After the thrilling overtime gold medal game in the women's tournament, the USA will get their opportunity for redemption as the men face the team that relegated them to silver in the 2010 Olympic finals.
Surprisingly, Canada has struggled to score in this tournament, relying on offense from the likes of defensemen Drew Doughty and Shea Weber. Their current shooting percentage is absurdly low at 7.73%, and several star players are yet to put the puck in the net. Sidney Crosby, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrice Bergeron, Martin St.Louis, Jonathan Toews, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau and Matt Duchene have all been held without a goal in the games leading to the semi-final. It's worth noting that Canada has been putting the puck on net by the boatloads. In fact, they've put almost 50 more shots on net than their American counterparts so far in the tournament (168-120). They've hit a streak of hot goalies, mixed with some bad puck luck, although they haven't faced an opponent as strong as the United States in these Olympic Games.
The USA's offense on the other hand is red hot, outscoring their opponents 20-6 in games leading to this match up. Phil Kessel is the best offensive weapon on Dan Bylsma's roster, however they Americans can count on a long list of adequate scoring support from the likes of David Backes, Paul Stastny, Patrick Kane, and goal scorer Max Pacioretty. The Americans have allowed a few more goals than Canadians to this point, yet it must be said that they've faced a tougher road to the semi-finals. Jonathan Quick will get the start for the Americans, and Paul Martin will miss the game due to illness, to be replaced by Justin Faulk. The bulk of Martin's minutes will probably go to John Carlson.
John Tavares is out for the rest of the tournament, due to a torn MCL. He'll be replaced by Matt Duchene up fonrt. Carey Price gets the start, and PK Subban will once again be relegated to the press box.
The best personnel news that I can report ahead of this elimination game is that Tim Peel will not be the referee, he already butchered the other semi-final between Finland and Sweden, thus he is not available for this match up.
Here are the projected line ups:
Puck drop is at 12:00pm EST, and you can stream it live here. It is also available in French. It will be on TV in Canada on CBC. In the United States it will be aired on NBCSN, and streamed live on their website.
(stream links will be updated once they're available)
The winner of this game will face Sweden in the gold medal game on Sunday. The loser will face Finland for bronze on Saturday.