One-on-One: Which Men’s Olympic Hockey Team Will Win?

Team USA

The Olympics are a great spec- tacle, but let’s face it: hockey is the main draw. We’re getting very close to crowning a gold medal- ist. Team USA plays that team up north for the right to play for the gold medal. Who will win? It’s easy: Team USA.

Obviously, Team Canada will be the favorite. But come on. They have no offense at all. They spent most of the quarterfinal game fighting off a Latvian team they should’ve steamrolled from the start.

I know international competi- tion is tough, but so far, America has made it look easy. They have blown out every team it faced except the host country, Russia. Team USA is giving up just less than two goals per game while scoring slightly less than four.

Add in the disappointment felt four years ago in Vancouver when the Canadians knocked off Team USA in the finals, and you know the motivation is there.

The formula is simple: play a clean game early, stay out of the penalty box and avoid the early troubles that doomed them in 2010. If they do that, they’ll have a 50/50 shot at taking home the gold. I think they’ll take care of business and knock team Canada down to the bronze medal match.

-Garth Shanklin

 

Team Canada

O Canada!

Depending on which tone you are saying those famous words, these Winter Olympics has been an up and down adventure for the all-star bunch from up North.

Yes, most all-star teams have trouble playing together. Look at any NBA, NFL, or MLB all- star game, it is a mess, and most people turn the game off after the first ten minutes or so.

But this is the Olympics, and there is little time to build chem- istry with players who come from 16 NHL teams.

There are a couple things that mean the most to a Canadian citizen, and those are playing hockey and winning a gold medal at the Olympics playing hockey.

There is just too much power, leadership and production on team Canada for them not to overcome a very streaky USA team.

Drew Doughtey leads the team in points and Shea Weber netted the game winner against Latvia to put Canada where they are now.

With five NHL captains steer- ing the ship for Canada in 2014, this team will be too much for the United States, and Canada will move on to the gold medal game.

-Aaron Freeman