Thanks to the heroics of goaltender Antero Niitymaki and a quick coming-together of teammates committed to the coach's tight defensive game plan, the Finns almost took the gold medal in 2006. They ended up settling for the silver, but the lessons learned for every other nation should have been obvious: Find players who are willing to accept their roles, work hard, and buy in, and you will do well.
Expect the Finns to attempt to do exactly that again. They will have to, because they do not have the same high end talent as other nations.
Goaltenders - Oddly enough, Niitymaki is not likely on the radar this go around. The Olympics will likely prove to be his career highlight, as he has never regularly established himself as a NHL player.
Instead, we can expect to see a trio likely consisting of Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen and Nicklas Backstrom.
Defense - The Finns were deep on the blue line in 2006. I do not see Finland able to bring back the same high level on their blue line this time around, especially if one or two regulars are injured.
Kimmo Timonen, Tony Lydman, Ossi Vaanane and Sami Salo, if he can stay healthy, should all return. Teppo Numinen is getting up there in years, so he may need to be replaced, and I think the whole hockey world is getting tired of waiting for Joni Pitkanen to deliver on his promise.
Watch for Lauri Kukkonen, Ville Koistinen and veteran national team regular Petteri Numelin to get consideration.
Forwards - Outside of Teemu Selanne, the Finns do not really a superstar to count on. And he's going to be nearly 40 come the Olympics.
Father time is also catching up with Saku Koivu, Olli Jokinen and Jere Lehtinen.
All four will be on the Olympic team, but the Finn's already pop-gun offense will likely rely on these agin stars and Mikko Koivu. The rest of Finland's forward group consists of role players like Antti Miettinen, Niklas Hagman, Jarkko and Tuomo Ruutu, Niko Kapenen and Valterri Filpulla.
Summary - the Finns will have to play tight defense and hope for another goaltending miracle, because as of right now they do not have the offense to get the job done in 2010.