2014 Sochi Olympics has gone as expected. Teams like Canada, Sweden, and the United States of America have not lost, meanwhile Norway and Latvia are winless.
One team that has shocked many is team Switzerland. The Swiss are 2-1 in their three games thus far. Their first win came against Latvia, which is not too impressive, but their second win was against the Czech Republic. The Czechs are a dangerous bunch with good offensive talent, but the Swiss pulled out a 1-0 win against them.
Switzerland has only lost to Sweden and the loss was a nail biter. They lost 1-0 to a gold medal contending team in the Swedes. The fact that they stayed competitive with a terrific team like Sweden says a lot about the Swiss.
In their wins, Switzerland has not run away with the games. In fact, all their games have ended in 1-0 decisions. Though the Swiss haven’t blown people away, their defense and goaltending has been very good through the round robin.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller has been a stone wall for Switzerland in net. He has not allowed any goals through two games, and has been the biggest star on that team. He is undefeated in his two starts.
Back-up goaltender Reto Berra of the Calgary Flames lost his only start, but allowed just one goal against team Sweden. He has proven to be a very strong back-up goalie for Switzerland, if they need him again in the future.
Switzerland also has current NHL players like Damien Brunner, Mark Streit, Nino Niederreiter, Raphael Diaz, Roman Josi, and Yannick Weber who have led the team through its successful start to the 2014 Olympics.
It may be a stretch to say that Switzerland could medal in the 2014 Olympics, but teams need to be careful when playing the team. It may look like a relatively weak team, but Switzerland’s good defense and terrific goaltending can beat any team in the tournament, even if they don’t score five goals every game.