Article written by Ryan Hale - Community Contributor
Sweden Takes on the Czechs
We’re finally just a few hours from the first puck drop and you can almost feel the excitement in the conversations with hockey fans. Many of us are feeling the dismay of missing our beloved NHL and having to go a few days without hockey has pretty much put us in withdrawal. No need to fret anymore because we’re just about a day away from Olympic hockey!
The first game that will be getting us under way should be a solid tilt as well. A Swedish team that many myself included, believe could be a solid contender for the gold or at least a medal will face off against a Czech team that has some solid defensive talent. Really when you look at both teams you don’t see very much offensively that really blows you away on paper. Sure the Swedes have Steen, but he is in his first Olympics and Sedin might suffer without his brother on the ice with him. Looking over the Czech roster the biggest name is Jagr, but he is starting to show his age and really isn’t backed up by much firepower.
This will be a game of defense and goalies and even when you consider those you have to give the slight edge to Sweden. The only way that the Czech team stands a chance is if they can keep Sweden from scoring more than 2 goals. Anything over that and I think the Czechs will not be able to keep pace, especially because the Swedes have a solid defense corps and will be starting a top tier goalie themselves.
This should be for sure the toughest opponent either team will face in the group stage of this tournament. So, look for both teams to bring their A game to the rink as this game may be the one that decides which of these two teams gets the automatic bye in the elimination rounds. Take into account that this is the Olympics and anything can happen and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Czechs surprise everyone with a win or tie. I however, think that this will be Sweden’s game to lose.
Enjoy the hockey everyone!
Note, game time and more info can be found at our schedule!