Olympic Gold medal winner?

The olympic quarterfinals are now all set:

Switzerland vs Sweden
Finland vs United States
Russia vs Canada
Slovakia vs Czech Republic

Sweden will beat Switzerland and I think Finland should defeat the United States but the other two games are some solid rivalry games which will be quite interesting. I think Russia is actually a good draw for the Canadians. Although Russia has only given up 7 goals so far I think their defense and goaltending is a little weaker than some of the other teams and that should bode well for Canada and I think they will pull out a win. Slovakia at 5-0 is a bit of a surprise team so far. No one really expected them to be that good with Budaj, Lasak and Krizan in goal (if you said, never heard of any of them you are probably not alone). The Czech Republic is in the opposite position after having a dissapointing tournament so far and only made worse by the Dominik Hasek injury. Vokoun is a good goalie but he hasn’t played in a pressure situation like this and didn’t look that comfortable in today’s game against Canada. This could be a tough game for the Czech Republic and the Slovaks could upset their former other half of a country.

What do all of you think? Submit your comments and be sure to vote in the poll I just put up in the sidebar to the right.

This article has 4 Comments

  1. Well, I know Budaj (pronounced Boo-Die) is the Avalanche back up goaltender (unless I am thinking of another guy). Canada will have a hard time with Russia, and we won’t see USA in the medal rounds. Any of the seven teams have a considerable chance of winning. It is so close, I couldn’t pick of any one. If I were to go right now with who I think would win gold, I would have to go with Finland (or Czech Republic if Jaromir Jagr can contribute).

    We have already lost Patrick Elias and Dominik Hasek (Czech Republic) and Alexander Frolov (Russia) for the olympics. I hope Peter Forsberg (Sweden) and Jaromir Jagr can remain healthy.

  2. Vokoun played very well for the Czech team in the 04 World Cup. They lost to canada in the semi’s I believe, but that game was the best of the final four.

    Finland and Slovakia have looked strong, and I think they’ll make it past today’s games, but Canada still has to be the favorite- by far.

  3. USA lost to Finland 4-3, eliminating them from medal contention. Canada also lost to Russia, 2-0, which also eliminated them. Sweden won 6-2 over Switzerland. Personally, I would like to see a Slovakia vs. Finland finals. Finland is currently 6-0-0, while Slovakia is 5-0-0, with a 2-0 deficit right now to overcome against Czech Republic in the 2nd intermission. It is disappointing that a European team will be winning the gold medal (Russia is also part of Europe), but maybe Canada, the host nation of the 2010 olympics, will win gold in Vancouver. Anyway, here are the current matchups for the semi-finals:

    Sweden vs. Slovakia/Czech Republic
    Russia vs. Finland

  4. I still like either Czech Republic or Sweden to win but really, any one of those four teams could win. I’d probably put Finland as the least likely to win despite how well they have played so far. They have played great as a team and that has done a lot for them so far but they just don’t have near as much talent as the other teams and of all the goalies I’d be least confident about Niittymaki. If Nabokov can continue to provide top goaltending for Russia they will be tough to beat.

    I never really expected the U.S. to contend so them losing is no shock. They were too old and too short on talent.

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