No offense to Switzerland, Norway or Latvia—but they are not the big storylines on the first day of Men’s hockey at the 2010 Olympics. Team USA, Team Canada and Team Russia are all serious contenders for medals—even the Gold Medal.
For anyone who is curious about the line combinations for the tournament, here is what we know so far. Of course, line combinations are always subject to change—but seeing how the coaches ENVISION their team gives some insight as to what they expect from each player. Not only that, it gives a glimpse into each GM’s mind and their expectations when they were building their respective teams.
You can find the initial line combinations for Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic here.
Alexander Ovechkin – Pavel Datsyuk – Alexander Semin
Ilya Kovalchuk – Evgeni Malkin – Maxim Afinogenov
Viktor Kozlov – Sergei Fedorov – Alexander Radulov
Danis Zaripov – Sergei Zinoviev – Alexei Morozov
Andrei Markov-Fedor Tyutin
Denis Grebeshkov – Sergei Gonchar
Anton Volchenkov-Konstantin Korneyev
Dmitri Kalinin-Ilja Nikulin
It’s been assumed that Evgeni Nabokov will be the starter for Team Russia—but the Russians are playing it close to the vest. Betweeen Ilya Bryzgalov and Evgeni Nabokov, they can’t really go wrong.
Patrick Kane – Paul Stastny – Zach Parise
Ryan Malone – Joe Pavelski – Phil Kessel
Jamie Langenbrunner – Ryan Kesler – Dustin Brown
David Backes – Chris Drury – Ryan Callahan – Bobby Ryan (all 4 skating in practice)
Ryan Suter – Brian Rafalski
Tim Gleason – Erik Johnson
Jack Johnson – Brooks Orpik
Rick Nash—Sidney Crosby—Patrice Bergeron
Eric Staal—Ryan Getzlaf—Corey Perry
Patrick Marleau—Joe Thornton—Dany Heatley
Brendan Morrow—Jonathan Toews—Jarome Iginla
Mike Richards (appears as though)
Dan Boyle – Chris Pronger
Duncan Keith – Keith Seabrook
Shea Weber – Scott Niedermayer
Roberto Luongo vs. Norway
Martin Brodeur vs. Switzerland
According Bob McKenzie (TSN.ca), here are the units that Team Canada was using for the power play (in no particular order)
Power Play Forwards
Power Play Defensemen
For ongoing updates from Vancouver, Dan Rosen (NHL.com), Chris Johnston (The Canadian Press), Michael Russo (Minneapolis/St. Paul Tribune) and Francois Gagnon (La Presse) have been killing it. I highly recommend that you check them out for live updates throughout the coming days.
As lines change throughout the tournament, you are welcomed to note any changes or updates in the comments section.