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Olympic Hockey Open Thread: USA vs. Canada Women & Czech Republic vs. Sweden Men

Pascal Le Segretain

Today's the day: the start of the Olympic Tournament in men's ice hockey. Even better, we get a bonus game first thing in the morning as the two best women's teams on the planet will face off first.

Canada and the U.S., who have so far dropped 20 goals and allowed only one against the Swiss and the Finnish teams will face off to decide which team gets a the better bye straight into the quarterfinals and which will have to play an extra game to get there. The U.S. has the advantage on goal differential at +11, but Canada has yet to yield a goal and has only faced 28 shots on net so far.

The Canadians are good, but they don't have a Kessel. We have a Kessel. Game starts at 7:30 EST.

Later today (noon), we'll get to see the first two games in the Men's Tourney. If you're interested, the Latvians and the Swiss will be playing at the same time, but the big game of the day belongs to the Czechs and the Swedes. While the Swedes should be the favorites in this game, the Czechs have a lot of talent up and down their roster (but no Jiri Hudler, so fuck them).

Seeing as how the Swedish team has six Red Wings players on it and this is a Red Wings blog, I'm going to take a chance here and openly declare that I want the Swedes to win this game.

I haven't found line/pairing information for the Czechs, but it appears as though the top line will be Jagr-Plekanec-Cervenka according to NOVA Sport's Roman Jedlicka.

Our own hometown digger Helene St. James indicates this is how the Swedish forwards will skate in front of Henrik Lundqvist:

Meanwhile, Sportsnet has the defensive pairings as follows:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Erik Karlsson
Niklas KronwallJonathan Ericsson
Johnny OduyaNiklas Hjalmarsson

Extras: Henrik Tallinder, Alex Edler

It's an open thread. Have fun, folks.