2014 Olympic Hockey: Top Storylines to Watch in Men's Ice Hockey Tournament

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2014 Olympic Hockey: Top Storylines to Watch in Men's Ice Hockey Tournament
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics have begun, with the men's ice hockey tournament kicking off on February 12. Canada enters the tournament as the defending gold-medal champion. It can expect a serious challenge from the United States, Sweden and the host country, Russia. Once again, the NHL is well-represented, as most of the 12 countries in this tournament are carrying a number of NHL stars. 


In a round-robin tournament where playoff games can be decided by shootout, there's little room for error. As a result, some interesting storylines will emerge. The Russian team faces tremendous pressure to win on home ice. Injuries could prove critical to a team's overall performance. An underdog could emerge to challenge the favorites for gold. The larger ice surface could play a role in determining the tournament's outcome. 


Here's a look at 10 storylines worth watching in men's ice hockey at the Sochi Olympics.

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