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The men’s ice hockey tournament at the 2014 Sochi Games is expected to be the most thrilling and popular even at the Olympics. We’re breaking down all 12 teams until the tournament begins on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Norway competes in Group B in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Here are five reasons why they could totally medal in Sochi:
1. The Magic Hobbit Wizard
OK, he actually hates that nickname, but unfortunately for Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers, he is a Magic Hobbit Wizard. He has 43 points in 53 games this season for the Blueshirts, including 15 goals. He had three points in four games in 2010 for Norway. Did we mention he’s has his own rap tribute?
2. Hey, Remember Patrick Thoresen?
Of course you do. He’s the guy who took that puck to the Oslos in the 2008 Eastern Conference quarterfinals while a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s been in the KHL since 2009, and has been around a point-per-game player with Yulayev and St. Petersburg SKA.
3. Lars Haugen Can Totally See Them Winning
Goalie Lars Haugen, who plays for Dinamo Minsk of the KHL, has missed roughly nine weeks with a groin injury. But during that time, he’s been doing daily meditation, envisioning what the games will be like and what the crowd will be like. And if he’s anything like us, also envisioning he has a giant flaming sword and dragon wings.
4. The Coach
Roy Johansen has coached the Norwegian national team since 2001, and led them back to the Olympics in 2010 after a three Winter Games absence. Norway placed sixth in the 2011 IIHF World Championships as well. The familiarity between coach and players is never a bad thing in a tournament like this.
5. Remember How They Almost Beat The Swiss and Slovaks?
The Norge took Switzerland to a shootout and lost by a goal to Slovakia in the medal round in the 2010 Vancouver Games. Sure, they were smoked by the U.S. and Canada by a combined score of 14-1, but maybe they’ll give the lesser lights another tough game or two.
C’mon, Can These Guys Actually Medal?
No, but that’s mostly due to the complete lack of VIKINGSTAD! on the roster this season.