With a break in the NHL season, the Olympics are now upon us. After a poor opening ceremony, the fun begins as the Men’s Ice Hockey starts today. Now being the omniscient person that I am, I will pick the winners.
Alexander Semin, Pavel Datsyuk and Alexander Ovechkin on the first line will be the dominant line throughout the tournament. The fire power will be strong with these three as well as Datsyuk leveling out the line with his excellent two way play. Now if that line does not tickle your jolly, how about Maxim Afinogenov, Ilya Kovalchuk and Evgeni Malkin on the second line? Two very talented lines with two very solid goalies, Ilya Bryzgalov and Evgeni Nabokov, will be the key to their success. Weakness to look out for will be their defense, but do not expect it to be that weak with names such as Sergei Gonchar and Andrei Markov.
I am hesitant to even put them in a medal standing, and yes I am aware that is a bold statement. The team is stacked with players such as Sidney Crosby, Dany Heatley, Jonathan Toews, Joe Thornton, and the list goes on. Still though, I do believe their home town advantage will carry them this far but not to the gold. The pressure the team will be feeling will be too great and they will fold under pressure just as their World Junior team did against USA a few months back. And just like the Juniors, watch for Canada to take unnecessary penalties that will cost them the gold.
Perhaps a long-shot, yet I have to show the love for my home Country. USA is young, dangerously young, both inexperienced and too naive to know that they shouldn’t be in it to win it. Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, Jack Johnson, Ryan Miller and Jonathan Quick make up a feisty group of guys. Add in the inability to have “Matt Man” and “Support Our Troops” on the goalie helmets, plus the unfortunate passing of Brian Burke’s son Brendan, the team has a lot of motivation to keep them playing hard.
The views and opinions expressed are solely that of an educated guess. Such opinions may be inaccurate or may be changed after seeing the first round. Let’s go USA!