Wednesday, December 30, 2009

V2010: Switzerland

Swiss. I love saying that word. Swisssssss. However, I don't think many will love watching the Swisssss hockey team play in Vancouver, at least not if they are rooting for them.

They released their roster this morning and it is pretty punchless. Just one of the 12 forwards plays in North America and overall 16 of the 23 players on the roster play in the Swiss league. Let's face it, players head to Switzerland when they are either lazy, soft or both because it is a easy-going, laid back league with little physical play. Canadian-born Hnat Domenichelli is a good example - the guy was a nothing for Hartford and has made himself quite the career in Lugano. Remarkably former Montreal Canadien Paul DiPietro was not included on the roster as was Alexander Daigle. I would have thought that Daigle would have gotten himself a Swiss passport by now. Ranger summer signing Andres Amb├╝hl is the only other offensive 'name' outside of Domenichelli and he has yet to impress down in Hartford.

Despite the dearth up front, Switzerland boasts a decent back end (almost like Jessica Biel ... well, I guess not that nice). I hate to say it but Islander defenseman Mark Streit is underrated and he will lead a defensive corps with Flyers Ducks prospect Lucas Sbisa and Canadiens prospect Yannick Weber - and both kids have tasted NHL life before so they won't be unprepared. In net Ducks semi-starter Jonas Hiller is joined by Martin Gerber (if he heals from that scary KHL injury in time) and former Dallas backup Tobias Stephan.

The Swiss will need all the help they can get if they are to beat the Americans on the 16th (I'm trying to get a ticket, anyone care to help a brother out?) and the Canadians on the 18th. They close out the opening round against Norway on the 20th which may amount to a good, competitive game.

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