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  • Canada vs Italy Olympic Men’s Hockey

    Team Canada kicks off it’s Olympic Tournament bright and early on Wednesday at 7 AM Eastern.

    Canada will take on Olympic host Italy in the first game of their round-robin. Canada could not have asked for an easier first game to play and anything less than a rout on Italy will raise questions from the Canadian hockey fan base. Considering several players are arriving jet lagged and with little or no time to prepare, this game is even more welcome.

    Italy’s team is made partially made up of Italo’s (North Americans of Italian descent) who could not reach the NHL or play in North America and of native Italian players. Several play in European leagues and one Italian is quoted as saying they are ‘elite players’ who intend to ‘catch Canada off guard.’

    With no disrespect intended, they should pray for a miracle if they hope to compete with Canada. The fact is these are the NHL’s most talented and Internationally experienced players competing against mediocre, inexperienced, amateur hockey players. If the Women’s competition is any indication (16-0 Canada) then Canada should walk all over Italy. I don’t expect it to be that bad but if Canada can’t start strong against what is likely to be the last place team in the Tournament then they’ll need to hit the ice and get some practice under their belt before the real challenges.

    Prediction: 9-0 Canada.

  • 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.