Loui Eriksson is certainly happy to get back on the big Olympic ice sheet for Team Sweden where speed and skill are valued highly over open-ice hits and physical pounding in the corner.
Eriksson actually shared the team-lead with Daniel Alfredsson with three goals scored in four games for Team Sweden during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, and he is once again a top-six forward with the team in Sochi.
The Swedish right winger has battled through an injury-marred half-season with the Bruins since coming over from Dallas. He clearly looks at the Olympics as a place where he can get a fresh start for the stretch drive of the NHL regular season and playoffs.
“It will definitely to be fun," Eriksson said. "I am excited to go there and try to win it, it is a lot of good teams that go there and try to win it. Of course it will be nice to get there and see all the guys on the team too.
“I’ve been through a lot the last couple months here, so I am looking forward to going to the Olympics. Then come back here and start playing well, and be healthy. I think we’re starting out against Czech so we’re playing against [David Krejci] right away so that will be fun to try and win against them. That would be a nice start for us.”
Eriksson returned from the Olympics in 2010 to finish with six goals and 17 points in 21 games for the Stars. If he could do that again, it would leave him with a 12 goal/37 point initial season with the Black and Gold -- decent numbers considering the 20 games he missed with a pair of concussions.
But the hope is that Eriksson once again finds his goal-scoring touch and confidence playing on line with his Swedish countrymen, Nicklas Backstrom and Daniel Sedin. Then he returns to Boston and really lights up the third line with Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg once he comes back from Sochi.
The feeling is that the best is yet to come for Eriksson and the Bruins after plenty of fanfare following last year’s deal that sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas.
Here are the line combos for Team Sweden prior to their matchup with David Krejci and Team Czech Republic, courtesy of Pro Hockey Talk:
Gabriel Landeskog-Henrik Zetterberg-Alex Steen
Daniel Sedin-Nicklas Backstrom-Loui Eriksson
Gustav Nyquist-Patrik Berglund-Daniel Alfredsson
Carl Hagelin-Marcus Kruger-Jimmie Ericsson
Extra forwards: Marcus Johansson, Jakob Silfverberg