Men's Olympic Hockey Preview - Switzerland

January 5, 2010


Olympic Appearances: 1920-Present
Best Finish: 3rd (1928,1948)
Total Medals Won:2
Pool: Canada, Norway, USA

It might surprise you to learn that Switzerland has the best record in terms of Olympic participation, having appeared in the Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament every single time since its inception in 1920. Thats pretty impressive!

However, for all those entries, the Swiss have only ever managed to pull in two medels: Bronze in 1928 and Bronze in 1948. That means its been over 60 years since the Swiss last secured an medal..and I don't expect that streak to end any time soon.

The Swiss program has improved over recent years, heck, just look at their 2-0 blanking of Canada in 2006. However, improvement won't equal results here. The Swiss might be good for one upset along the way, but I really doubt that they can string together the 3-4 upsets that would be required for them to win a medal.

 Martin Gerber (Atlant Mytishchi/KHL)
Jonas Hiller (Anaheim Ducks/NHL)
Tobias Stephan (Geneva-Servette/Swiss NLA)

Goran Bezina (Geneva-Servette)
Severin Blindenbacher (Färjestad Karlstad)
Rafael Diaz (EV Zug)
Roman Josi (SC Bern)
Luca Sbisa (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Mathias Seger (ZSC Lions Zurich)
Mark Streit (New York Islanders)
Yannick Weber (Hamilton Bulldogs)

Andres Ambühl (Hartford Wolf Pack)
Thomas Déruns (Geneva-Servette)
Hnat Domenichelli (HC Lugano)
Sandy Jeannin (HC Fribourg-Gottéron)
Thibaut Monnet (ZSC Lions Zurich)
Thierry Paterlini (Rapperswil-Jona Lakers)
Martin Plüss (SC Bern)
Kevin Romy (HC Lugano)
Ivo Rüthemann (SC Bern)
Raffaele Sannitz (HC Lugano)
Julien Sprunger (HC Fribourg-Gottéron)
Roman Wick (Kloten Flyers)

The Swiss have a few names that will be familiar to the North American hockey fan. Jonas Hiller and Martin Gerber in net form a surprisingly strong combination for a 'weaker' hockey nation, with Hiller capable of stoning a team if he gets hot. On the back end, Streit, Weber and Sbisa all are (or will be) NHL level defencemen, and should anchor a solid defense.

Up front, Hnat Domenichelli will be familiar to some Canadians...if for no other reason that he is a Canadian himself. However, after leaving for the european elite leagues in 2003, he now finds himself with dual-citizenship, and a spot on the Swiss Olympic Team.

Overall, the Swiss are getting stronger...but still have a long way to go. I expect they'll upend Norway in their pool, but lose their placement game to someone like Finland, the Czechs or USA. I'd peg them for a 5th-10th place finish.

Oh ya...I also still hate these jerseys...

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This blog is the online chronicle of our adventures leading up to, and including, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We hope to give you a little insight into what went into planning our trip and a first hand look at the Games from the ground in Vancouver.

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