February 13th, 2010

My Equally Valid Opinion

Notes on Olympic hockey

In anticipation of my impending Olympic break NHL checkup, I went to take a look at the rosters for the teams playing over the next two weeks in Vancouver. Here's some factoids:

TEAMS WHICH HAVE LIFTED ENTIRE ROSTERS WHOLESALE FROM NATIONAL CLUBS

15 of Latvia's players are drawn from the 21 eligible Latvians on Dinamo Riga. Belarus has taken 8 of the 12 nationals off Dyanmo Minsk and 4 defensemen from Shakhtar Soligorsk. Will it feel like a club vacation for those guys?

TEAMS I CAN CHEER FOR BECAUSE SENATORS ARE PLAYING WITH THEM

Czechs (Kuba and Michálek), Latvians (Daugaviņš), Russians (Volchenkov), Finnish (Jarkko-freakin'-Ruutu), and Swedish (Alfredsson). Honourable mention: Slovakians (Meszároš). Best part: none of these teams play Canada in the group stage.

SICKEST FANTASY LINE THAT MAKES ME GIDDY WITH ANTICIPATION

If Sweden puts Alfredsson on the wing with the Sedin twins, they'll probably carve a path straight to the final. (On the other hand, Peter Forsberg is back again. Hasn't that man's ankles exploded yet?)

TEAMS I WILL CHEER FOR BECAUSE IT'S HILARIOUS WHEN THEY BEAT SUPPOSED HOCKEY POWERS

Belarus. Remember 2002, when they beat the Swedes? I bet Sweden remembers, too. (Refer back to "sickest fantasy line.")

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE BRONZE

We already know Canada's winning gold, so I'm gonna go out on a limb here and call third place for the Slovaks. All they need are a few good saves out of Budaj and Halak and they could luck themselves into the semifinals.