Originally posted by Jordache49:
Originally posted by King49er:
Russia is gonna be tough in Mens hockey, other than that, the rest are just pylon practice for Team Canada
Its gonna be tough to medal in hockey. Russians are dangerous, Sweedes and Fins are good and dont sleep on the US either. Czechz and Slovaks have decent teams too...
Really, in a tourny like this, with this much talent, it comes down to whos goalie is hot. Look @ Turin. You had a Swe/Fin final. They just rode Lundquist and Nittamayki. Fins have Kipper between the pipes now, and the US and Slovaks have Miller and Halak. Its going to be some real good hockey. Looking forward to it
I'm so pumped for Winter Olympics! I love Winter Olymps, skiing/curling/hockey are awesome to watch.
For hockey, here is my breakdown (in order of finish, and key player I excluded goalies who are obviously THE key player):
Canada - Deepest squad. Great mix of skill, speed and physical play. Key player: Rick Nash, if he can click with Crosby he has a great chance to lead in goals.
Russia - Great goal tending with the best 6 forwards of any team. But can they play D? Key Player: Andrei Markov, great with the puck but can he handle the physical play in a short tourney? He will be wearing a bulls eye for opposing forecheckers.
Sweden - Sedin's emergence this year makes them a very dangerous team. This is a changing of the guard for Sweden with Sedin, Backstrom, Erickson, Enstrom, Oduya playing pivotal roles in Forsberg and Lidstrom's last tourney. Key player: Loui Eriksson, the 24-year old is quietly putting together back-to-back 30 goal seasons while playing great defensively.
USA - Where Sweden is making a smooth transition, USA put together an almost completely different roster with very few veterans. But a gritty, quick, and young roster backed by a red-hot goalie can win games they shouldn't be in. Key Player: Bobby Ryan, the glaring weakness of USA is where are the goals going to come from? Where Kane and Kessel rely on speed and a blistering wrister, its Ryan who is the best natural goal scorer.
Finland and Czech are next on the list.