The Olympics may have officially begun competition on Saturday, but it's today that for most of Canada the games really start.
What more could you ask for than to see the best players in the world compete. I know some people that have actually said "I don't see the difference between this and the World Championship, it happens every year". To those people I say "you're an idiot".
The difference is that ALL the best players get to compete. In the World Championships a lot of players are still in the NHL Playoffs and can't go, which is what makes the Olympics so much more exciting, the NHL stops so all players are able to make it.
With that said let's start getting excited for today's game against Norway.
There are really no "walk in the park" games in this tournament. There are of course some teams much much weaker than others but anything can...and has...happen. Today Canada takes on Norway, which can go 1 of 3 ways.
1) Canada dominates and wins 8-1 (which by the way is my hope and prediction)
2) Canada barely squeaks out a win
3) The worst of them all...they lose and the country starts to riot (I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere riots over a loss to Norway)
Canadian players and management know that no team can be taken lightly, especially since the games are IN Canada. It may be 4 years later but Torino is still in every player and personnel's mind (even if they weren't there).
Getting Ryan Getzlaf back is a HUGE bonus. While Jeff Carter would have still been a great addition to the team, I think Getzlaf is the better choice. And coming off a 4 point night in his first game after injury and last game before the break is encouraging because he's riding some momentum coming into today.
When you look at the roster there's been a ton of prediction on who the liens are going to be. So I'm not going to do that because by now I'm sure everyone has a set line-up in mind and are just waiting to see if they're right.
The biggest thing I want to touch on is of course goaltending. The 3 goalies we have here, Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, and Marc-Andre Fluery are all outstanding. Of course Fluery is going to be the odd man out, but don't be surprised if Babcock throws in in there to see what he's got. Of course it would be against one of the weaker teams like Belarus if it were to happen. Luongo and Brodeur will likely both see multiple games. Lou is going to be Canada's goalie after Brodeur retires. But we don't really know just how good he can be at this level in international play. With Marty being there ALL the time there isn't much room for anyone else to step in. But I have a feeling that Lou will play more than just tonight. Of course when the games start to get really serious, like against the USA, Sweden and Russia you can almost guarantee Marty gets the call (unless of course he plays terrible like Cujo did in 2002...but that's a bit of a stretch to happen).
In terms of tonight (or today depending on which part of the country you're in) the game is going to be good. I can promise you that the Canadian players will come out with guns blazin'...because if they don't, they'll never live it down.
8-1 is my predicition for Canada to win against Norway.
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