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.