Looking for an action-packed sport to watch in this year’s upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi? Look no further than ice hockey, which is slated to be one of the most competitive playing experiences in years.
For many years in the past, the same teams would dominate the Olympic ice hockey tournament (namely Canada, USA, and Russia). Thanks to the development of hockey in other countries such as Sweden, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, this is no longer always the case. While it is true that Canada, USA and Russia will still be favorites to take medals in this year’s games, it is far from a sure thing.
Both defending gold-medalist Canada and defending silver-medalist USA seem to be the most balanced of the teams, with a combination of big offensive names (Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby for Canada and Zach Parise, Phil Kessel and Patrick Kane for USA, to name a few), good defenses and great goaltending as well.
However, Sweden’s team is one that should not be overlooked, as it has arguably the best goaltender in the world in Henrik Lundqvist, and some other great players such as defender Niklas Kronwall and twin forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Additionally, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have many high-powered players in their ranks, which should make for an interesting tournament.
Although the games will be played early in the morning in this area due to the time difference, I will not have an issue with waking up to cheer on the boys in red, white and blue. Here’s hoping that the USA comes away with a gold medal!