Hello Team USA fans! Tomorrow morning at 7:30 am eastern time Team USA will start it’s quest for a gold medal against Team Slovakia in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Getting off to a good start is exactly what the Americans need as they fight to get into the elimination rounds. We know a lot about team USA, their silver medal in Vancouver in 2010, and their current lineup but we don’t know too much about the Slovakians and their lineup.
In 2010 the team Slovakia did not receive a medal but they ended up fourth overall in the tournament, losing 5-3 in the bronze medal game to the Finnish. The line-up for team Slovakia is highlighted with big name NHLers like Jaroslav Halak of the St. Louis Blues, Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, and Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks. Aside from having a few Stanley Cup Champions in the lineup, the Slovakians also have a nice mix of young NHL talent to go with the veteran leadership. Detroit Red Wings rookies Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar are making an appearance in Sochi for the Slovakians. This is a lineup that has some obvious holes all around, but still can be a threat to any of the contenders.
What team USA needs to do tomorrow is simple, play whatever game Head Coach Dan Bylsma has set up for them. The Americans are clearly the favorite in their grouping for the tournament, however that does not mean that they can walk into any game expecting a victory. What the USA players need to do is set the tone from the beginning of the game, especially this game because it will set the tone for the whole tournament.
Let’s all hope that team USA’s star studded lineup is ready to play tomorrow and show the whole world that they are ready to win gold. Patrick Kane told reporters earlier this week that it’s “Gold medal or bust” for Team USA, so let’s see if he’s ready to back that up. See you all bright and early for tomorrow’s game and go USA!