SOCHI, Russia – It would take significant plastic surgery and a transplant of hockey skills for Marcus Johansson of the Washington Capitals to actually replace Henrik Sedin. So Team Sweden will have to settle for him simply filling the roster spot that opened up when Sedin’s rib injuries prevented him from making the trip to the Sochi Olympics.
Johansson got the call on Friday that he’ll join Sweden in the Winter Games' hockey tournament. It’s the 23-year-old winger’s first Olympics and first international tournament appearance since playing in the 2010 World Junior championships.
He’s had an inconsistent year for the Capitals, despite playing top line minutes, with 7 goals and 27 assists in 57 games. He brings speed to the team, which will help in an international ice surface tournament. He’s also been a more aggressive offensive player this season, shooting more than in previous years.
When he didn’t make the initial team Sweden cut, Johansson said:
“You can use every little positive and negative to become a better player and this is one of them, for sure… I feel like it’s been up and down this year. There are things that can be better and things that have been pretty good. I think it’s a part of becoming a better hockey player. It’s been all right, but I feel like I can be better and our team can be better.”
Now he has a chance to be better, while representing his nation on the Olympic stage.