Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Canada hasn't won consecutive gold medals since 1952 in Oslo, which is also the most recent Olympics where this nation captured ice hockey's top prize overseas.
Bovada has given Canada the second-best odds to win gold in Sochi at 9/4, with Russia having the best odds at 11/5.
Apart from Canada and Russia, there are several other countries with a real chance to win the gold medal. That list includes Sweden (2006 gold medal winners), Finland (2010 bronze medal winners), the United States (2010 silver medal winners), Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
In addition to a more talented starting goalie, another advantage that these countries have over Canada is a roster full of players with plenty of experience competing on an international ice surface. Many of the players on Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Russia and the Czech Republic play on these larger sheets of ice with their professional club. They won't have to adjust to the bigger dimensions like most of the players on Canada and the United States.
Canada learned a lot from its embarrassing Olympic campaign in 2006, and it will make adjustments to thrive in an international setting by not assembling a normal NHL-type of roster.
Nicholas Goss is an NHL columnist at Bleacher Report. He was a credentialed writer at the 2011 and 2013 Stanley Cup Final, the 2012 NHL playoffs and the 2013 NHL draft.