The Olympic men’s hockey tournament is finally upon us! The first two games kick off tomorrow at 7:30 eastern time. The Czech Republic will take on Sweden. Both teams are accompanied by tons of NHL talent. Sweden is one of the favored teams to win Gold.
The Czech Republic haven’t seen gold since 1998. Led by captain Tomas Plekanec the Czech’s are hopeful to start the tournament off with a win.The biggest problem with the Czech Republic is goaltending. Ondrej Pavelec won’t dress for the opener against Sweden. Which leaves Jakub Kovar and Alexander Salak. Neither players have suited up in the NHL. Alexander Salak is currently in the KHL. With 31 games played on St. Petersburg SKA. Salak has posted a .933 SV% accompanied by an impressive 1.88 GAA. Salak is favored to start against the Swedes.
Who to watch for on the Czech Republic: The 7th all time scoring leader Jaromir Jagr. Also watch for Bruins Centermen David Krejci
The Swedes begin their quest to gold against the Czech Republic. Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson will go up against teammate Martin Erat. The Swedes are the number one overall favorite to win gold. With strong goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and some of the best passers in the league it’s hard to vote against them. Sweden will look to attack a stay-at-home defense when they go up against the Czech’s. With strong scoring coming from everywhere on the Swedish team young goal tender Andrew Salak will have a tough time keeping this a low scoring affair.
Who to watch for on team Sweden: Blue liner Erik Karlsson will be a dual threat for the Swedes. Also keep an eye out for Henrik Zetterbeg.