- 02/06/2009, 08:26AM ET
Dragon44 said 02/06, 08:26 AM
my pick is probably the easiest and sexiest, the Russians. It all starts up front with Ovechkin, Malkin and Datsyuk and ends with Nabakov. They will have, arguably, the best centre, RW, then throw in Kovalchuk on LW and you can ride this pony to the podium. With a second line of Datsyuk, Semin and Zherdev that is some scary offense
Nabakov will give the Russians enough confidence in net to play a run and gun game, in a tournament like the Olympics GAA do not really matter so I can see a lot of 6-4 games. Before anyone starts crying about GAA this is considered the 3rd tie breaker behind goals for.
They will be a little thin on D though but Gonchar and Zubov will be playing by then, throw in Markov who is second in D scoring they should be set.
Resistance is Foos-tile said 02/06, 12:41 PM
Sure it's easy to pick the Russians when they have 2 of the top 3 players in the NHL. But when was the last time they contended for a gold at the Olympics. 1992 they won as a ???Unified Team???.
But this ain't your father's Oldsmobile!
Or should I say this ain't your father's Red Army Hockey Team!
"They will be a little thin on D though but Gonchar & Zubov"
You should have said "They will be a little Old on D"
Gonchar will be 36
Zubov will be 39
They might as well have Stowe play since they are going with Seniors...
Zubov just had hip surgery. He will need to flip his stick upside down so he can use it as a cane.
The other contenders other than Canada for the gold are...
But my pick is...
Sweden - The defending 2006 Olympic Champs.
Take a look at the projected line up...
Henrik Zetterberg, Mats Sundin, Daniel Alfredsson, Nik Backstrom, Daniel & Henrik Sendin, Johan Franzen, Kristian Hueslius, Tomas Holstrom, Mikael Samuelsson, Samuel Pahlsson & Patrik Berglund
Nik Lidstrom, Mattias Ohlund, Nik Krownwall, Henrik Tallinder, Alex Edler & Victor Hedman
Henrik Lundqvist & Mikael Tellqvist
Dragon44 said 02/06, 01:38 PM
solid choice Foos, lots of good two way players...lots of meatballs as well...
I know I took the easy pick but after seeing the Russians play at last years WHC I was impressed. They played with an edge and flat out wanted it and did it without Malkin, Datsyuk and Nabakov. Your point about them not contending for a gold since 92 has relevance for them as well, do not think for a minute they are not **** in their borscht about it.
Forget about their D for a second because I know they will, the Russians will not play a defensive game. They will play an up tempo fore checking game and look to bury their opponents and keep them there. This is a world stage for Geno and Alex to show how great they are and what better way then to win the gold...
Slovakia, not a chance.
Finland, to thin up front but they do have Kipper.
USA, that depends if they remember that it is hockey they are playing.
and you forgot about the Czech's who I think will finish fourth...
what is wrong with my father's Olsmobile by the way? ahhhh, the memories...
Resistance is Foos-tile said 02/06, 10:43 PM
???Forget about their D for a second???
Sorry I have to use Porkins least fav Quote ???Defense Wins Championships???
But in this case Defense and Goaltending wins Championships.
Russia???s Defense is as old as Brett Farve retirement & unretirement stories.
"Nabakov will give the Russians enough confidence in net to play a run and gun game???so I can see a lot of 6-4 games"
And sure Nabakov is a good regular season goalie. But come playoff time what has he done? Not to much.
And without a Defense to shutdown teams like Canada, Sweden and even the US, the Russians will find them on the wrong side of those 6-4 games.
Any team???s success in this tourney will largely be dictated by its play in it's own end (i.e. defense).
And don???t discount the US either. They will have a good young team and with Tim Thomas and Ryan Miller in net anything can happen in a short tourney.
As for Sweden, don???t forget the core of this team will be coming from the defending Stanley Cup Champs (Red Wings). It looks the Sweds have all the right pieces to challenge Canada for the gold in Vancouver next February.
Dragon44 said 02/07, 01:58 PM
I am not for a second discounting the US it just seems that whenever they show up for a tournament like this they forget how to play...
success in a tourney like this depends on how fast you can get out of the blocks and run up the score and I think the Russians have enough guns up front to bury every other team...
and there defense is not all that bad, sure they do not have a Chara or Lidstrom but they did win the WHC with a bunch of kids playing in the KHL...I am just saying with Gonchar and Zubov back there that will give them a veteran presence and a nice anchor on the PP...
the Sharks problems in previous playoffs were not the fault of Nabakov for two guys as big as Thornton and Marleau to disappear like they did is remarkable, but I digress...
All in all this is going to be a helluva tournament and it should be just like the bad old days, Canada and Russia slugging it out for gold...
Resistance is Foos-tile said 02/07, 10:09 PM
Well that might be your opinion but my friend opinions are like a55holes every one has one.
???and there defense is not all that bad, sure they do not have a Chara or Lidstrom but they did win the WHC with a bunch of kids playing in the KHL???
The players that play in the World Hockey Championships (WHC) are made up of guys from the NHL that didn???t make the playoffs. The Olympics is a Best on Best tourney.
I don???t think a bunch of NHL rejects from the KHL would be considered as one of ???the best???.
Lidstrom, Chara, Pronger, Phaneuf... these will be the best defensmen in the Olympic Tourney. They will be the difference makers. Canada has them, Sweden has them???but Russia quite simply doesn???t.
I can see Sweden again making a run to the finals against Canada. They generally come to play in these big tournaments. But this is Canada???s tourney to lose.
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