The Americans and Fins were stymied by their respective opponents in the semifinals and now they’ll square off for the bronze medal. Both teams have played with plenty of promise but now risk leaving Sochi without a medal.
USA Can Win Because…
They have the better offense. Finland has been getting by in this tournament with one-goal leads and airtight defense. However, the Americans are more than capable of breaking through and scoring plenty – just as they have in most of their games. Sure, Canada shut them out but Canada has allowed just three goals in five games. As for Finland, they’ve have a tough time scoring. They racked up 16 goals against weaklings Norway and Austria, but have scored a total of just two goals in their last two games.
The Americans are a quality defensive team and they have more firepower. They’ll get the job done here.
Finland Can Win Because….
The Americans have struggled against quality teams. Sure, they beat up on the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia, but they lost to Canada (1-0) and barely got by Russia (3-2) – the same Russian team that Finland topped 3-1.
Finland watched the Americans semifinal with Canada and got the blueprint. If they play a technically sound defensive game – as they have throughout most of the tournament – they’ll get the win.
Outlook & Pick
Injuries are mounting for Finland as they entered Sochi without top centers Mikko Koivu, Saku Koivi and Valtteri Filppula, and then lost Aleksander Barkov. Goaltender Tuukka Rask missed the semifinals with the flu and is questionable for the bronze medal game. If he’s out, go with the Americans as their offense should do enough to earn them a spot on the podium. If Rask plays, I would avoid the side and stick with the under.
Olympic Pick: Under at Pinnacle