Men's Olympic Hockey Preview: Top 6 Teams

by Steve On Sens

The 2014 Sochi Olympics are finally upon us! After months of waiting (see Marcel Aubut's speeches), training (see the quads of Martin St. Louis), and discussion (see every person in Canada after the roster announcement), the games are set to begin! Although the Olympics have been open for several days, I did not feel comfortable writing a preview for women's biathlon. Welcome to the Radek Bonk's Mullet Men's Olympic Hockey Preview (for the top six teams)!

1st Place - Canada

"And they'll be wearing these jerseys! HAHA great joke Bob Nicholson!"
Top Players
  • (C) Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh): Proven leader and offensive threat
  • (A) Jonathan Toews (Chicago): Two-time Stanley Cup champion 
  • (A) Shea Weber (Nashville): Put a puck through the net at the last Olympics
Best Case Scenario: Canada is tied 2-2 with Sweden in the gold medal game with 45 seconds left. Mike Babcock searches the bench for the perfect player to score a huge goal for the nation. Crosby? Duchene? Vlasic? No. Babcock stares into the distance at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. No! Could it be? Jason Spezza, giggling, rides in on a white pegasus. Before he even reaches the bench, Mike Babcock signals for Spezza to get onto the ice. With 10 seconds left on the clock, Spezza takes a feed from PK Subban and buries the tying goal. Canada wins gold and Spezza's pegasus receives an honorary gold medal. (What the hell did I just write?)

Worst Case Scenario: Mike Babcock doesn't put Crosby in a shootout against the Czech Republic in the semi-finals. The decision is debated 16 years later on Hockey Central at the Intermission.

2nd Place - Sweden

Alfie after finding out that Russia is actually worse than Detroit.
Top Players
  • (C) Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit): Stanley Cup Winner and Red Wings star
  • (A) Daniel Alfredsson (Otta . . . Detroit): Former Senators Captain and God
  • Erik Karlsson (Ottawa): Norris Trophy winner and Jared Cowen's defence partner

Best Case Scenario: Daniel Alfredssson scores the golden goal with assists from Silfverberg and Karlsson. Eugene Melnyk sits in the stands a wearing Canada jacket, Barbados toque and Ukrainian mittens scowling before taking an interview on the Fan 590. 

Worst Case Scenario: Tommy Salo returns from retirement after all three Swedish goalies are injured by a Milan Michalek flying knee. Luckily for Sweden, Belarus isn't in the tournament.

3rd Place - Russia

In Russia, team picture take YOU . . . forever if you don't stop fidgeting, Evgeni!
Top Players
  • (C) Pavel Datsyuk (Detroit): Enigmatic Red Wings forward with scoring touch
  • (A) Alexander Ovechkin (Washington): Enigmatic sniper that can steal a game
  • (A) Ilya Kovalchuk (SKA Saint Petersburg): Enigmatic retiree with the comeback story of a lifetime!

Best Case Scenario: The Russians power through their group, leading to a matchup . . . or Winter War of sorts with Finland. Russia wins and then claims gold against America. Putin sheds tears of joy at the closing ceremonies, Gorbachev stares happily into the tropical sunset of Sochi, and Ronald Reagan rolls over in his grave.

Worst Case Scenario: Russia falls to Slovakia in the round robin, prompting a goaltending change. Alexander Yeryomenko steps into goal and plays like a poor man's version of former Senators goalie Daniel Berthiaume. Russia finishes 7th. 

4th Place - USA

We are all Kessels.
Top Players
  • (C) Zach Parise (Minnesota): Wild forward with a beautiful smile
  • (A) Ryan Suter (Minnesota): Top defenceman that will be able to shut down Slovenia's depth players
  • (A) Dustin Brown (Los Angeles): Once used a water bottle backwards

Best Case Scenario:
After days of training consisting of post-game bag skates, Kevin Shattenkirk finally says "USA!" instead of "St. Louis Blues!" after being asked what team he plays for. The US goes on to the win gold and a Disney movie is made 24 years later.

Worst Case Scenario: After a long night of scotch drinking, Brian Burke emerges (tie untied) to speak to he media. A Sun Media reporter takes advantage of Burke's state and asks him how to spell "intense". Burke responds "I-N-T-E-N-S-E". The Sun then claims that Burke still spelled the word wrong because its writers do not know how to spell intense.

5th Place - Finland

Too bad Olli Jokinen didn't have a skateboard to do an Ollie! *gets booed off stage*

Top Players

  • (C) Teemu Selanne (Anaheim): Veteran sniper that can guide Finland to victory
  • (A) Kimmo Timonen (Philadelphia): Flyers defenceman appearing in 5th Olympics
  • Tuuka Rask (Boston): Bruins stopper with a passion for the game!

Best Case Scenario: The ghost of Jarkko Ruutu places a curse on all other teams, leaving them with concussion-like symptoms. Finland powers its way to gold while Don Cherry looks on with disgust. Not even one Finnish player was born in Parry Sound, Ontario. 

Worst Case Scenario: During Ruutu's quest to give opposition players concussion-like symptoms, Chris Simon appears and steps on Ruutu. Officials are still not certain how Chris Simon got to Sochi.

6th Place - Czech Republic

Dominik Hasek in happier days, enjoying his adductor muscles.

Top Players

  • (C) Tomas Plekanec (Montreal): Czech captain hoping to wrap a medal around his turtleneck
  • (A) Patrik Elias (New Jersey): Two-time cup champion and Devils all-time point leader
  • (A) Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey): Veteran who has recently passed Mark Messier in all-time goals and Joe Corvo in all-time teams

Best Case Scenario: Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec plays like he isn't the starting goaltender of the Winnipeg Jets and backstops the Czechs to victory.

Worst Case Scenario: Patrick Elias and Jaromir Jagr inspire the team to play like the 2013 Devils. Both Milan and Zybnek Michalek blow out a knee. Doctors fuse together their legs so that the pair can play as the Two-Headed Michalek.

As the hockey world watches Sochi for the next week and a half, questions will be asked, zone entries will be checked and anger will be produced. Canada will have a tough time repeating with gold as Sweden, Russia and the US are right in the mix. But no matter how incorrect my top six predictions end up being, they'll still be better than a top six made by Paul MacLean.

Have fun watching the Olympics and I'll see you for the Detroit at Ottawa Photoshop Preview!
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