“Russia Makes Me Smile” – The 2010 Olympic Hockey Breakdown

Vancouver and NBC should be kissing the NHL’s ass for their representation, and for the anticipated compete level of men’s hockey in this years Winter Olympics. As sure as Michael Phelps is swimming through our Earth’s crust to get to Vancouver and quite possibly be the first winner of the 100M downhill mountain freestyle, according to Subway and that fat bastard Jarrod, the NHL is stacking countries with All Star teams. The standings last year left Sweden with the Gold, Finland with the Silver and the Czech Republic with the Bronze, while the Canadians and Americans finished 7th and 8th respectively; or for some embarrassingly. The first point to make, and the most important is, I whole heartedly agree with the abundance of Bruins representation, especially Tim Thomas as the number two to Team USA’s Ryan Miller. The tandem will do well, however I anticipate a “Jonathan Quick” exit for the young Americans. (Third string goalie joke) I am a big fan of the youth and I anticipate a lot from Patrick Kane and Ryan Malone. I do not anticipate a competitive defense to play in front of our goalies and I do not anticipate chemistry, unless of course they surprise in the early rounds, and some sort of chemistry grows from familiarity. You can’t build another “miracle”. I anticipate the other team to disappoint this year will be the Czech Republic. Personally I am more excited to see figure skater Sasha Cohen return to this years Olympics than I am to see Jagr’s comeback, and I am personally fed up watching Elias and Havlat coast under the radar of talent for over 6 years. If the Czech’s don’t ride goaltender Thomas Vokoun over Pavelec the entire time, and don’t allow Kreijci to dominate, don’t expect much.

The remaining teams not worth talking about here include Latvia, Belarus, Norway and Marco Sturm’s homeland Germany. They’ll make the trip over there, but will act as fillers and spoilers.

On to the teams that matter. In order of how they will finish, anticipating a USA 8th place, and a Czech 7th place, the 6th place finishers will be Slovakia. In the fast paced, competitive tempo of international hockey, Chara and Jurcina are going to be made to look like giant columns leading the way up the stairs to the open door way that will be Peter Budaj. Expect no defense from the Slavs, yet an explosive offense which may just impress us with the return of some familiar Solvakian names; Zednik, Palffy, Stumpel, Satan. I also predict Marian Gaborik to continue to be a beast, and pave the way for some un-welcomed, inevitable, high scoring games. Next in line, the Swiss, with nearly no NHL representation at all, most of the team coming from the highly competitive Swiss league (SUI),  will be slightly better than Slovakia because quite simply, in international play, “Gerber is Good”. Goalie Martin Gerber, if they utilize him enough, will launch them into the very impressive, and very neutral, 5th seed. The next team, the predicted 4th seed this year, will be Finland. They will not be 4th because of Olli Jokinen, Teemu Selanne, the Koivu’s or the Ruutu’s, but because of their tandem of Niklas Backstrom and Mikka Kipprusoff. The Fin’s are home to the second best goaltending tandem of the olympics. To round out the second tier teams of the olympics, and to introduce our first medal winning team, taking home the Bronze will be Sweden. Sweden will ride Zetterberg, arguably a top five offensive threat in the league and the return, and yes, leadership of Peter Forseberg. Lundquvist will have to stay sharp, but grabbing this medal should not be a problem.

Silver and Gold will be a war between Canada and Russia. If Canada can utilize Brodeur and Luongo in net as equally as the Russians can ride Nabakov, they might have a chance. They however will not be able to match Crosby over Ovechkin, nor will they be able to match Nash or Iginla or Heatley or Marleau over Malkin or Kovalchuck or Datsyuk or Afineginov. Patrice Bergeron, Joe Thornton, and one of my favorite captains in the league Jonathan Toews round out the superstar cast that is Canada this olympics, however the chemistry of a nation, the chemistry of olympic history and power, and with the epic return of Sergei Federov and with the limp wrists of Alexander Semin, Russia will prevail. This Russia team makes me smile, and makes me giddy with anticipation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Russia wins the Gold, and Canada will take the Silver.

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17 Responses

  1. Great information. Well researched and written. This is very helpful! 🙂

  2. I’m looking forward to the Olympics in a couple weeks. Go Apolo!

  3. I totally agree with you about Russia after watching Canada not so sure if babcock doesn’t find a better way to give Crosby more ice time I also think your not giving the us any credit they are young and filled with second string super stars but I still think after watching them play today looked pretty good they weren’t doing much more than practicing but still looked slot better than 8th place come on one guy well researched come on you read that in some newspaper somewhere and you didn’t even copy it right cause how read it most people are picking the us at 4th possibly bronze

  4. this is no newspaper post guy…most people who write and talk about hockey, know hockey….I disagree that Crosby needs more playing time, and not just to be combative. With no name players at all, the Swiss almost took down this power house. They need role players and they need defense. The U.S. is stronger than I thought, but 4th place…bronze??….I respectively disagree…and I don’t know what papers you have been reading, but burn them…

    • Possibly Russia vs Canada if Canada wins or maybe they go home USA top seed I don’t think it’s possible for them to finish 8 right start coping the stories right or better yet watch some hockey and please quit posting articles of brainless spectulation hockey guy all you had to do was watch the way the us played Norway to see they were goin higher than 8 place brodouer will choke Canada will cry

      • To bring Norway into the conversation has you losing all credibility, right from the start. That being said, these “predictions” were made “before” ANY games were played……and to try and target Brodeur makes me think you have absolutely no clue about anything you have disputed.

      • I first read your blog when the us played maybe 2 games so “before” probably applies don’t hide behind your wording your a bum just like broduer and oh ya who did they take out of the before I said it but there just predictions ya but some times some of us right I really hope you aren’t a gambling man or scratch that please keep telling us your pics so we can do the opposite make some money the only way this would be if you were from canadia look your probably some over payed fat son of a you no what because when the us wins it would make it all the better and sako what ever I really hope cent gives you a warm affectionate pad on the head when your done blowin him so in closing I’ll stand behind what I said ……………….The USA really makes me smile…………………. Nough punctation for ya

      • FRANK…I don’t know why I feel the need to continuously reply to your rants, but I will play this game one more time. When I wrote this blog has aboslutely nothing to do with when YOU first read it. As far as catching a blow job, Amanda, and as far as me being “over payed”, do you have any clue where the hell you are? This is a blog…a public blog…and getting a blow job is a privelage…I also can’t believe you have no clue what punctuation means….yet you continue to criticize….we leave in America, read a damn book…..That being said, this WILL be the last comment you ever leave on this website, or that we allow, and that may mean nothing to you now, but I hope you realize that you have completely embarassed yourself since day one, and if you actually speak and think the way you type, than I feel bad for whoever has to deal with it day in and day out. Good bye Amanda or Frank or whatever the hell you are, and for your sake, get a damn life…

      • Yea Franky, just because grandma finally let you out of the basement and use the computer does not mean you have to be a dick. Things would be different if you had actually brought an intelligent point to the table which might have lead to some intriguing banter…but your extra chromosome obviously leaves you at a disadvantage than the rest of us. I guess it is a waste to spend these words on you…

  5. Second string superstars is a rather absurd oxymoron…

    Newspaper post? Ridiculous statement…

    If the U.S. can actually obtain 4th or even a bronze, then that is the most unexpected part of the Olympics for this country….

    Punctuation leads to stronger arguments. . .rather obvious.

    • You got the point right

    • Here you want PUNCTUATION go blog about about figure skating

      • Guess you had to read that twice before completely understanding Franky. . .or should I say Amanda?

        Side notes: It is very sad that you say that about punctuation and still haven’t applied it to your ridiculous comments…

        About our blogger who is the author of this article…He will defend himself soon enough, and what he did is called a PREDICTION. Most of us on here have made them and have been wrong in some cases, right in others, with his still pending. Just like PUNCTUATION, a PREDICTION has multiple syllables when you pronounce it so we cannot assume you would understand the word but just know that if there was a person that made every prediction correctly then they would be making a lot of money in Vegas. So keep your D-league accusations to your damn self.

  6. Russia lost to Slovakia…some would think I would be upset due to my predictions….I am in fact very pleased that Hockey remains so unpredictable and the Olympics remain so exciting….It’s going to be a Rat Race for the Gold…

  7. Role playing ya your right babcock is a genius for using arguably the best player in the world maybe 8 – 10 mins a game ya your right he’s not role player he’s a go to guy who needs more time to make plays atleasf he played more mins yesterday it was pathetic the game before that ya when they almost lost but in the clutch the kid scores to win the game well I tell ya what…………………. THE USA MAKES ME SMILE…………….. And hopefully make you eat your words oh ya some body elses words I forgot

    • Canada lost yesterday…and looking forward to me eating someone elses words is missing the mark on so many levels, it actually makes me ill….Try watching a game, before you decide to comment again. And please…please….if you comment….use a damn comma…….why is it hard….I can barely understand you….

  8. I, for one, have found this banter highly entertaining. I wouldn’t object to another well thought out, well constructed, highliy intelligent criticial analysis of this blog.

    Wait a minute…

    Sarcasm?

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