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Canada Vs United States Live Stream Tips And Olympic Hockey Match Preview

Canada vs. Sweden – Live Stream, Tips and Olympic Hockey Match Preview

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in Olympics 23 Feb 2021

Sidney Crosby (credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Sochi Olympics will come to a close today, with the tradition of the men’s ice hockey gold medal game pulling down the curtain on the event. The defending champion Canadians will look to maintain their perfect record, as they come up against Team Sweden, who have also been perfect to this point in the competition.

The game is scheduled to start at 12:00 GMT.

In the UK, the game airs live on BBC’s interactive service, while live coverage is available online with bet365.

Get Canada vs. Sweden coverage here:

watch the game live!


Friday’s semi-final match up between Canada and the United States was supposed to be a knock-down, drag-out blood bath, a fearsome continuation of the rivalry that boiled over in the Gold Medal game of Vancouver 2010. Instead, we had a game with just 1 goal, limited scoring chances, and the hallmark of the Canadian team effort in Sochi: unshakable defense.

Having allowed just 3 goals in the five games they have played to this point in the tournament, the Canadians look like a well-oiled machine on the back-end. Their top-6 defense of Keith, Doughty, Weber, Vlasic, Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester has been, without question, the best in the tournament, displaying a level of defensive chemistry that has pushed the Canadians through a dearth of offensive production.

Principal among those has been Doughty, who has been the best Canadian for the whole of the tournament. He has 7 (4-3) on 14 tournament goals for the Canadians, and has been on the ice for 9 of the 14 tallies. The Los Angeles Kings star was also a presence in Vancouver 2010, at just the age of 22, and Sochi is showing that he is the kind of player built for the big stage.

Regardless of team defense, the Canadians need to score goals, and a lack of production from their two best offensive players has to be seen as troubling. Captain Sidney Crosby and center Jonathan Toews are both sitting on zero goals for the tournament, a massive surprise when you consider how productive both players were in Vancouver 2010. It could be argued that Canada has won in spite of the mediocre play of these two, though Toews has been thrust into a more defensive role on the third line. Crosby, on the other hand, has seen a rotating menagerie of wingers in the five games of the tournament, which is to say that he cannot seem to find chemistry consistently with any linemate. For the Gold medal game, you’re likely to see Patrice Bergeron and Jeff Carter line up alongside him, as that was how the game against the United States ended.

Friday was a coming out party on the international stage for goaltender Carey Price, who had 31 saves in his first shut-out of the tournament. Price was considered a shaky bet in contrast with defending gold medal-winning starter Roberto Luongo, but with just 3 goals allowed on four starts, he looks to be in excellent form for the Canadians. Many will point to the Canadians stifling defense as the reason for Price’s successes this tournament, but his many five-alarm saves in the game against the Americans demonstrated that he is as much a product of his skill, than of his system.

The Swedes will try to overcome the myriad injury adversities which have befallen them in these Olympics, to win their second gold medal in three Olympics. A 2-1 win over arch-rival Finland on Friday showed that, in spite of missing key performers like Henrik Zetterberg, Henrik Sedin and Johan Franzen, the Swedes are still a potent group.

Like the Canadians, much of the Swedish success has come on the back of stellar defense and goaltending. Defenseman Erik Karlsson has been probably the MVP of the whole tournament, and is continuing to ably thrust himself into the role of workhorse #1 defenseman left by former captain Nicklas Lidstrom. He has seen rotating partners on his side, with Vancouver Canucks blueliner Alexander Edler seeming the most capable fit. Karlsson is the guy that Canada needs to key in on if they are to come out of Sunday’s game with gold.

Offensively, the Swedes would like to see more from key performers Daniel Sedin and Nicklas Backstrom, both of whom are struggling to perform to expected levels in the injury absence of other key producers. Sedin, in particular, has carried over his struggles from the NHL season into the Olympics, with just one goal in five games. So much of the Swedish offense flows through Karlsson, but it would be nice for the Swedes to have a reliable second-strike option, which is where Backstrom and Sedin should come in.

Henrik Lundqvist will, of course, get the start for the Swedes on Sunday. He is looking to lead his country to a second gold medal, and has been an able contributor in the preliminary and knockout rounds. Like Price, he plays behind a stacked defensive corps, which can help buffer his statistics. Still, the Canadians should bring a different level of offensive production to the fore on Sunday, which means that Lundqvist could see himself tested more than he has been to any point in the tournament.

This isn’t exactly the rivalry game that Sweden/Finland, Canada/USA or Canada/Russia is, and as such, there might be less feeling to the game than one would expect from a gold medal contest. Still, both of these nations will be desperate to add another gold medal to their national trophy case.

The key for the Canadians is to still play air-tight defense, but also, to try and squeeze offense out of some of the key contributors who have been silent in tournament. They managed to beat the high-powered Americans in spite of an offense that was mostly lacking, but expecting that to be the case on every night is likely asking too much.

For the Swedes, they will turn to Karlsson and Lundqvist as their leaders, and hope that they can get production out of their stars who have also struggled. To whit, the Swedes play lockdown defensive game extremely similar to that of the Canadians, so it will be paramount to score the first goal, in order to set the pace and instill doubt in the opposition.

The Gold medal game at the Olympics is always must-watch television. When you factor in that this is potentially the last Olympics featuring NHL stars for the foreseeable future, it represents one of the last chances to see this spectacle in all of its glory. These are two excellent teams, two stellar hockey nations, and we should be treated to an outstanding spectacle on the last day in Sochi.

author avatar
Leigh Copson
Leigh is, without a doubt, the most over worked writer here at Crunch Sports. A statistician at heart, she can reel off Superbowl plays from decades ago. If we need a deep-dive into the numbers in any sport, we call Leigh first.

Leigh is, without a doubt, the most over worked writer here at Crunch Sports. A statistician at heart, she can reel off Superbowl plays from decades ago. If we need a deep-dive into the numbers in any sport, we call Leigh first.

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