Olympic Hockey Schedule 2014: Complete Listing for Men's Tournament

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Olympic Hockey Schedule 2014: Complete Listing for Men's Tournament
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One of the top events during the 2014 Olympics will be the men's hockey tournament. Four years ago, a very exciting competition ended with a thrilling gold-medal game that saw Canada emerge over the United States courtesy of Sidney Crosby.

This year's tournament is also important because it could end up being the last time NHL players are allowed to participate for a while. Jason Brough of Pro Hockey Talk passed along comments from deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who said nothing is set in stone for 2018: "We specifically avoided negotiating over or committing to Olympic participation beyond the 2014 Sochi Games. It's our joint intention (NHL and NHLPA) to assess the experience in Sochi before even considering whether to continue with Olympic participation going forward."

The Olympic break is always an obstacle for the league, as is the fact that its players are risking injury to represent their country. It's something to watch closely moving forward, as the event wouldn't be nearly as enticing without the world's top players involved.

As for now, let's check out the complete schedule for the men's tournament in Sochi. It's followed by a look at some of the top contenders.

2014 Olympic Men's Hockey Schedule
Date Time (ET) Time (MSK) Game/Round
Feb. 12 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Czech Republic vs. Sweden
Feb. 12 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Latvia vs. Switzerland
Feb. 13 3 a.m. 12 p.m. Finland vs. Austria
Feb. 13 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Russia vs. Slovenia
Feb. 13 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Slovakia vs. USA
Feb. 13 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Canada vs. Norway
Feb. 14 3 a.m. 12 p.m. Czech Republic vs. Latvia
Feb. 14 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Sweden vs. Switzerland
Feb. 14 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Norway vs. Finland
Feb. 14 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Canada vs. Austria
Feb. 15 3 a.m. 12 p.m. Slovakia vs. Slovenia
Feb. 15 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. USA vs. Russia
Feb. 15 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Sweden vs. Latvia
Feb. 15 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Switzerland vs. Czech Republic
Feb. 16 3 a.m. 12 p.m. Austria vs. Norway
Feb. 16 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Russia vs. Slovakia
Feb. 16 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Slovenia vs. USA
Feb. 16 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Finland vs. Canada
Feb. 18 3 a.m. 12 p.m. Qualification Round
Feb. 18 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Qualification Round
Feb. 18 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Qualification Round
Feb. 18 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Qualification Round
Feb. 19 3 a.m. 12 p.m. Quarterfinals
Feb. 19 7:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Quarterfinals
Feb. 19 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Quarterfinals
Feb. 19 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Quarterfinals
Feb. 21 7 a.m. 4 p.m. Semifinals
Feb. 21 12 p.m. 9 p.m. Semifinals
Feb. 22 10 a.m. 7 p.m. Bronze-Medal Game
Feb. 23 7 a.m. 4 p.m. Gold-Medal Game

Sochi2014.com

 

Canada

The Canadian roster is once again oozing with offensive talent as it looks to win back-to-back gold medals. Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer and the hero from four years ago, will lead the way, but he'll have plenty of support from the likes of Ryan Getzlaf and John Tavares, among others.

It's the overall depth that makes Team Canada so tough to beat. It can roll four different lines, and every one is a major scoring threat. No other team in the tournament can make that claim, and it gives the reigning Olympic champions a little extra margin for error.

Leadership is also an area of strength, with Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber serving as the captain group, as noted by SportsCentre:

The only lingering question mark for Canada was between the pipes. It was a growing concern in the weeks leading up to the Games, but Carey Price has returned to form in February after a rough January and should provide some stability. Veteran Roberto Luongo will be ready just in case.

 

Russia

There is no question about Russia's firepower. Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Semin headline a very dangerous offensive group. To capture gold on home ice, that entire set of players must dominate.

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As Canada showed four years ago, playing at home is also an advantage. The added support from the crowd is a welcome boost and provides a little extra motivation, which becomes key with the very condensed schedule en route to the medal rounds.

If Russia is going to win gold, it will do so because it overpowered the competition or because Semyon Varlamov stood on his head in goal. Its defense is not built for multiple low-scoring games, but the potent offense should make it less of an issue, at least until the business end of the event.

 

United States

The United States can't match the star power of Canada or Russia. The same could have been said four years ago, though. The American roster reflects that. It's a gritty team with many of two-way players capable of playing the same physical brand of hockey that got them within one goal of gold last time.

Sure, the United States has the likes of Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel, who are capable of taking over a game offensively. But it has more players in the mold of Ryan Kesler and Zach Parise. While the U.S. score, it's the two-way contributions that make the U.S. tough to play against.

Add a batch of very reliable defensemen, and it's clear the Americans are built to win those close, gritty games that usually arise late in Olympic tournaments. Ryan Miller deserves the nod over Jonathan Quick in goal, but the U.S. will be in good hands and a gold contender either way.

 

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