Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hockey and the Olympics

With the NHL on an Olympic break, this Oilers blog will now switch over to Olympic coverage with a focus on hockey of course. I will be attending the Olympics during the last six days. I have tickets to the gold medal games for the men and women in hockey. Yes I am lucky and hoping for double gold.

Hockey starts today at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. The Americans beat the Swiss this afternoon 3-1 but the game most people are interested in is the Canada vs Norway game. Can the Canadian live up to the hype and pressure to bring home gold?

With a short tournament like this, it's hard to make predictions. Every single person in Canada is hoping and praying (even us atheists) for Olympic gold. The pressure on Team Canada will be the greatest they will ever experience in their life so it will not be easy. I do believe the team has enough experience and are prepared to take this the distance.

In my mind, it is Russia vs Canada but there are other teams that could play a factor. They are the Swedes, Czechs and Finns. I do not believe the Americans are a medal contender nor a dark horse. Ryan Miller will have to channel Roy, Hasek and Plante to stand a chance at a medal. After Canada and Russia, the team with the next best chance is Sweden. I'm not going into deep analysis for each team but based on the play of the top players in the NHL, this is a competition between Canada, Russia and Sweden. I think Canada is the deeper team on defense and in goal. Russia is all offense with no checking forwards or solid stay at home defense. I believe Canada can win because of that. But like we all say, a short tournament can see a goalie ride a hot streak to victory.

I predict Canada gold, Russia wins silver and Sweden beats the Finns for bronze. I have a ticket to semi-final 1 and the gold medal game. I want Canada and Russia in that game; best two teams fighting for gold will be amazing.

Go Canada.

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