February 09, 2002

The 'Miracle on Ice' team: lit the Olympic torch last night, and wouldn't it be fitting if Team USA won the gold this time around? Who do you think is going to win it all? Slovakia could be the dark horse (perhaps garnering a bronze) if they manage to get past the qualifiers, but I think Canada has fielded the strongest team, under the leadership of two of the greatest athletes in the game, Wayne Gretzky (manager) and Mario Lemieux (team captain).

posted by insomnyuk to hockey at 06:56 PM - 7 comments

Slovakia is going to have a hard time, regardless of whether they make it through the qualifiers or not. They lost to Germany 3-0 today: so the task is all the more difficult. The goal-tenders are going to be key. It's too bad that Canada doesn't have Roy, but Cujo, Brodeur, and Belfour are solid (though they haven't been having the best of years... particularly Brodeur). However, I think the Czech's are easily a heavy favourite, especially with Hasek (and Chechmanek and Turek too). Khabibulin for Russia can steal games; Salo for Sweden is top-notch too. Personally, I think that out of the top seeds, the US is the most questionable in goal (excluding Finland, which I think will be lucky to medal). Richter CAN be extremely tough if at the top of his game. Whether he will be, I'm not sure. So whoever has the hottest goaltender will win it, I think. With that, I'd say the Czech's have the strongest chance.

posted by mkn at 08:57 PM on February 09

Mkn, I agree, to a point. On that big ice, goaltending is the most important element, by far. In that department, the Czechs scare me. But I think with all their gifted goal scorers, including players on each goalies team: Hasek (Shanahan, Yzerman), Chechmanek (Gagne), and Tureks (Iginla), maybe the Canadians will be able to knock a few past them.

posted by insomnyuk at 11:02 PM on February 09

Team USA may be slight underdogs this year, but nothing will compare to the "Miracle on Ice." I hope to see them win, but it will be no "miracle" if they do. I agree that the Czechs and Canadians are probably the most talented. It should be fun. "U-S-A, U-S--" what's that? No blatant patriotism allowed. Oh, my bad. "u-s-a, u-s-a,..."

posted by jacknose at 08:19 AM on February 10

For the Canadians, Theo Fleury's quickness and skill will be a huge advantage on the big ice!

posted by djacobs at 12:56 AM on February 11

Against all odds, Finland is going to get yet another medal with the help of Raimo Helminen. Czechs are going to win the gold medal.

posted by Ville at 07:57 AM on February 11

For the Canadians, Theo Fleury's persecution complex and growing instability will be a huge factor in his inevitable freakout on the big ice!

posted by Samsonov14 at 11:19 AM on February 12

I'm all for blatant patriotism and my pick for the gold reflects that. I see the US winning with "W" over Sweden in the gold medal game. I'll give Canada the bronze because their our neighbors (and pretty darn good). To the point made earlier that Mike Richter is tough at the top of his game, but inconsistent: I agree, but please note that Richter has always come up huge on the big stage. (World Cup of Hockey a few years back and '94 Cup run in NYC) Sure, time will tell on this one, but given a steady defense and some bright lights, Richter can be a monster.

posted by 86 at 11:46 AM on February 12

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