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Olympic Mens Hockey

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  • Olympic Mens Hockey

    I realize that there is an Olympic thread here but I feel that Mens Hockey deserves its own exclusive thread.

    ESPN's Canadian players to watch:
    Martin Brodeur, Canada
    In 2002, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman provided an immeasurable calming presence as Canada's players tried to snap a 50-year Olympic gold-medal drought. Now the task is perhaps greater, winning the Olympic title on home soil, where nothing short of gold will be acceptable to 35 million armchair quarterbacks. No problem, said Brodeur.

    "You really have to relish that opportunity that you have a chance to create something great for your country," Brodeur told earlier this season. "We got a little taste of it with the 2004 World Cup on home soil [in Montreal and Toronto].

    "Certainly not to the extent of what the Olympics will be like, but we did have a lot of pressure in the World Cup right in our backyard, and I think we handled ourselves pretty good. So I'm happy to have that pressure on home soil. You can't be afraid of it. I look at it as an opportunity to create something unbelievable."

    Is there a more unflappable player in this tournament?

    Sidney Crosby, Canada
    There was much discussion after Crosby, then in his rookie season, was left off the Canadian squad four years ago. Since then, he's won a scoring title and an MVP trophy, reached the Cup finals and won it all last spring. As of Sunday, Crosby was second in goals with 41, one behind Alex Ovechkin, and third in points. He's also expected to shoulder a significant burden for the host team. No wonder hearts skipped a beat across the country when Crosby blocked a shot in the Penguins' final pre-Olympic game Sunday and came up limping.
    Joe Thornton, Canada
    Spend five minutes with Team USA coach Ron Wilson and Thornton's name pops up routinely. The Americans are fixated with Canada's size, most notably trying to stop Thornton's meaty San Jose line with Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau. There is fear, not just in the USA camp, that the big Canadian boys will run wild on the smaller NHL ice in Vancouver. This tournament is a glorious chance for Thornton, the NHL's assist leader this season, to paint a new picture of himself on such a big stage and prove his critics wrong. People seem to forget what a terrific tournament he had in September 2004, when he helped Canada win the last World Cup of Hockey.
    I had no idea they were in the tourny:
    Peter Forsberg, Sweden
    One of the great hockey talents of all time, Forsberg has made his mark both as an NHLer and internationally for the Swedes. But we have to wonder what is left in Forsberg's tank since he saw his NHL career end in fits and starts thanks to a perpetually injured foot that also contributed to other health issues. Still, Forsberg has collected 20 points in 17 games for Modo in the Swedish Elite League, remains one of the fiercest competitors in the game and could provide one of those magical "one for the road" memories in Vancouver.
    Jaromir Jagr, Czech Republic
    Another blast from the NHL past, the five-time NHL scoring champ has been hanging out in Russia for the past couple of years amid persistent rumors he'd like to come back to the NHL after this season. Jagr, who turns 38 on Monday, isn't the player he once was, but has 42 points in 49 games for Avangard Omsk this season and will bring his A-game to his fourth Olympics.

  • #2
    With the men's Olympic hockey tournament set to begin Tuesday, we give you our medal picks. Read 'em and weep!

    Scott Burnside
    Gold: Canada. Playing at home will be a blessing not a curse, and the team's depth and youth will bring home gold and erase the stain of a seventh-place finish four years ago in Torino.

    Silver: Sweden. Henrik Lundqvist gets his mojo back and the Swedes, as deep down the middle as any team in the tournament, will come close to repeating as gold-medal champs. Close, but not close enough.

    Bronze: United States. When it gets down to one-and-done time, we like the Americans and their youthful grit and speed to outlast more talented competition like the Russians and Czechs for the bronze.

    Pierre LeBrun
    Gold: Canada. The pressure will be enormous, no question; but Martin Brodeur in goal and Scott Niedermayer on the blue line will give the host team the kind of calming influence Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman provided in 2002.

    Silver: Sweden. Henrik Sedin, Nicklas Backstrom and Henrik Zetterberg are the top three centers. Henrik Lundqvist is in goal. These are the defending Olympic champions.

    Bronze: Russia. This isn't the medal they came to Vancouver for, but somehow I think the KHL politics in naming this roster may come back to bite them.


    • #3
      My Picks:

      Gold: Canada
      Silver: Russia
      Bronze: USA


      • #4
        Apollo wrote: View Post
        My Picks:

        Gold: Canada
        Silver: Russia
        Bronze: USA
        Gold: Canada
        Silver: Russia
        Bronze: Sweden

        I'll be watching the Czech games to see Jagr again. He and Lemieux used to DOMINATE!
        The Double Champ is here!
        Dynasty King: RRNBADLS7
        Raptors: Larry O'Brien


        • #5
          I hope I'm wrong, but I see it like this:

          Gold: Russia
          Silver: Canada
          Bronze: Sweden

          I don't see us being able to contain the Russians. Offensively they're just too damn fast and powerful.


          • #6
            With the smaller NHL surface I think this tournament is going to play more into the hands of the Canadian style than the Euro style.


            • #7
              Canada dominates Norway 8-0

              Canada had a nervous beginning, broke the ice with a second-period power-play goal by Jarome Iginla, and then eventually went on to rout Norway 8-0 Tuesday night in the opening game of the men's Olympic hockey tournament.
              Iginla was particularly prominent, scoring three times.

              The first period was a shocker, 0-0 but Canada smoked them in the last two periods.


              • #8
                Entertaining game, and yes I was one of the many nervous Canada fans last night after the 1st period.

                Nice to see them back playing to their expectations during the 2nd and 3rd periods. That Crosby, Iginla and Nash line was sick last night. All over the place and flexing their muscle too. Even Crosby.

                I was pleasantly surprised on how comfortable Doughty and Weber appeared to be last night. Easier the two best defensemen for Canada last night.


                • #9
                  I actually watched the whole game. It was awesome. Iggy with a hat trick. I lvoe him
                  Last name ever, first name greatest


                  • #10
                    Amazing game last night! Canada looks to be a power house in hockey for Olympics to come!


                    • #11
                      Check this out:

                      As you might expect, the U.S.-Canada gold medal game was a smash hit on television, drawing a 17.6 overnight rating.

                      "To put the numbers in perspective, Sunday's game drew a higher overnight rating than every World Series game since 2004 (including every game of Yankees/Phillies last year), every NBA Finals telecast since 1998, and every NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four game since at least '98,'' according to Sports Media Watch.


                      • #12
                        Wow, that's awesome for the sport of hockey! Maybe the NHL benefits from this with extra interest?