Olympic Hockey Day 2 Preview and Open Thread: Sweden, Finland, and the Battle of Czechoslovakia

After Latvia shocked the world last night by killing off seven of eight Russian power plays, the Olympic tournament continues on with three games, the last of which is by far the most interesting.

3dflags-blr1-2_medium3dflags-fin1-2_mediumGroup C Game 1: Finland vs. Belarus - 3 PM - MSNBC: Belarus forever has that big Olympic win over another Scandinavian country under its belt, but I can't imagine this game will be close at all.  Kimmo Timonen will probably score at least four times.  And today it becomes official: Lasse Kukkonen is an Olympic athlete.  Wrap your head around that one. 

3dflags-deu1-2_medium3dflags-swe1-2_mediumGroup C Game 2: Sweden vs. Germany - 7:30 PM - CNBC:  The defending champions, Sweden, face-off against the Uwe Krupp-led Germans in their first game of this title defense.  While there's some talk about Sweden being sort of an auxiliary favorite in this event, I don't think anyone seriously thinks they're going to win gold again.  So it's a chance for them to prove where they're at either way.  As far as Germany goes, they've got a real fighting chance with Thomas Greiss in net, but less of a fighting chance when you realize how many complete nobodies make up the rest of the team.


3dflags-svk1-2_medium3dflags-cze1-2_mediumGroup B Game 2: Czech Republic vs. Slovakia - 11:55 PM - CNBC: How ridiculous is Group B?? Not only does it feature Latvia and that team that played Latvia last night, it also boasts both halves of former Czechoslovakia, namely the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  It will be the first time Jagr's played in North America for a while, as well as the first time in a while Jaroslav Halak  has gotten to start a game without previously stabbing little pins into a Carey Price voodoo doll.  This should be a pretty sweet, all-offense affair.

Follow the action in the comments all day long.  Comments and ideas on how Latvia should retool it's passing for their game on Friday are also welcome.

(Animated flag images by 3DFlags.com)

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