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Olympic Hockey Open Thread: Quarterfinals Games 1 & 2 - Slovenia vs. Sweden & Russia vs. Finland

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After Tuesday's Qualification Round, we're down to just eight teams in the Olympic Ice Hockey Men's Tournament.

Martin Rose

Good morning. No...GREAT. MORNING.

[If you set your alarm for later because you couldn't bear to drag your ass out of bed for the overnight game, just skip down to the next set of bolded brackets. Nobody will blame you.]

We're into the exciting portion of the Olympics. After today, we'll be down to just four teams competing for the Gold. I'm not entirely sure why they couldn't schedule our first game at the same time as the Russia/Finland game, but here we are. It's 3 in the morning on the East Coast and if you're crazy like I am, you woke up early to see Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Daniel Alfredsson, and Gustav Nyquist take on the upstart Slovenians for a chance to play either the Russians or the Finns on Friday.

If we're ranking the Quarterfinals games in order of which ones are most likely to end in upsets, this one is third. Slovenia has been surprisingly good, but they've only beaten Slovakia and Austria so far. Meanwhile, Sweden hasn't lost yet. Can the upstart Slovenians take down the hurting Swedes, who are without Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Sedin?

We're about to find out.

[Short Version for People Who Slept in]

Well hey there, bright-eyes. You're looking beautiful this morning. Those extra hours of sleep did some wonders for your skin. You're positively radiant.

Jerk.

With one Quarterfinal game down, we've got one more early-morning tilt to set the first game of the Semis. Finland lost to Canada in overtime in the last game of the Group Play round and their punishment for it was having to play against a fired-up Russia squad which overcame a slow start to handily take out Norway yesterday.

Russia vs. Finland should be the closest game of the day. The Finns have performed about as well as expected (except in goal), while the Russians have only really shown flashes of the game-changing dominance of which they're capable. No idea what to expect in this one.

North America plays later, for now, our eyes face East.