Canada was the gold medal favorite at the beginning of the tournament and so far, they haven’t disappointed. While their offense has been missing in action, their defense and goaltending has been airtight. On Sunday morning, they’ll face off with Sweden in a battle of the last two men’s hockey gold medal winners.
Canada Can Win Because…
They are peaking at the right time. Although the scorelines might not indicate it, the Canadians are getting better as the tournament progresses. Their goaltending behind Carey Price has been stellar and their All-Star cast of blueliners are not allowing opposing offenses to breathe. They’ve allowed just three goals in the entire tournament, which is quite impressive.
Sweden has had an easy path to the gold medal game as the only quality team they’ve played so far is Finland. However, Finland was without their best player, goaltender Tuukka Rask (flu), which allowed the Swedes to have an easier time of things. Canada is a step up in competition from what Sweden has faced so far and they won’t be ready for it.
Sweden Can Win Because….
Their offense hasn’t done much this tournament and now they have to play one of the best defensive teams. Canada has labored to put the biscuit in the basket all tournament long as they barely mustered one goal against the United States, squeezed out just two goals against Latvia and had just three against Norway. Sweden wants this game to be a low-scoring, one-goal affair as that’s their style of contest. That’s exactly what it’s going to be as Canada’s guns are not firing on full cylinders.
Outlook & Pick
Sweden has passed all of their tests so far but Canada is a whole other animal. Missing Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Sedin and Johan Franzen will finally catch up with the Swedes. Canada is too deep, too strong and are playing too technically sound to lose to Sweden.
Olympic Pick: Canada at Pinnacle