Hockey great Wayne Gretzky may have lit the Olympic flame, but it’s Canada's Sidney Crosby & Co who are expected to ignite these Winter Games and a nation. The puck drops on Men’s Olympic Hockey today as Team Canada goes for gold on home soil, while others look for the unbelievable. Olympic oddsmakers at SPORTSBOOK.com have Canada as -200 moneyline favorites to win Gold . Be sure to get your 2010 Winter Olympics: Men’s Gold Medal Ice Hockey Predictions in now at SPORTSBOOK.com
Canada – is currently ranked second in the IIHF World Ranking. They haven’t won gold since the 2002 Winter Olympics, in Salt Lake City, Utah. But, now they’re on home soil where nothing but gold will do. With Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Rick Nash, Joe Thornton and Jonathan Toews they’ll be expected to wrinkle the net every chance they get. The goaltending duties will be split between Roberto Luongo and three time Olympian Martin Brodeur. Brodeur was in net during their gold medal win in 2002 and he likely be seen in net throughout the games. Brodeur is arguably the top goaltender in the world. He has a World Cup win in 2004 and had another strong performance at the 2005 IIHF World hockey championships. He's the game's best puck-handling goaltender. Brodeur was selected as Team Canada's starter in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. He started in 4 of 6 games, but Canada failed to win a medal after losing to Russia in the quarterfinals. Canada’s toughest challenge will come from Russia or Sweden.
Russia – are currently rated number one in IIHF World Rankings and it’s not hard to see why. With Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, and Evgeni Malkin they’ll have the skill to kill. These three above mentioned were all nominees for the 2009 Hart Memorial Trophy (the most valuable player award in the National Hockey League). In 2006 Russia failed to medal losing to Finland, in the semi-finals, and then the Czech Republic in the Bronze Medal game. Their best finish in the Olympics was in 1998 where they won silver and in 2002 they won bronze. Russia is listed as +200 moneyline underdog to win gold .
Sweden – the IIHF currently ranks them third in the world. At the 2006 Winter Olympics they won the gold medal after a thrilling final against Finland, with the score 3-2. At the 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships, Sweden won the final against the Czech Republic and thus became the first hockey team ever to win at both the Winter Olympics and the World Championships in the same year. Their roster is packed with talent. Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas LidströmDaniel Alfredsson, Nicklas Bäckström and Olympic veteran Peter Forsberg will be a force to reckon with. Sweden is listed as +600 moneyline underdog to win gold .
USA – are ranked fifth in the IIHF World Rankings and will have a fresh youth squad heading into these Olympics. Their 2006 Olympic Team finished a disappointing 8th place. The United States now has five hockey teams that are reigning international champions. By comparison, Canada has one. "In years before, USA Hockey teams were going into tournaments hoping to win," said defenceman Jack Johnson of the Los Angeles Kings and the 2010 Olympic men's team. "Now, they go in expecting to win." Current young talents like Patrick Kane, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Phil Kessel, Mike Komisarek, Blake Wheeler, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, and Ryan Miller have hockey analysts listing the United States as a potential medal contender for 2010. The United States won the silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, and the gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Their most recent medal at the World Championships came in 2004. The American ice hockey team's greatest success was the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. They’ll need another "Miracle on Ice" to win gold. USA is listed as +600 moneyline underdog to win gold .
Odds to win gold:
Czech Republic +1200
The Field (any other country besides above mentioned) +1000
Point-Spreads.com 2010 Winter Olympics: Men’s Gold Medal Ice Hockey Predictions
The Bottom Line: It’s a tough call but you must go with Canada on home soil. Be sure to get your 2010 Winter Olympics: Men’s Gold Medal Ice Hockey Predictions in now at SPORTSBOOK.com and get a 50% Deposit Bonus and $25 Free Bet at SPORTSBOOK.com, simply use promo code WIN100 and start winning today!