Making it to the Olympic Games for hockey players is no easy task. With an extensive list of talented players to pick from, I predict that Canada will take gold, the U.S. will take silver and Russia will take bronze.
Canada will take the gold because they have, arguably, the best players in the world on their team. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is the Canadian team captain.
The Canadians will be coached by Mike Babcock from the Detroit Red Wings.
Canada was strategic and added Penguin winger Chris Kunitz to the roster. Kunitz will make Crosby dangerous on the ice because the two play a similar game.
Canada’s team has a lot of depth. They will have players that are capable of playing first line playing all the way down in the fourth line.
The only guy I wasn’t fond of Canada bringing on was Rick Nash. I thought Canada could have went with Claude Giroux instead. Giroux is currently 15th overall in points in the NHL.
Canada will have the most consistency in the net. They have Roberto Luongo, who played in 38 games and has a 2.25 goals against average this year. He also helped Canada win the Gold in 2010.
Carey Price is a great number two goalie and Mike Smith is a fantastic third string.
The U.S. has a solid selection of goalies also.
They are led by Jonathan Quick, one of the best goalies in the world. He has 15-13 record with a 2.22 goals allowed on average. His performance could push them forward to a gold or drop them to a bronze medal.
Team U.S.A. is coached by Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bylsma will bring lot of speed on the forward front with him to Sochi.
He has forwards Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel leading the bunch.
Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan Suter will be the team’s puck-moving defenseman and will likely see a lot of power play time.
I was surprised they left off Jack Johnson and Bobby Ryan from the roster. They had made the team in 2010.
The bronze medal will end up with the Russians.
Their skill up-front goes unrivaled playing on their home turf in Sochi.
At their disposal, the Russians have Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk (SKA Saint Petersburg), Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Radulov (CSKA). They just added Alexander Semin to the roster.
Russia’s forwards have depth, but the team lacks the same great goaltending held by the Canadians and Americans.
Sergei Bobrovsky will be the backup to Semyon Varlamov.
Each one of these guys have put up good stats but have been unable to compete in big games.
There is a dark horse in the games this year. I feel that Sweden could end up shocking a lot of people.
They have a lot of depth in their roster as well.
The Swedish roster is highlighted by Daniel and Henrik Sedin and defenseman Erik Karlsson. Karlsson is considered to be one of the best in the league.
Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson brings speed and youth to the team that Sweden will need to keep up with their competitors.
Henrik Lundqvist should and will start for Sweden.
Expect to be entertained during the Olympic Games.
Guys will rise to the occasion and it will be an exciting time for hockey fans to enjoy elite play.