The world's best hockey players have arrived in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics. Four countries—Canada, the U.S., Russia and Slovenia—will feature players from the Los Angeles Kings.
The tournament will get started on Feb. 12 and will be played under the same format as the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, save for the bigger ice.
Expect similar stats as the previous Games, where only five players topped the seven-point mark.
Here is a look at the numbers each King should put up based on their role, their team's group and how far their team is projected to go.
As Slovenia’s only current NHL player, Anze Kopitar will be expected to lead the way in every facet of the game. He can expect to face the opposing team’s top shutdown line on nearly every shift and will have to adjust to playing alongside less dynamic players than, say, Jeff Carter.
Also, Slovenia is in Group A—the toughest of the three groups—along with Russia, the U.S. and Slovakia. Goals will be hard to come by, and a win would likely mark the biggest upset since Belarus defeated Sweden in the 2002 Games.
Projected stats: One goal, two assists, minus-five.
While there is still some uncertainty as to what Slava Voynov’s role will be, he was paired with Andrei Markov at practise Monday, according to Arpon Basu of NHL.com.
If they can find chemistry, Voynov and Markov have the potential to be a dangerous pairing offensively, especially on the power play.
According to Basu, Markov described Voynov’s game as follows.
I've seen him on TV and we've played a couple times. Mostly I see him on TV. He looks like (he has) great vision, good skater, good shot, reads the play well. He's a talented, young defenseman.
Markov possesses many of the same skills and also has experience playing in two prior Olympics.
Projected stats: Two goals, three assists, plus-one.
Drew Doughty recorded just two assists at the 2010 Games, but he was a plus-six and played the fourth-most minutes on the team.
He's been paired with first-time Olympian Marc-Eduoard Vlasic at practice, according to TSN.ca. He should expect to play top-five minutes again, even if he's on the third pairing. Shea Weber and Duncan Keith will be asked to do a lot five-on-five, but Doughty could have a big impact on special teams.
He excels at moving the puck up the ice, has a tremendous shot and is a great facilitator on the power play.
Projected stats: Two goals, thee assists, plus-three.
Steve Stamkos is out. Jeff Carter is in.
Martin St. Louis took Stamkos’ spot on the roster, but it’s Carter who is practicing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, according to TSN.ca. Mike Babcock may switch the lines multiple times before the end of the round robin, but if these three can work off each other’s strengths, they could be lethal.
Carter should have a role similar to that of Jarome Iginla or Corey Perry at the 2010 Olympics.
Crosby is an incredible playmaker who should draw two defenders at times, and Carter has a knack for finding open spaces. Not to mention, he has one of the quickest releases in the world.
Projected stats: Four goals, two assists, plus-five.
Dan Bylsma has already begun shuffling his lines. Dustin Brown has been up and down the lineup practicing alongside a variety of players, including Patrick Kane, according to Brian Stubits of CBSSports.com.
Because of his ability to play a physical two-way game and his lack of offensive production this season, Brown may be best suited on a shutdown line with T.J. Oshie, David Backes or Ryan Callahan.
Brown will likely play an important role on the penalty kill, but he'll see very limited ice time on the power play. Therefore, look for his numbers to be similar to what they've been with L.A. this season.
Projected stats: One goal, two assists, plus-four.
Jonathan Quick has the potential to put on an MVP performance like Ryan Miller did in 2010. That is, if he can beat out Miller for the starting job.
Miller is playing behind a dreadful Sabres squad, but he has an impressive .923 save percentage, which ranks 12th in the NHL. Quick has had an average season by his standards and has struggled coming into the Olympics.
It may be a toss-up, but look for Miller to retain the starting job—like Roberto Luongo for Canada—during the early stages of the tournament. This could leave Quick with just a couple starts.
Projected stats: 1-1-0, .914 save percentage, 2.00 goal-against average.