My Olympic Men's Hockey Predictions

Derek DittmerContributor IFebruary 14, 2010

We Canadians live and breathe hockey. So playing our game on our turf should add up to a for sure gold medal. As much as I would love to see that I don't think Canada can pull it off. Here is how I think the teams will finish:

4. Finland- Team Finand plays a game similar to Canada's. A dump and chase grinding style. There players won't jump off the page but they play a good team game. Led by Mikka Kiprusoff in net the Finnish are no push over and will be a threat to medal.

3. USA- Team USA is a very young and quick team. They have a top line that can match the best in Parise-Kane-Kessel. Zach Parise is VERY underrated and he will be an absolute force. People will question their defence and their depth. I think the U.S. have great depth at forward, many of their players aren't given the same credit that a Canadian player would. The main factor I have USA winning a medal is Ryan Miller. Miller is having his best year statistically and many think he is the best goalie this season. Team USA is a major threat and shouldn't be taken lightly.

2. Canada- People will be upset with me for this. There is no questioning that Canada has the most depth in the tournament. However what I question is where are the snipers? When looking at the roster I see a bunch of playmakers that on occasion put the puck in the net. Of course there are exceptions like Dany Heatley and Rick Nash. I see a defence that has many question marks. Are Pronger and Niedermayer too slow and old? Can Doughty play a defensive game on the big stage? Goaltending should be an advantage for Canada. Broduer has won a gold medal and was the lone star in Turin. I also have to question their desire. Last games there was no heart in their game and they were embarrassed. If Canada goes down one or two goals do they have the heart and soul to come back? Is Crosby as good as everyone thinks? Remember he only had 1 assist in the Stanley Cup final last year. I sincerely hope Canada strikes gold but there is a huge beast standing in the way.

1. Russia- Ovechkin-Malkin-Kovalchuk-Datsyuk-Gonchar-Semin-Nabokov- need I go on? This team is absolutely explosive. They can score and they can score. Do they have a very good defence? No. However I expect them to just light the lamp at will and be nearly impossible to stop. Evegeni Nabokov is a very good goaltender and could win a game by himself if needed. Russia does not have the best defence or the best depth but their obscene amount of scoring will be enough in my opinion to lead them to gold.