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Team Sweden

Future with Sweden unclear for Sedins

Henrik, Daniel not sure if they will continue international play after loss in World Cup semifinal

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

TORONTO -- The World Cup of Hockey 2016 semifinal on Sunday is not the way Henrik and Daniel Sedin wanted to possibly end their international careers with Sweden.

Team Europe upset favored Team Sweden at Air Canada Centre, winning 3-2 on a goal by Tomas Tatar at 3:43 of overtime. It was Tatar's second goal of the game.

The Sedins, each 35, had talked throughout this tournament about the fact that the end is near for them with Sweden. They may play in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, if the NHL sends its players to that tournament. A decision has yet to be made on that front, though.

"It could be our last game for sure," Daniel Sedin said after the loss.

Daniel Sedin admitted the PyeongChang Olympics are not a given for him and his brother, even if the NHL does send its players. Each player would be 37 by time the tournament will be played.

"I think it is more about how our bodies feel and if there is going to be another Olympics, that is the main thing," he said. "Right now, we are going to sit down and play the NHL season and see how our bodies feel."

The disappointment of losing to an upstart Team Europe and forfeiting an opportunity to chase another national team title will not affect the thought process, says Henrik Sedin, captain of Team Sweden.

"This would have been a dream to play against Canada in the final here, in Canada, but it is not going to change anything," Henrik said. "When those tournament come, it's about being healthy and feeling motivated."

Instead of Team Sweden, Team Europe will play Team Canada in the best-of-3 final, which starts Tuesday at Air Canada Centre (8 p.m. ET; ESPN, CBC, TVA Sports).

In the wake of the loss Sunday, it was hard for Team Sweden to comprehend this run had come to end. It fully expected to be playing through at least next Thursday, if not Saturday. It believed it had the mix to win the championship, partially avenging a gold-medal loss to Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in the process. 

"Everything other than a gold medal is a failure in our eyes, and I think that's what everybody in our dressing room believes," forward Gabriel Landeskog said. "We had one goal in mind and we didn't manage to accomplish that. This one definitely stings. This one definitely [stinks]."

It will be even more disappointment if it is the final time each of the Sedins plays for Sweden.

Henrik and Daniel dominated at times in this tournament, especially around the opposing goal. Henrik often ran the Team Sweden attack with his strong play behind the net and his ability to understand where Daniel and Loui Eriksson, the other forward on Team Sweden's top line, would be on the ice.

Video: EUR@SWE: Karlsson evens the game late from the point

On Sunday, each brother had an assist on the tying goal, scored by defenseman Erik Karlsson with 4:32 remaining in the third period. Daniel started the play by passing the puck to Henrik, who then banked a pass off the side board and right onto the stick of Karlsson, who scored from the blue line.

Henrik finished with three assists and Daniel had two in four games at the World Cup. But, their impact was felt even more deeply than that.

"It was tremendous to work with them for this tournament," Team Sweden coach Rikard Gronborg said. "I think they did an outstanding job of not only on the ice but obviously getting this team together. We had some bounces when it comes to injuries and stuff before the tournament. I think they really took charge when we brought new players in and brought them into our system and the way we try to work. 

"Unfortunately, like I said, we probably would have played the games [in the final], but it didn't happen. Obviously, I would love to work with them again. Like I said, I think they're tremendous hockey players, tremendous people to be around."

The Sedins have done everything possible for Team Sweden. Each were members of the team that won the gold medal at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Daniel played on the team that won silver in 2014 at Sochi. Henrik missed that tournament with an injury.

Each also won World Championship gold in 2013 and a bronze medal in two other years.

"We've been fortunate for sure," Daniel said.

In the end, Henrik and Daniel may or may not play in the next best-on-best tournament, but Team Sweden will remain a powerhouse, as it has been for the majority of the past decade.

"We have a lot of young guys with great years ahead of them, internationally and in the NHL," goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "Of course, the team is going to change, but we have a lot of young guys and we'll get more opportunities."

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