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  • Olympic Hockey Medal Predictions

    The 2006 Olympic Men’s Hockey Tournament begins this Wednesday in Turin, Italy.

    2002 Champions Team Canada look to defend their Olympic gold against their International rivals.

    1998 marked the first year the NHL schedule took a break to allow professional players to represent their countries at the Olympic games. It has since become the premiere International hockey event with each nation’s best players shedding their professional jersey and competing for the pride of their country.

    The Czech Republic defeated Canada in a shoot out in 1998 and Canada defeated the US team in 2002 to claim the gold.

    77% of users on this site believe Canada will take the Gold medal this year. Habs Blog Top 6 Olympic predictions follow.

     

    1 Canada Defending Champions. Canada is synonymous with Hockey Excellence and this time is no different. The depth of Canada’s lineup cannot be matched by any other team in the Games. Martin Brodeur is hot and the two backup goalies would be #1 starters for any other country. The blueline is strong despite injuries and the offensive power is fierce and challenging for any defense to handle. The fact that Canadians simply care more and showe more heart than any other team goes a long way in games like these. Canada will top the Czech’s 4-2 in the Final.
    2 Czech A stronger team than the 1998 Champions. Jaromir Jagr is playing some of the best hockey of his life and will lead the Czech’s to the final. Potent offensively and Iron Curtain goaltending. It will get them far but not past the physical game the Canadians bring.
    3 Russia Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin. Skillful youth and experienced veterans will earn them the Bronze medal.
    4 Finland The loss of Kiprusoff will keep the improved and determined Finns off the podium but earn them some deserved recognition.
    5 United States Inexperienced all around and shaky goaltending won’t get them as far as they think.
    6 Sweden No Markus Naslund, no Peter Forsberg (or a 1/10th version), inexperience, aging veterans and average goaltending.

    Let’s hear your predictions in the comments section.

  • Canadiens enter Olympic Games break in 8th

    The Canadiens will remain in the 8th and final playoff position as the league breaks for the 2006 Olympic games.

    The Canadiens and Thrashers played a highly entertaining game which resulted in a 2-1 shoot out win for the Thrashers. The Canadiens made it that far only due to the heroics of goaltender Cristobal Huet. Huet kicked out his leg while sprawled out and seemingly out of position to deny Thrashers sniper Marian Hossa the game winning goal in the extra frame. It was a spectacular save which even got Jose Theodore off his seat and banging on the glass.

    Those who deny that Huet can be a #1 starter need only to look at his last 5 starts and ask why not?

    Unfortunately no Hab could put one by Lehtonen in the shoot out and the Thrashers gained a valuable point that may prove costly down the stretch. The Canadiens have been doing a lot of good things however. Richard Zednik partially woke up out of his slumber delivering a perfect backhand pass to a streaking Jan Bulis who put it by Lehtonen.

    Has anyone else noticed Alex Kovalev lately? Kovalev is starting to play like he is expected too on a nightly basis. Maybe he came back from his surgery too early as he was very unnoticeable for several games. Kovalev is skating and controlling the puck like no one else can, and is creating plays each time he steps on the ice. If Kovalev is peaking then it’s the perfect time. All cylinders have to be firing for the Habs to reach the post-season, Kovalev on his game could be the tipping point.

    The Canadian men’s Olympic team doesn’t get started until Wednesday against Italy. We’ll see if the men can match the Canadian women’s success vs Italy with another 16-0 win. The women’s team is dismantling Russia 9-0 as I write this. It must be all that Hamburger Helper Hayley Wickenheiser’s been eating.