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Sochi Olympics: Men’s Hockey Power Rankings


Bolshoy Ice Dome will host the Olympics premier event, Men’s Ice Hockey

With the NHL wrapping up this Saturday, all eyes will soon turn to the ice in Sochi where the men’s ice hockey tournament is looking to repeat as the games’ most exciting tournament like it was in Vancouver four years ago.

The defending gold medalists, Canada, are surely the favorites to defend their medal but the field behind them has plenty of depth. Lenny Rowe and Ashley Proctor rank each team in the tournament to help get you ready for Sochi where games will begin Wednesday Feb. 12th with the gold medal game being played on Sunday the 23rd at Bolshoy Ice Dome.



1.) Canada (Gold Medal in 2010 Winter Olympics):

Not original at all that Team Canada is number one, but how can they not be? This team is stacked from their offense to their defense. With Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, and Jonathan Toews all at center, that leaves Patrice Bergeron on the fourth line. The one thing that could potentially hurt Team Canada? Their goaltending. Yes, all three goalies (Roberto Luongo, Carey Price, and Marc-Andre Fleury) are some of the best, but they all have a tendency to fall apart real easily. They can be thankful that their offensive power and their stacked defense will help them out greatly. – Ashley Proctor

2.) USA (Silver Medal in 2010 Winter Olympics):

Absolutely stacked lineup, arguably their best to date. Though they have the odds stacked against them, this year, Team USA is more than capable of pulling off the upset. With the likes of Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, and Phil Kessel, this team is very deep offensively. With Ryan Miller or Jonathan Quick in net, opposing shooters will be running into brick walls. What makes or breaks this team is their defense. Sure, they have some solid defensemen, but I’m weary of the possible D-pair that is Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik. Orpik is overrated, often getting burned by faster skaters (see: Team Canada). But hey, with Ryan Suter and Kevin Shattenkirk, they should be good. – Lenny Rowe

3.) Finland (Bronze Medal in 2010 Winter Olympics):

It wouldn’t be a good list without an underdog team receiving a medal right? Team Finland’s greatest strength is their goaltending. Tuukka Rask, Anti Niemi, and Kari Lehtonen are Finland’s finest and can steal a game easily. Teemu Selanne may be losing his touch, but considering this is his last Olympic Games, he might pull a few tricks out of his sleeves. Offense will be the problem for Team Finland, but they have plenty of young talent in Aleksander Barkov and Mikael Granlund, that anything is possible. – AP

4.) Sweden (Eliminated by Slovakia in the Quarterfinals of 2010 Winter Olympics):

Many people have written this team off, but I think they are a team to watch. Henrik Sedin has dropped out, but with Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Bäckstrom on offense, they are a force to be reckoned with. Now add in Erik Karlsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Niklas Kronwall on D? Yikes. With Henrik Lundqvist in net, forget Team Finland — I have this squad getting Bronze. – LR

5.) Russia (Eliminated by Canada in the Quarterfinals of 2010 Winter Olympics):

Playing in their home might give Russia a boost, but aside from their incredible top four forwards (Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and Ilya Kovalchuk), this team does not have a whole lot to brag about. Most of their problems come from their blue line, which is a bit weak, led by Andrei Markov. Their goaltending is decent with former Vezina Sergei Bobrovsky, but is not nearly as incredible as other team’s goalie tandems as a whole. – AP

6.) Slovakia (Eliminated by Canada in the Semifinal Round of 2010 Winter Olympics):

This team might be able to pull off an upset in Sochi. With a guy named Dinamo Riga, Marian Hossa, and Marian Gaborik on offense, they’re not stacked, but they can score goals. Add in Zdeno Chara on D and Jaroslav Halak in net, things look pretty good for this team. Also, it should be noted Canada barely survived this team in 2010. Slovakia surged late, but could not find the game-tying goal. – LR

7.) Switzerland (Eliminated by Slovakia in the Quarterfinals of 2010 Winter Olympics):

The Swiss team could be another underdog. This country had a successful go at the World Junior Championships, and may come into the Olympics feeding off of that success. Roman Josi is an above average NHLer on defense and Jonas Hiller is a very capable goaltender. He could help this team out greatly. However, can it compete with the likes of some of the other top powerhouses? I don’t think so. – AP

8.) Czech Republic (Eliminated by Finland in the Quarterfinals of 2010 Winter Olympics):

A lot of International players on this roster may favor the much larger international-sized rinks they’ll be playing on in Sochi. Giving masterminds like David Krejci more ice to work with could be disastrous for teams used to smaller, NHL-sized rinks. I mean, Tomas Kaberle might be able to finally produce. That said; their weak points will be on defense and in net with Alexander Salak and Ondrej Pavelec. Against teams like Canada, USA, Sweden, and Russia, I have them falling just short of a medal. – LR

9.) Slovenia (Qualified for Olympic Tournament for the first time.):  

The one name on this team many will be familiar with is Anze Kopitar. He will be the one carrying this team most likely, and unless he is a superhero, he probably will not be able to carry them very far. Like team Swiss, they could have a good run, and some good luck, but competing against some of the best teams seems to be what will ultimately be Slovenia’s downfall. – AP
10.) Austria (Qualified for Olympic Tournament for first time since 2002):

Other than Michael Grabner and Thomas Vanek and a bunch of International League players, there’s not much on offense. For D and goalie, not much either. – LR

11.) Norway (Eliminated by Slovakia in Qualifying Round of 2010 Winter Olympics):

The only advantage this team seems to have is that they are familiar with playing in the larger rink, which the top NHL players are not used to. And, a lot of the players are familiar playing with each other, which will bring the team some good chemistry. Other than that, this team does not have a lot to offer. – AP

12.) Latvia (Lost to Czech Republic in Qualifying Round of 2010 Winter Olympics):

Kaspars Daugavins… that’s about it. This team has absolutely no chance defeating Czech Republic, Sweden, or Switzerland. Can anybody point to where Latvia is on a world map without looking it up? Sorry, Latvians. – LR





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