The main event of this years Sochi Winter Olympics will surely be the men’s ice hockey.
With all the internal pressure from Russia to re-establish a hockey prominence, combined with the bitter rivalries of Canada/Russia, USA/Russia, Canada/USA & Finland/Sweden – to name a few – the hockey events will more than likely be the highlight of the Olympics.
The larger ice surface always creates for an interesting, fast-pace game, but the list of injuries adds a new factor of unpredictability.
Trying to forecast the medal winners for this tournament is always a very difficult task. But, in all reality, this tournament has four true favourites and two potential dark horses to medal.
Canada, USA, Russia and Sweden are the clear cut favourites. All four possess an overwhelming amount of star power, depth and overall hockey prowess. While Finland and the Czech Republic are dark horses, a top four finish would not be a complete shock to hockey followers, but winning a gold medal would be.
Three Story Lines to Watch For:
Entering the Olympics, Canada has an overwhelming amount of talent all over the ice, but as always during the Olympics, goalie remains a question mark.
Carey Price and Roberto Luongo will compete for the number one spot in Sochi. Price was fantastic the week leading up to the Olympics, while Luongo played okay. The main difference in this competition is experience. Luongo was the gold medal-winning goalie in Vancouver, while Price is more than likely the future of hockey Canada’s goalie situation.
Price played well against Norway today, although seldom challenged. Luongo will get a chance to audition tomorrow against Austria, but he should not be challenged much either.
Most of this storyline will be from the Canadian media, it is still one to watch none the less. Ultimately for Canada, the goalie that makes the timely saves will be the one that gets the nod between the pipes. If either of them can do that and play above average hockey, Canada will be a tough out as always.