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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why Each Capital Will Win Gold, and Why Each Capital Won't

The Washington Capitals are being represented by five different players from four different countries:  John Carlson of Team USA, Alexander Ovechkin of Team Russia, Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom of Team Sweden and Martin Erat of Team Czech Republic.  So, let's take a look at how each one of these guys representing their countries can take home a gold, and let's see how they won't.  I'll also come up with creative MVP for each Caps country.

John Carlson - Team USA

Will win because of... Goaltending, speed -  It is no secret that the United States has the best goaltending in Sochi.  Led by Ryan Miller and Johnathan Quick, they really can't go wrong with who they choose, as both are among the top in their craft.  Miller led Team USA four years ago in Vancouver to a final thriller, only to fall in overtime, and has been excellent this NHL season with a bad Buffalo Sabres team.  Quick pretty much carried his LA Kings to their Stanley Cup win just two seasons ago, and is more than capable of doing so again.  Team USA is also loaded with speed, as General Manager David Poile chose young, quick players to play on the big international ice.

Won't win because of….young, inexperienced defense, tough grouping  - Team USA has five defensemen born in 1989 or later.  And while all of these guys do have international experience at the World Junior level, they will be going up against the best players in the world each game.  All are capable of doing just well, as all five play pretty big roles on their team, but it will be interesting to see how these young guys play in their countries colors.  The grouping is tough with Russia, Slovenia and Slovakia.  And while all teams qualify for the elimination rounds, the seeding could be rough on the United States.  If they finish towards the bottom, it is entirely possible for the United States to draw an early Canada, Russia or Sweden drawing.

MVP of Team USA will be…. John Carlson

Alexander Ovechkin - Team Russia

The most important man in Russia right now
Will win because of….home ice advantage, offensive fire power - European teams win in Europe.  North American teams win in North America.  In 2010 in Vancouver it was the homeland of Canada who took home gold.  In 2006 in Turin, it was European team Sweden.  In 2002 in Salt Lake City, it was Canada.  In fact, there hasn't been a foreign continent to the olympic continent winner in mens hockey since the 1988 Calgary games, when the Soviet Union won it all.  The Soviet Union doesn't even exist anymore.  Home ice advantage is huge, and hockey crazed Russia will pack each and every Russian hockey game and they will be loud.  They also have some of the best offensive players in the world on their squad.  Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vladimir Tarasenko.  They are absolutely loaded.

Won't win because of….immense pressure, suspect defense - This tournament is huge for Mother Russia.  You've heard from multiple different sources Russia say that if they only win gold in the Mens Hockey Tournament, it will be a successful Olympics.  You've read the Sports Illustrated articles, The Hockey News articles, local area news articles.  All of them talk about the immense pressure Ovechkin is under, his country is under.  It's insane.  But on top of that, Russia's defense is not very good, at all.  They have Slava Voynov, Andrei Markov, and everyone else is just average.  They will have to rely heavy on their offense, which is more than capable of carrying them to gold in Sochi.

MVP of Team Russia will be…. Alexander Ovechkin

Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson - Team Sweden

From Erik Karlsson's twitter
Will win because of….they are clearly the most complete team - Team Sweden is my choice for gold.  In all aspects of the game, they have the best players.  Tremendous two-way forwards in virtually every forward, tremendous playmakers in Backstrom, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg and Gabriel Landeskog, tremendous goal scorers in Alexander Steen, tremendous defensive-minded defensemen
like Niklas Kronwall and Oliver Ekman Larsson, tremendous offensive-minded defensemen like Erik Karlsson, tremendous goaltending in Henrik Lundqvist.  They have the best among each position on their team.  No question it is their tournament to lose.

Won't win because of….I honestly don't know - I just can't find a weakness in this team.  They have great leadership, coaching.  I mean, I guess injuries?  I don't know.

MVP of Team Sweden will be….Either Nicklas Backstrom or Marcus Johansson, I can't decide.

Martin Erat - Team Czech Republic

Will win because of….experience - This team is ancient.  They have Patrick Elias, Jaromir Jagr and Petr Nedved.  These guys have done it before, and know exactly what they need to do at any point in time on the ice.  They also have a couple of playmakers that aren't yet past their prime, like David Krejci, Ales Hemsky and Michael Frolik.  They are all going to have to play their best hockey possible to have a crack at the gold medal.

Won't win because of….too old, meh goaltending - Yeah, I just said that they could win the gold because of their experience, but they could also more than easily lose it because they are just too slow and ultimately too old to be going up against guys that could be fifteen years younger.  Their top goalie in Ondrej Pavelec, and I just don't see him carrying the team to a gold medal.

MVP of Team Czech Republic will be….Martin Erat

Enjoy the games!


  1. Anonymous12:32:00 PM

    This has some great points but it is so unrealistic. You really think all caps are going to be MVP's of their teams? The only Cap that I would predict to win MVP is Ovechkin. And reasons why team Sweden won't win are Canada. Their line up is beyond stacked.

    Anything can happen in hockey though. Miller might be able to hold off Russia's offense. Canada might have a bad night against USA. Sweden might get some puck luck.

    I just hope USA can win.

  2. Thank you so much for reading!

    I imagine that you probably haven't read too much of the other stuff I've written on this blog, but I am extrrreeeeeemellly sarcastic. Of course these guys aren't going to be MVP, I just thought it would just be funny.

    I know there is no typeface for sarcasm, so I apologize for causing some confusion, but again, thanks a ton for reading.

    1. Anonymous2:46:00 PM

      Ohhhh well in that case it is a pretty great article haha i'm sorry. There is one error at the end of Russia's reason they'll win.

      "They also have some of the best offensive players in the world on their squad. Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vladimir Tarasenko. They are absolutely loaded.
      hockey since the 1988 Calgary games, when the Soviet Union won it all. The Soviet Union doesn't even exist anymore."

      There is just like a random half sentence in there lol.

    2. Thanks, sometimes this website does that for some reason. I'll fix it.