The Hablympian Preview

So it is time for 2014 Winter Olympic that start soon and it is many nation that compete for this Gold medal of Olympic ice hockey. The nation that always win is Canada, Sweden, Russia and United States. Other nation that also win or have chance to win is the Czech and Slovakia also Finland. This also compete with that lesser hockey nations in Europe like Germany and Swiss and except for Russia there is no Asia in this thing.

People from nation like India, Australia and other place that does not have Olympic ice hockey team, we have a nice opportunity to judge this Olympic event with the most impartial view. My friends and family they choose favorite Olympic team from the favorite NHL player on that team. For me I am very lucky because my team is and always shall be the Montreal Canadiens, and there is much Hablympian presence in this 2014 Winter Olympic Games.


Max Pacioretty

Pacioretty make ideal player for larger Olympic ice. He is tall and fast skater and can be a trigger man for a good passer centerman. If I am Team USA coach Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh Penguins), I will use Pacioretty with Paul Stastny.

Whatever line he will play with, Max Pacioretty is one of many big fast danger forward up and down roster for Americans. With good defense and goalie this team looks to me very very strong.


Andrei Markov & Alexei Emelin

It is maybe a surprise, maybe not, but Team Russia has weakness at defense. Forward of course it is very loaded for players and goalie is strong, but defense this is a problem. For Habs fans it is nice to see Markov and Emelin as the very likely #1 defense unit for Russia but after this pair it is a drop in the quality. Fedor Tyutin and Slava Voynov are good NHL player but this is not a fearsome combination for major opponents. After this four player, I apologize but I do not know any of this other roster player. Maybe I am mistaken, but I think if this other player is good I will know about them even 1%.

If Russia will win, it is for exceptional goalie performance and the forward must all play very strong. But most important it is defense to play beyond capability. Markov and Emelin are very good NHL defense but just like that probably not enough to stop opponent like Canada and USA.


Peter Budaj

This is a fun team for Habs fans because Slovak feature two goalie we know very well. The starter is very likely to be former Montreal Canadien #1 Jaroslav Halak. This is the goalie that carry Canadiens more close to that Stanley Cup ever since the last time Patrick Roy do it. Now he is St. Louis Blue. Peter Budaj is Canadiens #2 and he will be #2 in Sochi for Slovak. Maybe he will play one game, I hope on it.

Please note: All my friend want to see Price vs. Halak, but this can only happen in medal round.


Tomas Plekanec

Jaromir Jagr will have the chance again to play with his friend Tomas Plekanec, and I think this combination will surprise many people at Sochi. Age has slowed the Jagr but he can still make the offense. Versus great defenses there will be serious problems for success, but Czech have chance to do damage in the best circumstance. They must do it now because that it is very old.

I see Petr Nedved on that team. I remember he win Silver on Team Canada in Lillehammer '94 Olympic. What is he doing?


Raphael Diaz

It is the interesting thing that it is always a Hablympian on Team Swiss. Always a defense too. Before it was Mark Streit, captain of that team, and also Yanic Weber. Now its Rafael Diaz time. Maybe he will score a goal, but I think maybe more assist.

Nobody ever like that Swiss team, but I remember always good performance at Olympics. Goalie is always the answer, and Jonas Hiller is #1. I know this is very good goalie (from hockey pool!) and last time at Olympic he play very good.


Carey Price and P.K. Subban

Both Hablympians play key role for Team Canada. Price is the probable #1 goalie and in any event will see action. Price make Canadian Olympic team because he has strong ability but he have question because he show sometimes inconsistent. Even with some question about the big game poise, it is difficult to find a better option for Canada. Other goalie they have (Luongo VAN & Smith PHO) also have this inconsistent thing.

The P.K. win last year the Norris trophy for best defense in NHL but this award some time favor defense that make goal and not always prevent the goal. Subban always have reputation of the player who takes many mistake, even from his Canada junior team Belleville Bulls. The major question on him is for that defense responsibility and if whatever mistakes he take if it will show magnification on larger Olympic ice surface. I watch almost 100% every Habs game and it is my belief that P.K. Subban defensive ability is much underrated.

Of course Team Canada is the favorite going in, for reason they are defending Olympic Gold medal champion and because it is Canada and hockey is there thing. But I also think #76 and #31 will be difference maker for Team Canada one way or other way.

For the reason of the P.K. and Carey Price, I take Team Canada is my #1 team of Olympics. Go Canada!

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