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Winter Olympics 2014 Men's Hockey: Sweden vs Czech Republic

Captain Tomas Plekanec gets the men's hockey tournament started against powerhouse Sweden.

Martin Rose

It's finally beginning, the long awaited men's hockey tournament at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia kicks off with a matchup between two top eight teams in the tournament as the Czech Republic takes on Sweden.

Sweden is still rattled by the news that Henrik Sedin and Johan Franzen aren't able to play. Daniel Sedin is still there, and Henrik Zetterberg will lead an extremely talented roster, headlined by a fast moving defensive core boasting stars like Erik Karlsson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

The Czech defense is essentially the complete opposite, with a far less mobile, more defense oriented defensive squad, with the only offensive minded players being long time veterans on the back nines of their respective careers in Tomas Kaberle and Marek Zidlicky.

Captain Tomas Plekanec leads the Czech squad on the top line with best friend Jaromir Jagr, with Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec a surprise healthy scratch. It's gonna be a good game, folks.

Check out where the teams rank relative to the rest of the competition in the final Olympics power rankings.

Puck drop is at 12:00pm EST on CBC, and you can stream it live here. It is also available in French. If you're restricted by an American IP NBC has you covered.