Canada vs. Germany Men's Semis Hockey Live-Stream Schedule, OddsFebruary 22, 2018
The Olympic Games usually provides us with some unexpected underdog stories, but we rarely see that in men's hockey.
Germany produced one of the most shocking results in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a 4-3 overtime win over the top-seeded Sweden in the quarterfinals to set up a date with Canada in the semifinals.
The ninth-seeded Germans lost their first two games before beating Norway in their final pool-play game and upsetting Switzerland and Sweden in their first two contests in the knockout phase.
Canada hasn't lived up to its potential, but it has found a way to grind out victories, including the 1-0 win over Finland in the quarterfinals.
Date: Friday, February 22
Time: 7 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com
Odds to win tournament (per Oddsshark): Canada +275 (Bet $100 to win $275), Germany (+6,600)
Germany Playing with Nothing to Lose
Germany is playing with house money.
No one expected the Germans to get this far in the tournament, and they will enter Friday's semifinal as a massive underdog.
The one thing they have going for them is their ability to win in tight games, as they beat Switzerland and Sweden in overtime in the playoffs and quarterfinals respectively.
Their run wasn't started by a victory, though—it was spurred by a 1-0 defeat to Sweden in pool play.
After playing one of the medal favorites tight in the group stage, the Germans learned they could play with anyone, and it's shown in their past three games.
The Germans are playing without a superstar on their team, as a wide range of players have added goals throughout the competition, with four different athletes finding the back of the net in the quarterfinal win over Sweden.
Patrick Reimer played the role of hero with the game-winning goal, while Christian Ehrhoff, Marcel Noebels and Dominik Kahun scored in regulation.
Yannic Seidenberg thrust himself into the role of hero the round before versus Switzerland with a game-winning tally in overtime.
With confidence running through the veins of every player on the roster, the Germans should hand Canada a bit of a fight, but if the adrenaline from past rounds wears off, they'll be fighting for bronze instead of gold.
They will need to use that same togetherness and fearlessness from the past two rounds if they are to have any chance of knocking off the Canadians Friday.
Canada Comes In as Overwhelming Favorite
Canada's time in Pyeongchang has been a bit underwhelming given its results, as it finished second behind the Czech Republic in Group A following a 3-2 defeat in a shootout to the Czechs.
Despite losing that game, the Canadians benefited from the defeat, as the point gained they gained from the contest helped them attain fourth place in the knockout-round rankings.
The extra day off was beneficial to the team, and it was able to take down Finland, even with an injury to goalie Ben Scrivens, who was hurt in a collision with a teammate.
Canada will have to overcome a bit of adversity if Scrivens is out, but the 2014 winner should be able to progress to the gold-medal game based off the talent at its disposal.
Either Kevin Poulin or Justin Peters will start in place of Scrivens if the starter is unable to go, and both of them practiced with the former NHL player out Thursday, per AP's Stephen Whyno:
Even without its wealth of NHL attacking talent, Friday's game should be a breeze for Canada, even with Germany on a hot run of form.
In the games against lesser opposition in pool play, the Canadians outscored their opponents 9-1, and if they benefit from the same type of scoring outburst, Friday's contest may be a blowout.
However, the Canadians can't just show up to the game and expect to win given the run the Germans are on. As long as they don't look ahead to the gold-medal game and focus on the task at hand, they should return to the championship tilt.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Olympic.org.